Animated magazine cover: reality mimics Harry Potter

A real magazine on newsstands available to Muggles this October will have an animated cover, just like The Daily Prophet newspaper read by Harry Potter.

Since this isn’t fiction, no surprise that it’s sponsored by an advertiser.  Ford will be the first company in history to have an animated print magazine ad.

What comes next?
I know I’d rather read anything good (but longer than a text message) on paper rather than skimming it on screen.  Especially if I can flip through it like a real magazine, not load each page like on a Kindle.
How long until we have a fully digital magazine allowing me to download a new issue on a regular basis then flip through pages and browse content and advertising targeted specifically to me?
Would this be the best of both worlds, allowing publishers a new outlet for distributing and selling customized content while giving advertisers the longer attention span of a magazine reader combined with the targeting of interactive advertising?
Information Week reports:

Esquire First Publication To Use Electronic Ink

Esquire plans to publish the magazine’s October issue using so-called electronic ink. The issue will feature a cover across which various words and images will scroll “news-ticker style” — thanks to technology developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink

E Ink uses segmented display cells to show simple images and alphanumeric text on a paper-like material. The system requires a small battery. In the case of Esquire’s October issue, the battery should last for about 90 days

“We’ve spent 16 months making this happen,” Esquire editor David Granger said in a statement. Granger said the issue’s content will eye how digital technology is affecting the world. “The entire issue is devoted to exploring the ideas, people and issues that will be the foundation of the 21st century,” he said.

Hearst’s effort is being co-sponsored by Ford. The automaker is running a double-page spread on the back of Esquire’s October cover that also will use electronic ink and will promote Ford’s new Flex crossover vehicle.

The technology “offered us the chance to show the vehicle in a way we never could have imagined,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group VP of marketing and communications, in a statement.

Magazines have been steadily losing advertising dollars to the Internet as marketers begin to favor the Web’s interactivity and personalization potential. Electronic ink, if it catches on, could help the print industry reverse the trend — or at least hold its ground — in the contest for ad revenue.

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