Wednesday, 17 February 2010

iPad's potential impact on the print industry

The Apple Blog has published a thought-provoking article entitled iPad Transformation of Print Industry Continues.

Excerpts follow:

"While Apple has yet to sell a single iPad, the device has already challenged the domination of Amazon and the Kindle for e-books, and now periodical and newspapers are experiencing this 'iPad Effect' for their business models."

"Like the advent of the iTunes Store and negotiations with the music industry, the main point of contention between Apple and publishers appears to be that of control, specifically pricing and subscriber information. Publishers rely on subscriber information to not just to reach customers, but to plan the direction of publications. However, Apple’s policy of releasing little beyond sales data has, according to one executive of a major U.S. newspaper, the potential to be a 'dealbreaker'."

"Advocates for the print edition within the New York Times argue that unless the iPad edition is priced between $20 and $30, people will cancel the print edition. More sanely, those responsible for the digital edition of the paper are suggesting $10 per month is about right. The Kindle edition of the New York Times costs $13.99 per month, and that’s without colour, let alone interactive media.

The decline of print media is accelerating, and thus far magazines and newspapers have been unable to monetize web sites. The Kindle has failed to achieve the kind of success as a portable device that the iPhone and iPad touch have, leaving the iPad as the only current hope for a transition from a physical to digital world for print media. If not Apple and the iPad, then who?

The danger is that cold rationality might not prevail, even if it means the worst for print media. If that happens, Apple won’t suffer nearly as much as the New York Times.

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