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Why iPad Won’t Silence The Newspaper Presses

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The iPad is a beautiful device that offers new ways to consume and interact with content.

Newspapers are piling in with paid services that some – like Rupert Murdochhope will offset the decline of their print businesses.

But, while there is real money to be made here, it will take a long time to match the scale that comes from 10 million people buying a newspaper every day, as happens in the UK. Here’s why…

A question of scale

Almost everyone in a decision-making position in the media seemingly has an iPhone or has at least tried one

This article originally appeared in Enders Analysis.

5 Responses to “Why iPad Won’t Silence The Newspaper Presses”

  1. ashleynorris

    One way that magazine publishers can extend their reach is to offer the hardware for free. A £400 iPad is probaly a bit too pricey, but what if they offer a taiwanese tablet PC running Google Android which can do all the iPad can and more. These devices will probaly sell for around £100-200. Publishers then hook subscribers up for a few years and those figures start to stack up

  2. Patrick King

    OK, some interesting and valid observations here. Now, speaking as someone intimately involved in assisting some of the world’s largest Newspaper business strategies, here are some things I have discovered over the past year or two:-

    • The point about photo-film, telegraphs and more recently; faxes and VCR cassettes is a very powerful precedent for what is happening in the traditional news-print world and that of other consumer press. Over the next 5 to 10 years volume production and physical distribution will decline to the point near extinction. (J. Menzies shareholders take note)
    • The iPad will not by itself be the death of printed newspapers, books and mags as we know them only the first of a family of consumer devices that will (in the main) replace paper based medium. These devices will become more prevalent, powerful and affordable over the next few years. Home computers and portable net books are now selling below $200 and prices are still falling. Most western households have more than two computers.
    • Newspaper proprietors are working incredibly hard to study, analyse, understand and create new business models to adapt in the evolving digital media age. They are struggling but making some progress, Rupert Murdoch is doing the right thing to regard the evolving situation with a sense of serious urgency.

    Benedict’s piece is well prepared and presented and makes some interesting and solid points – but was the original question a little lacking in ambition?

    How about – “How long before we see the demise of printed newspapers and what will take their place and who will be the ones making money”?

    Patrick King
    Atypon Systems Inc.

  3. The sticker price of newspapers doesn’t cover the incremental cost of production, distribution, retailer margin and doorstep delivery either. Ad revenue is what makes the difference, and will do here, as well. There is no incremental cost (except Apple’s 30%) to sell another iPad edition; once your fixed editorial overheads are covered it’s almost 100% gross margin.

    I can’t believe how stupid the publishers are being – they should sell individual issues for the exact cover price of the print edition. That’s what the newspaper is – immediate satisfaction of immediate want. It’s the same as the music was – people will buy a digital song without a thought – make them buy an album or a subscription, and it’s a decision to think about. It won’t kill the print editions because almost nobody has an iPad yet.

  4. I don’t know anything but anyway if the news can be updated as they happened that it will be a boon for the readers whereas can newspapers be updated on the go (it is all yesterday news).

    Sad to say there will be a loss of jobs but then it will also open up opportunities for many and great for the green revolution..

  5. fustian

    You know, I don’t think this TV thing is going to catch on either. First, they are ridiculously expensive. Only a few families will be able to afford them.

    This internet thing is going to be DOA too. No one can expect regular people to buy computers. Plus they are hugely expensive.

    Say, any chance this iPad tablet idea might work over time? I don’t think anyone is suggesting that it will happen immediately. But, over time the idea of a printed newspaper or magazine is surely dead.

    How many telegraphs have you sent lately? Personal handwritten letters to friends? How many rolls of film did you buy last year?