Harry Potter's Moving Newspapers Are Now Real

Enchanted newspapers with moving images, one of the more whimsical details of the universe created by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series, are now a real thing.

OK, so it’s not actually magic.

The cover of the latest issue of Empire magazine, a British title covering all things movie-related, is still pretty cool. The special issue of the magazine, preceding the premiere of the new Harry Potter spinoff, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” features digital video players embedded in the cover of the print edition.

Video players integrated into a mock front page of The New York Ghost, a wizard newspaper from the Potter universe, allow readers to watch a trailer promoting the movie and a short behind-the-scenes feature. Readers can turn the video on and off with buttons on the cover. A USB port allows them to recharge the video players when their batteries run low.

Empire distributed 5,000 copies of the limited-edition magazine to newsstands at British retail chain Sainsbury’s, with a cover price of £9.99 (or around $12.15). All the other copies of the UK edition have a standard noninteractive cover showing the stars of the movie.

This isn’t the first time publishers have integrated digital video into their print product.

Earlier this year, Forbes experimented with a video player in an ad in the print magazine. In May, select copies of Forbes’ annual “Special Issue on Global Game Changers” featured a video player insert sponsored by BAE Systems' Applied Intelligence division. Last year, Chevrolet included video players in print ads appearing in select copies of Esquire and Popular Mechanics.

In 2009, Entertainment Weekly included a video ad for CBS in its print edition. Back in October 2008, Esquire magazine featured a cover with moving images through the use of electronic ink.

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