Women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine InStyle has unveiled its first-ever VR-enhanced issue. With the help of cinematic VR content studio Jaunt, InStyle created some complementary content that readers will have access to via VR headsets. The content includes behind-the-scenes footage of covergirl Drew Barrymore’s photoshoot, a closer look at the items she wore, as well as some makeup tutorials. The magazine is also open to exploring native advertisements and sponsorship opportunities in its VR content as a new revenue source.
What Brands Need To Do
With Amazon set to become the largest clothing retailer in the U.S. by 2017, fashion brands and clothing retailers need to think outside of conventional means in order to drive store visits and revenue. Virtual reality provides a new tool to do so through immersive experiences. Though typically associated with young male gamers, virtual reality is a versatile media platform that can be applied to many industry verticals to serve diverse demographics. With VR headsets on the cusp of going mainstream, now is the time for brands to start developing VR content that reflects the interests of their audience.
When Flipboard announced custom magazines earlier this year, no one was sure how successful they’d be. We now know that brands are seeing great success with the custom designs; Flipboard reported that between 10 and 20 percent of users who click on a brand’s magazine end up subscribing to it. What’s more, top brands are seeing readers access between 20 and 40 pages of content per visit. Some brands, like Levi’s, are using the magazine as more of a catalogue, while others aggregate articles and other content from around the web. No matter how the magazine is designed, brand magazines are reporting an advertisement click through rate of 3 percent, which is orders of magnitude greater than digital ad click through rates, which are reported at less than 0.1 percent. Users who really like an ad can even flip it into their own magazines. Flipboard is doing its best to prove that it’s an important advertising medium that should be noticed, and with those numbers it seems as though they have the substance to back their claims.
Flipboard has updated their social magazine that lets users create their own custom magazines, curating articles from other publishers, customizing covers and more. Users can also follow an individual’s magazine as well and purchase products via Etsy. Interestingly enough, the update lets anyone from an individual to a brand become a publisher with the eventual possibility of even sharing ad revenue if they get enough traction.
The battle of the paid vs shared web has been raging on for years, and still no content provider seems to have struck a balance between the two. Marco Arment’s iPad publication “The Magazine” is one such content provider, and it recently announced a change from a subscription-only policy to a metered paywall, more like the one the New York Times uses. This struggle calls into question where the line should be drawn between free and paid content, how sharing should be treated, and how advertising plays a role in internet media. Traditional advertising continues to decline in value, and for the first time, subscription revenue exceeds advertising revenue for the New York Times and the Financial Times. For smaller providers like “The Magazine,” is there a way to balance free content with paid content?
Huffington Post Introduces Its Online Magazine