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OPLIN 4Cast #196: Tablet periodicals

Posted in 4cast

iPad frakturOnce again, we’re hearing news about how tablet computers, specifically Apple’s iPad, are going to change the way newspapers and magazines are published, except this time it looks serious. It’s possible that any successful deal that gets more people to buy (e)magazine and (e)newspaper subscriptions may affect the collections that libraries keep for their browsing patrons. Nobody seems to be suggesting anything at this point, however, that would provide tablet users with searchable archives of newspapers and magazines, so libraries will still be the resource for patrons doing research.

  • Apple Coaxes Publishers to Join It on iPad Subscriptions (Wall Street Journal, 9/20/2010) “The subscription push appears to be a sign that newspapers and magazines will be Apple’s next front in its sale of media like music, television shows, movies and books. A hub for buying newspapers and magazines—similar to Apple’s iBooks storefront—also could help the iPad stand out from a coming wave of rival tablet computers backed by Google Inc.’s software.”
  • Apple Said to Negotiate With Publishers Over Digital Newsstand (Bloomberg, 9/17/2010) “Apple’s effort is aimed at luring more consumers to the iPad and helping publishers sell subscriptions, rather than single issues. The main hang-ups between Apple and publishers including Time Warner Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst Corp. and News Corp. are who controls data about users and how to split subscription revenue, the people said. Pricing for subscriptions also hasn’t been worked out.”
  • Magazines, newspapers still in talks over iPad newsstand (Ars Technica/Jacqui Cheng) “Publishers are also not so keen on giving Apple its typical 30 percent cut of sales as part of the subscription process. Some companies currently sell magazine issues as apps through the App Store, though, meaning that they already fork over 30 percent of the app purchase price (as well as any in-app purchases) to Apple. Still, this detail lines up with reports from earlier this year, which said that newspaper and magazine companies were less keen on giving such a cut to Apple than book publishers have been through iBooks.”
  • iNewspaper: The Next iPad Service? (PCWorld/Paul Suarez) “As someone who works at a daily newspaper and has dabbled in online journalism, I can see true potential in Apple’s reported app. The iPad has been a huge success for Apple. Forecasts say it will sell 11 million units by the end of the year. Making a newspaper or magazine available to those 11 million users couldn’t hurt—even if you only capture a fraction of that audience.”

Christmas Fact?:
It’s reported that Apple could wrap up this deal as early as the next month or two, though they may prefer to announce this periodical service early next year, along with the likely introduction of a new iPad.