Schwartz: iPad Complements Rolling Stone as 'Great Discovery Platform'
In partnership with digital editions provider Zinio, Rolling Stone has launched an interactive version of its Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Songs of All Time special edition on the iPad. The digital version of this issue allows readers to sample and purchase music as they move through the app, adding a new dimension to the experience for music lovers as they read about the stories and personalities behind such rock, pop and R&B classics as "Stairway to Heaven" and "What'd I Say."
On the heels of Rolling Stone's website revamp, which puts most of the monthly magazine and its archives behind a paywall while offering robust social media and pop culture news and commentary for free, the top songs app represents another facet of the company's successful digital media strategy. Publishing Executive Inbox asked Steven Schwartz, chief digital officer at Wenner Media, for his take on the iPad's advantages, what the app means for readers and future possibilities for interactive products.
INBOX: Why do you feel the iPad offers a particularly good platform for this sort of interactive product? (I.e., why is "one swipe" a more compelling interaction than "one click"?)
STEVEN SCHWARTZ: This product is great on the iPad because it is a great read with the added interactive capability to preview and purchase the music that is featured. Generally, the iPad is a great device for a more "lean-back" entertainment experience. The Internet is different and it lends itself to quick bites and a lot more clicking, exploration and discovery. This is precisely why most of the content we produce for the Web is Web original—because the different mediums call for different content types and deliver different experiences for the consumer. The iPad is well suited to using the traditional magazine content and enhancing it from there.
INBOX: Is mobility really key to its success—the idea that, unlike a computer, when you've downloaded the song, it's instantly where you want it—your iPad, iTouch or smartphone?