THE Change

Stop what you are doing and watch this. Wired has this great video about their new iPad version. Note that this vid shows actual code, not CGI.

More importantly, note how they talk about this change is (very possibly) the one that will result in an experience users will want to pay for. Wired isn’t going to be giving their work away for free, it sounds like, even though there will be plenty of ads in the iPad edition.

Also note how they are encouraging sharing the content via social media tools. I’m assuming this means clips and links, not wholesale shifting of the content, but whatever it is, it means that your images will be seen by more and more people.

This change in publishing, what I think may indeed be THE change we’ve been hoping for, requires photographers to reconsider their pricing models. What used to be okay for print editorial should not be for this expansive use. And when it comes to the ads that will be in pubs like this, the game is also changed. How will the pricing work? That is something that needs to be worked out.

But I can tell you this: if photographers give it away now, in these early days, they will be setting a bar they will never be able to raise later.

We need metrics and an understanding of how the pubs will be billing advertisers to understand the relative value of images in both the editorial content and the ads in these new iPad-ish pubs. Now is the time to be open and to work WITH publishers, but that doesn’t mean rolling over on the numbers. Respect can and must go both ways on this. Photographers (and illustrators) are going to be more important to grabbing content consumers’ attention– the pubs know this. We need to figure out a fair and equitable way to help these pubs succeed and for creative content providers to get paid for their work.


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