Why Publishers Should Treat iPad With Optimism – And Caution


Adrian Drury is a principal analyst at consulting and research firm Ovum, covering media, broadcast and telecom…

Media need a miracle in 2010, and many of the assembled crowd at Yerba Buena Cultural Center last Wednesday were hoping Steve Jobs would deliver one. What they heard amounted to a strong story for publishers. But it comes with some major caveats

So far, The New York Times (NYSE: NYT), Penguin, Harper Collin, Simon + Schuster, Hachette and MacMillan are all officially drinking the iPad Kool-Aid. Conde Nast, Hearst and Time (NYSE: TWX) Inc are not far behind with iPad apps planned or already being built. There will have been countless meetings and water-cooler chats, at software and media agencies, in the last week to plan the



Aidrian excellent article; one of the best I’ve read about the iPad and the implications to its stakeholders.The jury is out about how well the book, magazine and newspaper publishing sectors will do. Having closely followed the iPodification of the music industry, I’m now watching the publishing industry making all the same mistakes – an obsession with DRM, looking for external scapegoats (Google), charging more for digital products than physical products, not evolving what they do for online consumers, creating proprietary formats and devices, and bullying law makers to protect them. 2010 will be their one opportunity to embrace digital content and networked distribution; if they fail they will kiss goodbye to control of their industry just as the record companies have done before them. The iPad maybe the catalyst that changes the culture…or maybe not.


Ashley has a strong point here. I would be more then willing to ditch my -18th century – newspaper subscription, especially when I get an iPad 4 free! It might be even attractive for publishers to get rid of their print versions all together and invest the money they save on paper, printing costs and distribution in creating more and better content.

Robert Andrews

One thing that occurred to me…
News publishers’ apps are successful on iPhone because they downsize desktop websites’ bloat for a device that’s in the palm of your hand.
But iPad users will have a lush, full-size web browsing experience.
eg. When you’ve got access to the full Guardian.co.uk in its full-size glory on a screen that can take it, why bother paying £2.39 for an app version?
I happen to think most people will be using their iPad on their sofa or otherwise in their home (on WiFi), rather than on 3G, so offline sync is largely unnecessary.

Ashley Norris

Very interesting read. So how do publishers get the iPad through to a critical mass? Well why not give them away for free with subscripstions to digital content? Publishers have been giving away stuff for ages and the iPad would be a very sexy giveaway as well as getting a device that shows publisher’s content in the best possible way, and also the way that would maximise ad revenues.

It could work like a mobile phone subscription with publishers recouping that outlay via decent ad rates and ultimately lower print costs.

There’s more here – http://ashleynorris.posterous.com/why-i-think-one-day-soon-you-might-get-an-ipa

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