[ASC-list] COSMOS Magazine doubles staff, expands across platforms, pursues global markets

Wilson wfdasilva at gmail.com
Fri Jun 22 03:25:32 UTC 2012


*Future of media is bright – if you reinvent to expand*
*COSMOS Magazine doubles staff, expands across platforms, pursues global

SYDNEY: The tsunami of disruptive technological change sweeping the
publishing industry is an opportunity, not a crisis, and magazines must
reinvent themselves if they are to not only survive, but thrive.

So argue the publishers of *COSMOS*, the celebrated Australian science
magazine, who today launched an innovative iPad edition – the first of a
series of planned multi-platform products. The iPad edition is the result
of nine months of development and testing, and represents a complete
reconceptualization of the print magazine.

“It’s not good enough to just produce a print replica on the iPad,” said
Wilson da Silva, editor-in-chief of *COSMOS*. “You need to completely
re-imagine what a magazine is editorially, which is what we’ve done, but
also maintain a clear narrative structure throughout. The functionality of
the iPad is fundamentally changing the game, and only those who capitalise
on this will prosper.

“The media has been overly concerned with advertisers for too long. Now
that ad revenue is declining, many publishers are cutting back on editorial
resources – and that’s a mistake. What the industry needs to do is refocus
on the fundamentals: their readers. At *COSMOS*, our revenue has always
come mostly from readers rather than advertisers. Hence, we’re excited
about a world where creating engaging narrative content that readers want,
and are willing to pay for, is the name of the game, because that’s been
what we’ve excelled at for years.”

On the iPad, this means not just providing excellent content at lower cost,
but also the seamless integration of video and animation, live updates,
multiple layers of reader interaction and a cross-platform approach to
engaging audiences.

“If anything can save quality journalism, it will be the readers who are
willing to pay for excellence in writing, photography and design. And those
readers, who engage with magazines more than any other medium, will attract
the advertisers – which is the way it should be,” said da Silva.

*COSMOS*, which celebrates its 7th birthday with the June 2012 issue,
specializes in long-form features and lush design. The winner of 45
journalism and publishing awards – including Magazine of the Year awards
twice in Australia – it has developed a strong following around the world.
Based in Sydney, its content is nevertheless global in scope, attracting
authors such as Richard Dawkins, Margaret Wertheim, Steven Pinker, Paul
Davies and Simon Singh.

Founded by scientists and media professionals who believe in the
transformative power of clear and engaging writing, it is now set to take
on the world with the launch of its iPad edition.

“What *COSMOS* has done on the iPad platform is both innovative and itself
disruptive,” said Dr Alan Finkel, the Chancellor of Monash University in
Melbourne and the chairman and co-founder of  Cosmos Media, the magazine’s

“We’ve not only re-imagined *COSMOS* for the iPad, but will be boosting
frequency, creating bonus iPad issues, giving print subscribers free access
to the iPad editions, as well as free access to the complete digital
archive. I don’t think any other publisher has so completely overhauled its
business model.

“*COSMOS* has done so because we’ve set our sights on the future. We’re
preparing not just for the eventual demise of print, but looking to take a
dominant position in the emerging tablet market. We aim to be the world’s
number 1 science magazine in five years,” said Finkel.

The *COSMOS* *Magazine* app, launched today, runs on the powerful Oomph
digital publishing platform created by Mogeneration, a successful
Sydney-based developer of over 100 iOS and Android apps who worked closely
with the *COSMOS* team to push the boundaries of functionality.

“The iPad is changing the media industry in unpredictable ways – in our
case, for the better,” said Kylie Ahern, CEO of Cosmos Media. “The App
Store is global, so the iPad edition of *COSMOS* – which has always been
global in outlook – can suddenly tap an international market. *COSMOS* can
compete with the world’s leading science magazines on an equal footing: at
a compelling price and available as soon as it is published, without the
delays and cost of shipping and distribution from Australia, which the
print issue has had to face.

“That’s why we’ve doubled our editorial staff in the past six months, and
have completely overhauled our business strategy. For us, print is now just
another platform. And we have a raft of new iPad, digital and online
products set to launch in the next 18 months,” added Ahern.

The *COSMOS Magazine* app is free, and readers can also download a complete
issue free from the App Store. Individual copies of each monthly edition
can be purchased for AUD$5.49 each, and annual subscriptions for AUD$25.99.

** See a video demonstration of the COSMOS Magazine app here -*

** Download it free from the App Store **here -*

• Frequency: 12 issues per year
• Annual subscription, iPad-only: AUD$25.99
• Single iPad-only issue: AUD$5.49
• Annual subscription, Print + iPad + Browser + Archives: AUD$59
• Available on the App Store

COSMOS is Australia’s #1 science media brand: the biggest-circulation
science magazine and highest rating science news site. Its publisher,
Cosmos Media, was founded by three people: Melbourne neuroscientist and
entrepreneur Dr Alan Finkel, magazine publishing executive Kylie Ahern and
science journalist Wilson da Silva. COSMOS is the brainchild of da Silva, a
past president of the World Federation of Science Journalists and a former
science reporter at Australia’s ABC TV. It is backed by an Editorial
Advisory Board that includes Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Call *Arnold Perez* at *COSMOS* on 02 9310 8510 or email
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