Sure, I’d like to have one, but we keep hearing about whether or not the oversized iPhone sans phone called the iPad will save the newspaper and magazine business. People can barely read four sentences of an article these days, nor will they pay for online content, so why would the iPad be the savior? A friend said the iPad is for anyone a) on or working a tour b) on an airplane or c) on a long car ride. “You just want it ’cause it’s the new Apple thing,” he scoffed.
Maybe like AdAge says: Apple’s advertising could keep print media outlets afloat…in 2001, the company spent nearly $10,000,000 alone promoting the iPod in consumer magazines. Perhaps the hotel industry could help by outfitting each room with an iPad. But as long as the Wall Street Journal and what appears to be the New York Times charge for online content, it will just drive people to other sources. Doesn’t take a genius to search Google News — scope out iPad there and you’ll find 6000-ish mostly free related articles…definitely won’t need to hit up the NYT or WSJ for their viewpoint. And did you see that yesterday a NY Observer article said Newsday only has 35 online subscriptions (probably from competitors)?
The San Francisco Chronicle tried a different approach (despite the less than satisfactory response from the comment board) saying it is making stories and writers exclusive to the print edition. That could work for a little while, but it’s probably not going to change the big picture. The fact is people are not willing to pay for online content — according to the Examiner, 77% refuse.
Sometimes things have to get smaller before they get bigger. If the outlets truly spend their time connecting with their readership instead of charging it, loyalty will flourish. But the good ol’ days of a circulation above 500,000+ are just about over.
BTW, if you haven’t seen the tablet yet, check out the vid below or head over to the Apple site for a video demo.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_zI21XEo0Q]