Magazine to feature moving adverts

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The Independent Online

The talking newspapers pored over by wizards in the Harry Potter books have taken a step closer to becoming a reality, after an American magazine announced it will debut video adverts next month.

Entertainment Weekly, one of the highest circulation magazines in United States, will feature wafer thin video displays, about the size of a mobile phone screen, playing up to 40 minutes of video.

The "maga-screens" will feature adverts for CBS television shows including The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. In-built buttons will allow readers to select which clips they want to watch. Soft drink makers Pepsi will also advertise in the first edition, on 18 September.

Although the magazine has 1.8 million subscribers, only a limited number of editions in major US cities such as New York and Los Angeles will feature the video displays due to the massive cost of the software and of embedding the screen and soundchip in the page.

Experts say advertisers would need to pay about $10 (£6) per copy for a 90-second advert – about 100 times as much as a traditional printed advert.

However, advertisers are likely to be willing to pay the premium, particularly while the new media carries a novelty factor.

George Schweitzer, president of CBS's marketing group, said: "As a rule, 90 per cent of people will say they heard about new programming on television. This is the first way we can get video samples into the hands of entertainment enthusiasts off the television screen."