New Outside LIVE augmented reality app goes live with the May print issue; print, online and tablet products will all be enhanced with the new story telling capabilities
Coordinating app launches can sometimes be difficult, as many publishers know. If you launch an app into the store before your magazine is ready the app will open up to an empty library. In the case of the new OutsideLIVE app released in March early downloaders were left to wonder what the app was supposed to do. But with the publication of the May issue, out now, downloaders will finally be able to use the augmented reality app to bring the May issue to life.
The app, powered by Aurasma, allows the reader to point their iPhone or iPad (or iPod touch) at the print magazine page and see supplemental video content. Until the May issue was published the user wouldn’t have seen much of anything, which is why early reviewers seemed confused. But the May issue is filled with both advertising and editorial content that takes advantage of the new augmented reality app.
Six articles in the print edition have a logo placed on them to tell the reader of the added digital content including a story featuring interviews with survivors of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition and video footage of Spanish endurance star Kilian Jornet.
Ads that take advantage of the OutsideLIVE app include Birkenstock, The North Face and Columbia Sportswear.
Now that Outside has the capabilities of enhancing their print edition with added multimedia content the challenge, editor Michael Roberts told me, “is that there are so many ideas.”
“Outside covers a pretty fascinating and engaging world. One of the benefits of what we do, and the world we cover is that there is such incredible video that’s coming back from these places all over the world from these explorers, adventurers and athletes we work with. It gives us so much to work with,” Roberts said.
“We have to decide what will play best in which environment,” Roberts said, referring to the fact that Outside has not only a print edition, but a robust website, as well as a native tablet edition which uses the Mag+ platform.
“OutsideLIVE will play a unique role within our ecosystem of content that we provide. You are engaging with people reading and loving the print magazine and you’re picking those moments where you see real opportunity to give them a deeper level of engagement, a unique kind of story telling that’s going to jump and connect right off those print stories.”
Outside has had a native tablet edition, Outside+ Magazine, inside the Apple App Store since the summer of 2011. That app was then updated to move it into the Newsstand when Apple launched that feature in October of 2011, then retina display support was added in April of 2012.
Comparing the May tablet edition with the print magazine seen through the OutsideLIVE app is an interesting exercise. As you’ll see in the video below, there may be differences, but each product contains plenty of multimedia content. The tablet edition is not a hybrid – that is, the print ads are not automatically reproduced in the tablet edition. In fact, theres is only one ad to be seen, for Fjord Norway. The ad, as you can see in the video below, contains embedded video (which is very nicely incorporated into the page).
The print edition, combined with the OutsideLIVE app, now actually has more multimedia advertising than the tablet edition – as strange as that sounds. But with the introduction of augmented reality to the print magazine, this might help the sales team sell more tablet edition advertising knowing that there is multimedia content that can be added to the tablet ad creative.