Wired iPad Edition Launches, But Will Photographers Get More For Ads?
On May 26 Wired released its first digital version designed specifically for media tablets (iPads).
The release was notable for a couple of reasons: It signaled the completion of an InDesign add-on that allows magazine designers to convert their print publications into media tablet format, and vice versa. The software was created by Adobe in collaboration with creatives from Wired. (The add-on will be available for purchase by other publishers).
Wired also reports that it sold 24,000 copies of the app at $4.99 in the first 24 hours, and has sold 73,000 copies to date, grossing more than $350,000. (What no one knows is whether the sales are a sign that media tablets can boost circulation numbers, or simply that many people were convinced to buy the app once, just to see what all the hype was about.)
A handful of advertisers, including a camera manufacturer, purchased premium ad space in the Wired app, which entitled them to ads “offering some kind of multimedia experience.”
Premium ads like the camera manufacturer’s—which features slide shows of images that show off the abilities of their new digital camera—raise the question photographers will be asking more if media tablet apps gain users: Will photographers be paid more to create ads appearing on media tablets?
We asked photographer Dana Neibert, who shot some of the images for the camera manufacturer’s ad in Wired.
Neibert says the client’s ad agency, Mullen, reached out to him in January of this year with the job. The shoot was a week long, Neibert says, and Mullen specified that the usage would include the iPad.
Neibert’s agent, Paige Long at Fox Creative, says that there was some “stumbling through the verbiage” as she and the buyer at Mullen worked on how the iPad use would be accounted for in the license. In addition to print rights, they settled on a license for “unlimited digital media” during the 12-month term.
Long says this was the first job she’d worked on that required an iPad license. On future estimates, she says, she’ll break media tablets out as a separate usage, even if it’s part of an overall campaign—like the camera manufacturer’s—that includes print. “[Media tablet usage] will be differentiated,” she says, “but I can’t tell you with certainty that there is going to be a difference in [the overall] cost” to the client.
Despite the Wired app’s early success, the number of people using iPads is relatively small. But if iPad app’s like Wired’s reach more people consistently, there may be another benefit to advertising photographers. “Should their circulation numbers increase dramatically because of the app, then advertisers that advertise in Wired will probably have to start shelling out more for usage to photographers,” Neibert noted in an e-mail to PDN. “My guess is that it probably won't change the circulation numbers much for Wired as the people who switch over to the iPad version will stop purchasing the print version.”
Another thing to consider is whether ad effectiveness will factor into what photographers charge for ads appearing in media tablet publications. Publishers and third parties will undoubtedly be analyzing the impact of ads that appear in tablet editions, especially those premium ads that include multimedia and interactivity. If research shows that ads are more effective—leading to click-throughs or making a bigger impression on readers—when viewed in tablet editions, publishers will want to charge advertisers more for those ads. Photographers would presumably also want to receive more from clients for licenses to images being used to create the more valuable ads.