Today, British tycoon and Virgin chairman Richard Branson sky dives into a new venture: an iPad-only magazine called Project. Sources say the magazine is expected to hit the iTunes store Tuesday, and will thus take the first swing at a novel digital-news platform that has already seen heavy investment from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Video of Project's front cover leaked today, and features Jeff Bridges and a Wired-meets-GQ look. The magazine will focus on technology, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and promises to be "within shouting distance of the cutting edge."
Will Project help revolutionize the way we consume media? Or is it just another haphazard attempt by Branson to get his foot in the door of a new industry?
A blog post published last week on the magazine's website suggests the company at least knows what it's up against. Under the humble heading "welcome to the future," a Project writer calls the venture "a blind pitch into a potentially humiliating void." The post focuses on the promise of the iPad: "Apple’s tablet will, in no particular order, a) singlehandedly save print media, b) revolutionise book publishing, c) force a re-examination of news consumption and d) get you laid."
But the Project writer is also wary of competitors. Last week, rumors surfaced of a joint development between Apple and News Corp. for the Daily, an iPad-only newspaper that will cost just 99 cents per week. Though pricing and other details have not been revealed, Project says it welcomes the competion:
Reports emerged that Rupert Murdoch will soon launch an iPad-only newspaper called The Daily, after it came to him in a dream or something. Which, like all Murdoch products, shall doubtless enrich humankind with its impartial political analysis and rolling coverage of shit exploding. Also: hi-def nudity, fingers crossed. But the point stands: the irascible Aussie despot doesn’t throw his corked hat into the cyber ring until he’s sure of a market.