Esquire Magazine: Print Is Not Dead

esquire-augmented-reality-cover-robert-downey-1209-lgI believe print media is not dead unless everyone asks to kill it – which might not be possible. Magazines or Newspapers can effectively remain a profitable business model with web presence/aggregation at least or going digital like Esquire magazine way.

I have read this news article for mashable published today showing Esquire magazine digital media case, yet I couldn’t find any source to write it in my own word since it’s essential to read, so here’s the article:

Print might be in trouble, but Esquire magazine won’t be going gently into that good night. The December issue of the magazine will feature augmented reality pages that will come alive when displayed in front of a webcam.

Augmented reality is a trend and phenomenon we’re starting to see more and more uses of across the web. In March, GE played with augmented reality while showing off its Smart Grid technology. Earlier this month, musician John Mayer released an augmented reality enhanced music video. The iPhone app that was released earlier this week also utilizes some AR features.

Esquire’s use of the technology seems pretty brilliant because the experience alone makes it worth buying a copy of the magazine at the newsstand. The cover, which will feature actor Robert Downey Jr., will emerge on the screen in 3D and feature flying text and images that animate based on how the magazine is positioned.


Within the magazine a half-dozen pages will feature AR technology, as well as two ads from Lexus, who helped offset some of the costs of creating the issue. This isn’t the first time Esquire has decided to integrate digital technologies into its print product. Last year, the 75th anniversary issue of the magazine featured digital e-ink on its cover.

Editor-in-Chief commented on Esquire’s interest in pursuing digital technologies to the Associated Press:

“I got so sick of people talking about old media versus new media. I wanted to prove that print is still kind of cool. I think of it as kind of our job to show people the strength of our medium.”

It’s a strategy that might be paying off. Unlike most print publications, subscription and newsstand sales have actually increased (although ad pages are down).

If these sorts of digital strategies can keep advertisers and readers interested is still unknown. The December issue of Esquire goes on sale on November 7. What do you think about integrating digital technologies with physical print publications? Let us know in the comments!

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.