Entertainment Weekly is adding full-motion video with audio next month to its printed page. Sound crazy? The cellphone-sized, wafer-thin screens activate when the reader gets to that page, and will feature characters from prime time television and ads for soft drinks at a considerable mark-up, according to the Financial Times:
One magazine industry executive with knowledge of the technology estimated that running one video ad in 100,000 copies would cost in the low seven-figure range. That would translate into a cost of several dollars per copy. By contrast, a full-page colour ad in Entertainment Weekly costs about 9 cents a page per copy.The movie is being compared to the 75th anniversary of Esquire, which featured the magazine world's first e-ink cover (pictured above). The big question here, however, is whether these video ads will represent a sustainable new stream of revenue for magazines, simply annoy the hell out of customers or prove to be a one-time buzz-generating trick, such as Esquire's e-ink cover.