Surely print is not dead, instead, the magazine business seems to be flourishing with smart, new publications and their exciting new digital incarnations.
Just like the brand-new digital Offline magazine, founded by Tom Smith and Brad Flaugher, whom give their subscribers a choice between text and audio. Available exclusively on iOS for only $ 0.99, the monthly magazine features five essays about culture, comedy or design, delivered as a written issue along with TED talk-like content.
Each article is available in audio form which can be listened to from the beginning or triggered at any point while reading by tapping and holding on a sentence and selecting "Tap to Play". As the audio plays, the corresponding text is underlined making it easy to follow along.
The magazine aims to partner with the industry’s most influential writers, and offer them an opportunity that is virtually unheard of in publishing today: Write what they want to write, and have a direct say in how their piece is packaged. Half of the total revenues from an issue is split among the five writers.
He explained that even for writers at the top of their game who are writing in the biggest publications, like the New Yorker, GQ, etc., they’re making between 50 cents and two dollars per word. That can often amount to $1000 per article, something Smith called kind of crazy. “What we really wanted to do was try and correct that imbalance and put money back in the hands of those who actually create the content and those who have the ideas.”
The first issue features articles from author Danny Wallace, former NYTimes.com design director Khoi Vinh, author Jack Cheng, @seinfeldtoday creator and comedian Josh Gondelman and gluten-free lifestyle writer Shauna Ahern.
The audio experience is fantastic, in my opinion, and a much more useful expression of ‘multimedia’ than what is usually passed off under that rubric.
For 99c per month, escape the noise of your newsfeed and subscribe. It's one hour of content you can feel good about consuming.