Will the iPad invigorate ailing newspapers? Flip a coin, I’m calling Heads.

January 26, 2010

Some interesting points made here on the EditorsWeblog, around the possible outcomes for publishers amidst the launch of Apple’s long-awaited iPad. Can iPad do for newspapers what iTunes has already achieved for music sales?

It’s a tough call. Let’s look at the basics first.

iTunes as an online business model fitted exactly where customers wanted it to be – and has continued to deliver innovation to their doorstep. More than 8.5 billion songs have been sold on iTunes to date, making it the most successful music retailer in the world. And talking of retailers, in insightful look here into the changing nature of what newspapers are providing for their readerships: it’s been argued that for news organisations to survive, they need to become news retailers – just as Apple is the middle man music retailer with iTunes.

Now, I’m not saying that publishers can’t adapt – we’ve seen attempts online, indeed, the New York Times has announced it will be taking much of its content behind paywalls, although the blogs will still be freely available.

To a large extent, audiences online still expect and demand large amounts of content for free. The FT bucked this demand early on, by introducing payment models for prime content, exclusive access rights and a premium-level offer for those customers willing to pay for market intelligence information.

This is not, however, your average online customer. People are notoriously promiscuous when it comes to brand loyalty online and where they source their News of the day. There is no concept of brand loyalty for many products and services on the web.

And, ultimately, can the iPad create that loyalty for publishers and newspapers? Only time will tell, of course.

If it comes down to the usual method, you flip the coin – I’m calling heads for Apple. They’ve already got the market covered, seeing as however News is sourced and bought online, they are providing what will probably become the preferred platform.

How’s your news publishing platform looking today – Robust? Scalable? Customer-led? Innovative? Profitable? Online, even?

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2 Responses to “Will the iPad invigorate ailing newspapers? Flip a coin, I’m calling Heads.”

  1. thanks for the nice post….great job sir….

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