The New Yorker is the latest media property to publish their content to iPad owners via a subscription-based model. In order to demonstrate the application’s interface and functionality, the magazine commissioned director Roman Coppola and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman to demonstrate the application in a characteristically quirky and humorous video. Not surprisingly, the humor is in the details of the video.
Perhaps more notably, this latest digital venture for The New Yorker (which has been offering digital content for 9 years) provides the most material at the most advanced stage of digital speed and capacity for the publication. It offers all content from the print edition and more: extra cartoons, photographs, videos, and audio of writers and poets reading their work. The inaugural tablet issue features an animated version of David Hockney’s cover, which was drawn on an iPad.
We appreciate The New Yorker’s statement that its decision to offer content on the iPad – or on any other technology-facilitated platform, for that matter – is secondary to its sole purpose of free expression of the written word – and reading. The editor’s admission of how ‘new’ the process of editing and evolving the future direction of content for that (and other) tablet platforms is also refreshing in a world where ‘iterative launches’ will become an increasingly recognized reality – even in the realm of publishing.
We’re at once delighted and a little bewildered about this latest digital development and our place in it: delighted because of the quality of what the tablet provides and the speed with which the magazine can be distributed, but bewildered, too, because we’d be liars if we said we knew precisely where technology will lead. These are early days. Right now, editing for the iPad feels similar to making television shows just after the Second World War, when less than one per cent of American households owned a television. And yet the general flow of things is clear: the digital revolution is already both long-standing and swift; there will be many more iPads sold; and competitors will inevitably follow. Some may even be roll-up-able. (Readers longing for digital scent strips will have to be patient.)
Watch the commercial below: