Auto Trader turns on the ignition

Wednesday 7th November, 2012
I don't own an iPad and, to be honest, have never really wanted one. Being a bit of a gadget nut, I've never really had much difficulty in justifying a purchase of the latest kit, I've just never had the use for one. I've only ever seen it as an oversized iPod Touch and a ridiculously expensive way of reading a newspaper on the train.

Many publications are now making the digital switch, carefully typesetting their publications to allow them to be easily ported between print and iPad editions. You can call me a traditionalist though as I've always been of the opinion that, if I wanted to read a magazine like What Car?, I'd always prefer to turn the pages of a paper magazine. So, with this mind-set firmly in place, I ironically found myself invited to the launch of ignition, the new iPad based magazine from Auto Trader.
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Currently exclusive to iPad and the Apple Newsstand - I guess that's the Apple equivalent of WH "would you like a chocolate bar with that?" Smith - ignition will be published monthly and is being pitched at a launch price of £1.49. That's actually pretty cheap for a car magazine.

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So what makes it so different from other publications?

Well firstly, it's got unique content that's only available in this format - there simply isn't a print version. Secondly, it's been purpose built from the ground up to be tablet based, rather than just another print mag with a page turner on board. As such, every little element of the screen comes to life. You touch an image and it may start an interactive video, or it may click you straight through to the related article. Swiping a photo within an article allows you to simply browse the whole album of images - no need to continually scroll up and down the article. The whole thing is like some kind of automotive sliding block puzzle.

It sounds complicated but the whole thing is really intuitive and within a couple of minutes you master the interface and realise just how easy it is to pick up...much easier that it is to put down. This is more that just a website that works off-line.

Where the magazine really excels is where it integrates closely with the original Auto Trader magazine and, most importantly, the UK's biggest marketplace for new and used cars. Click for information about a car and within a click of your fingers, you're looking at used values of the car you've just read about.
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Needless to say, having been a sceptic on arrival, I'm really quite impressed and I genuinely see it as a massive nail in the lid of the coffin for traditional magazines. People had been saying print is dead for some time but it's not until you see a publication like this, with its embedded video reviews and live interactive social media sourced content, that you realise what the future is.

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