The reading public’s stubborn refusal to take digital magazines at all seriously has not deterred Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand from launching his own online title. The immodestly named Rio launches next month and is produced by Made Up Media, as the company’s blog confirms. Available for free, it spans 24 pages and will be edited by Made Up Media co-founder and former NME journalist Iestyn George with centre-back Ferdinand taking up editor-in-chief duties. The target “database” is 500,000 –though that’s not the projected readership, just the people who will be sent an opt-in email to get a copy of the mag in their in-box.
The Brighton-based publisher was founded in 2007 and also publishes the Catflap football site and InGolfWeTrust.com. There have been a few consumer digital mags, like Dennis Publishing’s Monkey, but contract digital mags aren’t unheard of: former Monkey publisher James Mallinson launched a page-turning online mag for the TalkSport radio station last June.