Playboy and Rolling Stone officially launched their Cover-to-Cover series—fully searchable digital archives of the magazines on DVD-ROM—this week. Pre-sale orders of the first two installments, produced by Bondi Digital, kicked off September 15 and are nearly sold out, the publishers say. The sets are due to hit store shelves November 2.
“We’ve had a tremendous first response,” Bondi co-founder David Anthony tells Folio: Alert. “The first print run of the Rolling Stone Cover-to-Cover was 70,000 and the Playboy was 50,000. I’d say that’s pretty significant.”
To create the products, Bondi individually scanned, page-by-page, past issues of the magazines and assembled them in what they call a user-friendly browser that allows users to search through the digital copies. It’s the same software Bondi created for The Complete New Yorker, a searchable digital library of the magazine that was released in 2005.
“Our software allows you to search across an entire history of a magazine from first issue to its latest,” says Anthony. “Basically, we’ve taken something that’s been sitting dormant, and have brought it back to life for these magazines. This is especially relevant during a time now when a number of magazines have been losing some audience to the Internet.”
The “Playboy Cover-to-Cover: The 50s” box set includes the DVD-ROM disk and an install disk, a 200-page companion book and an exact reprint of the first issue of the magazine. The Rolling Stone set also includes the DVD and install disks, and a 216-page companion book. Its release coincides with the magazine’s 40th anniversary.
In addition to creating the print product, Bondi is providing Playboy and Rolling Stone with digital archives of their respective issues. “This is the first time the magazines get a complete digital archive that they have access to,” Anthony says. “It’s a nice bonus.”
Anthony says that Bondi is “in negotiations with a number of other magazines” for similar projects, and hopes to have about 10 magazine projects digitally archived by the end of next year.