Branson introduces IPad Magazine ‘Project’
NEW YORK: British billionaire Richard Branson unveiled a magazine designed for Apple Inc.'s iPad, taking on News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch in the market for tablet-device publications.
The monthly magazine, called "Project," will cover entertainment, design, technology and entrepreneurs, Branson said today at a press conference in New York. Available now, it costs $2.99 a month in Apple's app store.
Branson, founder of Virgin Group Ltd., is the first to get a publication designed specifically for the iPad off the ground. Murdoch's News Corp. is creating a subscription news product for the iPad called "The Daily" that will cover national general interest news, according to two people familiar with the plans. The New York-based company plans to introduce the $1-aweek product in the U.S. in the first quarter, the people said.
"This is not a battle. It's not a war," Branson said. "It's about the future of publishing."
The product "looks like a style magazine and acts like a website," according to a statement from Virgin, and has been created with U.K. publisher Seven Squared. The publication is headed by Branson's 29-yearold daughter, Holly Branson, who is special projects manager at Virgin Group, and editor-inchief Anthony Noguera, former editor of FHM in the U.K. and Emap East. "If you're the first mover in a new area and do it with great panache and style, it does give you an advantage," Branson said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness With Margaret Brennan." "The future will be on devices like the iPad." The first cover features actor Jeff Bridges, who starred in "Crazy Heart" and "The Big Lebowski." It first appears like a traditional print magazine cover with a photo of Bridges and a column listing the issue's articles. -Bloomberg