Technology

Virgin launches iPad-only magazine called Project

Richard Branson
Image caption The magazine will eventually be made available to other tablet devices

Virgin Tycoon Richard Branson has launched what he says is the "first truly digital" magazine for Apple's iPad.

The publication, called Project, is a monthly style and culture magazine that will be sold through Apple's App store.

The publication comes head of an expected launch of a digital newspaper for the iPad called The Daily.

The newspaper is expected to be launched by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

It is part of Mr Murdoch's continuing efforts to find a sustainable model for his newspaper empire, which has seen increased competition from free content on the internet.

In July, his Times newspaper began to charge customers to access its site, resulting in a 87% drop in readership online.

At the New York launch, Mr Branson dismissed suggestions he was engaged in a war with Murdoch.

"It's not a battle," he said. "It's all about choice, and a fair bit of competition doesn't hurt."

Project features video, sound and links to augment features on topics such as a new Jaguar car prototype and the film Tron: Legacy.

"On every page there will be links to expand the story," the editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera told the AFP news agency.

The magazine will cost £1.79 ($2.99), but Mr Noguera believes people will pay.

"It's a quality piece of editorial, so you have to pay for it," he said. "This is an expensive product to make."

However, reaction to the magazine has been muted. Digital media blog Paid content, for example, said it "frustrates with complexity".

Tech blog CNet said that "the articles themselves, as well as the messages in the souped-up advertisements for brands like Lexus and Panasonic, can come across as afterthoughts when there's so much audio-visual distraction" already on the iPad.

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