The rise of the Internet has seen some pundits label print media as an increasingly obsolete medium whose death is imminent, but U.S. showbiz mag Entertainment Weekly, along with CBS, is attempting to bring magazines into the multimedia age by embedding a video player in a print ad promoting CBS’s fall TV lineup and Pepsi.
Like the novelty greeting cards that play music when opened, the player activates when the page is opened to display video on the small display. The ad is stored on a chip that can hold up to 40 minutes of video and is powered, for some mysterious reason, by a rechargeable battery.
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The accompanying audio is apparently quite loud and, since there are no volume controls, any late night bedtime reading could give dozing bedmates a nasty start. The inclusion of the quarter-inch thick screen and accompanying concealed circuit board also adds a bit of bulk to the page and will probably make curling up the magazine to stuff in a bag a no go.
The cost of including the video-enhancement into the magazine hasn’t been revealed, but CBS believes the technology will have much greater potential to capture the attention of readers. It will probably depend on the success of the move as to whether the practice becomes widespread or is simply a short-lived gimmick.
Although the print ad will appear in every copy, the video-enhancement will only appear in certain copies of the 18 September issue of the magazine posted to subscribers in LA and New York.