AnOther Magazine, Rihanna and the supposed digital revolution

Earlier this month AnOther Magazine published their latest issue, which they claim to be the future of printing. An issue, in which, a traditional magazine finally meets technology.

Using a high definition screen as its digital cover, it features a video of Rihanna moving and dancing while posing in front of the photographer, creating almost a hypnotic feeling.

The issue was immediately featured in almost all of the trend and fashion blogs, describing it as the future of printed magazines.

But what AnOther Magazine latest issue is revealing is actually not a digital revolution in print. Instead it is bringing up another interesting topic, how technology is targeting a new sector of society; luxury.

Cause let’s face it: a magazine with a screen attached is not that revolutionary. The real news is that a $125 magazine was sold out immediately.

This is, of course, not the first time this has happened.. I began thinking along these lines when Apple unveiled its pricing plans for the Apple Watch edition. I know Apples $10.000 price tag is a substantial amount more than $125 (AnOther Magazine latest issue price), but the question is the same: who has that kind of money to spend on a watch or a magazine?

Reading Dazed’s article about AnOther Magazine, I found my answer:

“… both Colette and Selfridges have sold out. Blame Karl Lagerfeld if you were waiting — he bought three.”

The thought behind this is actually quite simple: if the middle-class is getting used to hiring a taxi by an app or wearing a wristband that tells you how many calories you burned, why can’t we build a version for high-class and overprice it?

With this thought, we are seeing technology make it easier for wealthy people to hire a private jet for $1.700 a month (three times my rent), buy a “digital-printed” magazine for $125 (three times my weekly budget for groceries) or wear the same Apple Watch that you wear (but 20 times more expensive).

With the technology evolving faster and faster, making everything cheaper for the 99%, it was only a matter of time until it fell into the hands of lobbies.

Apple Watch

Think about how many luxury technological products you know. There aren’t many out in the market, and I bet that’s mainly because of two reasons: first, the luxury industry doesn’t move as quick as others. Secondly, in the luxury sector, technology isn’t the only consideration and it’s certainly not the most important one. In this sector, fashion is king.

For the luxury industry, an object can’t just be edgy or innovative. It has to look good. Or even great. And have been made by the finest materials. And for that you need fashion designers, craft people and trendy art directors, not just a bunch of nerdy coders and a crazy visioner.

Another interesting point to this, is the thing my three previous examples have in common; transparency in the price. It’s not hard to know how much these products cost. There is no mystery. It’s in your face. Most of us combine the struggle to pay our rent with reading the news about these insanely high tag prices. And we don’t seem to care.

AnOther Magazine latest issue

I believe what products like AnOther Magazine latest issue and the Apple Watch are doing is opening the door for technology to enter into a new business sector: the luxury market. We will see more expensive products that will combine the impressive feeling of an art-object with some of the technology we are used to seeing. And they will sell out fast.

But as I said before, this is not a technology or digital revolution. It’s a business revolution.

Technology found a new niche. And you can’t afford it.