Tuesday, 03 December 2013 01:05

From print to tablets with inflight magazines

By
Philip Andrews, Liquid State CEO, reading the tablet magazine Philip Andrews, Liquid State CEO, reading the tablet magazine

Brisbane-based publisher, Inflight Publishing, has teamed up with digital publishing startup, Liquid State, in a deal which the two companies say will give airline passengers a new kind of inflight entertainment with a fleet of custom-made tablets.

Under the deal, Inflight Publishing, which produces inflight magazines for small and medium-sized commercial airlines, is replacing its printed magazines with digital editions.

The digital magazines will be available only on special tablets handed out to passengers during a flight.

In addition to articles, passengers using the tablets will also be able view videos and special offers relating to their destination.

Director and founder of Inflight Publishing, Patrick McElligott, said exchanging print for digital presented a challenge.

“We wanted to make sure everyone onboard could enjoy the publications while they’re up in the air. There’s no Wi-Fi or 3G, so we said, ‘Let’s make the tablet the magazine.’”

Liquid State CEO, Philip Andrews, said the new magazines were an exciting idea for digital publishing.

“We were happy to tailor a solution for Inflight because it’s truly a unique project. The whole concept of the tablet as the magazine has never really been possible before, but it’s a great opportunity for publishers.”

And, McElligott commented: “Publishing is changing, but you can still hold readers’ attention and provide a place for relevant advertising. You just have to know how people want to interact with what you’re making.”

McElligott said the first flight equipped with the new tablets was due to take off from Brisbane last night, and currently five airlines had agreed to carry the new tablets, “with several more showing interest.”

He said Inflight Publishing partners with airlines which typically charter flights with 30 seats or less, and no digital inflight entertainment.

The Liquid State platform is cloud-based and Andrews said it was “a simple, fast and economical way to produce and publish content to mobile devices.”

Liquid State recently raised $785,000 in angel investment and a government grant and the company was recently given the High-Growth Business Startup Award at the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards in Brisbane.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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