Newsweek punctuates 80 years of print with digital transformation
Last December, the venerable 80-year old weekly news magazine Newsweek brought out its last issue and transformed into a digital-only publication. It re-launched the website in tandem with the US based design firm Huge, which also has offices in London and Brazil.
Huge has been working on the redesign since November. Every Wednesday, three-to-five feature stories from Newsweek’s tablet edition (called Newsweek Global) will go live on the website. The web and tablet versions will publish at the same time, with the same content.
According to Adage, Newsweek.com will be entirely free to begin with, but there are plans to introduce a metered pay wall.
In the beta stage, no ads will appear on the website. Newsweek.com adopted a sponsorship model using only one advertiser for each article. The sponsorship ads will be rotated as someone accesses a story or reloads a page.
The new visual seems a mix of Pinterest and âSnow Fall’, a multimedia long-form from NYT.
“We just looked at each other,” said Baba Shetty, CEO of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, which was formed by the merger of Newsweek and The Daily Beast in 2011 and is changing its name to NewsBeast.
What the New York Times had done with Snow Fall was similar to the look and feel of the new Newsweek.com they had in mind. “The design was already locked when [Snow Fall] was published,” Shetty said in an interview to Adage.
The new website adapts according to the screen size; if you are viewing it on a computer, the pictures are very much like on a TV screen. Images are dominant with short headlines and decks.
The cover story and report are done in a clean format with plenty of images, videos and gallery. Although the visual element is strong, for the first issue it was missing more of the interactive element.
That should be worked on to create something that can make readers want it and, maybe, subscribe, considering that most American publications are online first.