Ask the Agency Guy
Feb 6, 2010
Q: The Sports Illustrated tablet demo has now been viewed more than a 600,000 times on YouTube alone. What do you think about it?
A: What’s interesting is not about the tablet, per se. It’s about multi-touch interfaces. which are fast becoming standard. The interaction in the demo is nifty, but not necessarily unique to SI (or even particularly futuristic at this point). In a sense, this is really just another web page…just a few months ahead of its time. Maybe even less.
I do think it’s cute that the SI demo still places such emphasis on written articles. The combination of tablet form factors + touchscreen interfaces will force SI (and magazines in general) to become much more video-centric — at which point they will be functionally indistinguishable from TV brands, like ESPN’s SportsCenter.
For that matter, news brands (newspapers, local TV, cable nets, etc.) will also be serving up large helpings of video — with content updates approaching near-real time. These brands also cover sports. In such a world, SI will be hard-pressed to justify its existence if it’s still an article-centric weekly — tablet or no tablet.
*Tim Perlstein is a Director of Strategy at digital agency Razorfish. (Of course, his comments represent his personal views, and not necessarily those of Razorfish or its clients.)