No one has ever accused media mogul Richard Branson of playing it safe, and today the multi-millionaire shook things up again by announcing the debut of Project, an iPad-exclusive magazine. While Project will publish a monthly “issue” it won’t be a bunch of static content like subscribers would get with a traditional periodical. Instead, the app will morph and change over the course of the month, adding new content and incorporating content from readers and bloggers. For instance, the mag is currently hosting a Facebook contest which is inviting users to redesign the front cover. The entries will be available for download in issue three and the winner will get to design a crowdsourced cover early next year.
If the idea seems hard to wrap your head around, that’s because it is, and even Branson had trouble figuring it all out at first. “When my daughter Holly, who is Special Projects Manager at Virgin Group, first told me that she had agreed to sponsor an iPad-only magazine idea from one of our young entrepreneurs, Giovanni Donaldson, I thought she was talking double Dutch!” he said. “It wasn’t until Anthony, Gio and Holly showed me the amazing, innovative editorial and advertising in PROJECT that I ‘got’ how groundbreaking digital publishing can be. To be frank it blew me away.”
The project is being overseen by former FHM editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera, who has big plans for the publication. “I must be the luckiest editor alive,” Noguera said. “To be given the opportunity to create a magazine that is completely unique and innovative, to work with like-minded journalists, contributors and advertisers who are just as passionate and excited as I am about PROJECT has been inspiring. I am proud of PROJECT. Proud of what we have achieved and delighted to have played a small part in determining what will become the future of what we as readers expect from the magazines of tomorrow. Today, PROJECT has set the standard.”
Project is available now for $2.99 an issue, so go ahead and take a peek if you’re curious. What do you think? Is this the future of magazines, or is Richard Branson just throwing away a lot of money on a really crazy venture?