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Virgin's iPad 'Project' goes free as app subscriptions fail to materialize

post #1 of 26
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Starting Thursday and running through Dec. 29, the first issue of the new iPad-exclusive Project magazine from Richard Branson's Virgin Group is available for free, giving iPad owners a taste of the interactive digital publication.

Courtesy of Virgin America, Virgin Blue and Virgin Mobile Canada, the first issue of Project is now available for free (iTunes link). Users can get the Project application from the App Store for free, and individual issues are available for download from within the app.

The magazine offers unique features that can only be accomplished on an iPad. For example, one story has readers use their finger to push away dirt to reveal the headline "Eat My Dirt," about a Danish chef who runs a restaurant ranked as the world's best.

A profile on Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges has the star of "Tron" and "True Grit" walk onscreen along the shore of a beach before the text accompanying the first paragraph of the story appears. And advertisements are interactive, too, with a Lexus ad that invites users to "touch to explore the world's most advanced driving simulator."

When the application first launched at the end of November, the debut issue of Project cost $2.99. The magazine also debuted before Apple is rumored to offer recurring application subscriptions, which would allow digital publications like Branson's to offer annual subscriptions.



One report said Apple could hold a media event to unveil the subscriptions as early as Dec. 9, though that rumor failed to materialize. It has been suggested that a new tablet-only newspaper from News Corporation, dubbed The Daily could be introduced alongside a new App Store subscription option. That publication is expected to arrive on Jan. 17.

Because the ability to offer application subscriptions will likely require a new application programming interface, Apple is rumored to be working on an update for its iOS mobile operating system. Rumors in November said iOS 4.3 could arrive in December, but they too failed to materialize.
post #2 of 26
Magazines are dead. Pulse News and Flipboard (or something not yet released) are the future of short-form reading.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Magazines are dead; Pulse News and Flipboard (or something similar) are the future of reading.

In the sense of old school paper, definitely. This 'Project' could signal a new style but they messed up when there was no kind of preview. Given just a mini mag for free was needed. They finally figured that out and are doing it for a time, but really it should just be a free issue period. I can go to a newsstand and buy a copy of whatever to try it out so why not digital also.
post #4 of 26
Branson has an excellent track record, so I trust he'll make it work or put a stop to it rather quickly.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #5 of 26
I think its more likely that this is an indication that in-app subscriptions are coming.

Basically, give the App away for free now, and provide easy to access links to buy a subscriptions when in-App subscriptions are revealed.

Good idea to make it free right before the holidays, before millions of people start playing with their iPads on the morning of the 25th, and so are more likely to download and try this.
post #6 of 26
I really enjoyed the magazine and intend to subscribe, I feel a free copy for everyone followed by a paid subscription makes sense.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #7 of 26
It's the tried and true brands that have any hope of succeeding monetarily on the ipad/web.

WSJ, Financial Times, NYT, Washington Post, etc.

The rest and the "new" are doomed to being "free" and selling ads as the only source of income...sorry to say!
post #8 of 26
I think a lot of us know that if the big boys in publishing, and ladies( sorry. Love you!) don't get with the program then their sh** will be swallowed up by independent publishers who are known for being far more experimental and edgier than the modern day Hearsts.
post #9 of 26
Well, if there's anyone who can figure out digital magazine publishing, it would be Branson. The other big boys (WSJ, NYT, News Corp, Hearst, etc.) will just plod along on inertia.

In the end, it'll be apps like Flipboard that'll dominate short-form viewing (articles, photos, videos, etc.).
post #10 of 26
I was able to download the 2.3MB application, but couldn't download the content as it is only available for WiFi users only. A real shame the a site like AppleInsider didn't state this in the article since they usually do cross all t's, give detailed info and put the i in fine.

I'm on holiday without WiFi access and would like to read the mag, but need to hop over to a McDonald and download the magazine over their free WiFi...

So no, I cannot comment on the content. Do like Richard Branson's endeavours!

Cheers,
Phil
"See her this weekend. You hit it off, come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."
- Roger Sterling
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"See her this weekend. You hit it off, come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."
- Roger Sterling
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post #11 of 26
I spotted Branson while out xmas shopping earlier as it happens!
I have much respect for the bloke. He's the UK's answer to Steve Jobs. A charismatic innovator and a showman.
post #12 of 26
The headline states categorically that "app subscriptions fail(ed) to materialize" but the article never provides any support for this. Just making things up as we go, huh?
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I spotted Branson while out xmas shopping earlier as it happens!
I have much respect for the bloke. He's the UK's answer to Steve Jobs. A charismatic innovator and a showman.

Yeah i agree. He's well liked here in the UK.

I remember taking a flight on one of his planes to Miami and we had all sorts of delays. When we got to the airport he'd faxed a copy of a letter he'd hand written apologising for the delays and arranged a goody bag for everyone of the passengers. Nice touch! Nice bloke!
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #14 of 26
Too bad his 2 stores in NY went bust
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

Yeah i agree. He's well liked here in the UK.

I remember taking a flight on one of his planes to Miami and we had all sorts of delays. When we got to the airport he'd faxed a copy of a letter he'd hand written apologising for the delays and arranged a goody bag for everyone of the passengers. Nice touch! Nice bloke!

Thats very familiar sounding. Half the people I know, work for him, and all report positive encounters. He is very hands on and shows a genuine interest in his staff, and occasionally out enjoying a casual drink like he was no one in particular, free of superiority complex.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The magazine also debuted before Apple is rumored to offer recurring application subscriptions,

All your base are belong to us...
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Thats very familiar sounding. Half the people I know, work for him, and all report positive encounters. He is very hands on and shows a genuine interest in his staff, and occasionally out enjoying a casual drink like he was no one in particular, free of superiority complex.

Spoken as only somone from a pure classist society could.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Branson has an excellent track record, so I trust he'll make it work or put a stop to it rather quickly.

I don't see that cola in stores anymore.
Cubist
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Cubist
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post #19 of 26
While subscriptions sound interesting, Single issues may be an attractive and useful item as well.
There are many times I purchase just one particular issue of a magazine for whatever reason, as I'm sure many of us have.
I would definitely view it on an Ipad out of convenience if single issues were available.

The time for going digital is now upon us. Hopefully Apple can make it happen and the publishers realize that this is the way to go.
post #20 of 26
Interavity #fail Seriously you want me to pay a premium to wipe digital dirt off the screen and watch more obtrusive interactive ads? There are fabulous things that can be done with this device, this however isn't one of them.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Spoken as only somone from a pure classist society could.

So then low life proletariat, how do you extrapolate from the above writings that I have classist tendencies?
If you knew me, you would know that I am utterly opposed to all social class systems (though segregating thick people with opinions is tempting), hence why I wrote the above. I worked in the music industry for many years and I know too well what fame and fortune does to people. It's the same the world over, and it will be the same in whichever corner of the earth you crawled from.
For someone as successful as Richard Branson to give the time of day to your average man-on-the-street, shows a man of good character, and that I applaud. Forgive me for praising the good in people!
I have travelled much in my life, and believe me, class systems are rife the world over. England is not immune, but it barely registers on the classist richter scale by comparison. You need to get out more, and stop watching those British period dramas on TV.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

I don't see that cola in stores anymore.

True not much of that cola around and no doubt a bit embarrassing at the time but he's aiming for a majority of ideas to succeed not all of them. In practice, several Virgin businesses fail each year while the good ones help pay for the rest.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Branson has an excellent track record, so I trust he'll make it work or put a stop to it rather quickly.

I hope he gives it a try before giving up on the idea completely. There's clearly fertile ground here in the IPad media market. People are not done making boatloads of money for being creative.
post #24 of 26
I've downloaded the content. Some interesting ideas, but pretty buggy. App crashes on my iPad regularly.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

Interavity #fail Seriously you want me to pay a premium to wipe digital dirt off the screen and watch more obtrusive interactive ads? There are fabulous things that can be done with this device, this however isn't one of them.

Precisely. Is there anything they're doing that truly benefits from a custom app. Yes, the eye candy and gimmicky interaction is improved, but what about the user experience? So far ive yet to see any magazine apps that are actually better than a website. A well designed stylesheet would be my preference. And yet we are expected to pay for the gimmicky but inferior experience. I predict continued fail.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

I don't see that cola in stores anymore.

"Branson Cola"? Never heard of it.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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