Is the iPad the Next Big Thing for Magazines?
By Andy Jackson, Executive Director, January 28 2010
It’s way too early (as I write, less that 24 hours after its announcement) to know what impact Apple’s iPad will have on magazines, but my sense is that it will be big. It looks like the closest thing yet to a non-paper medium that can offer something like the graphical experience of a glossy paper magazine. Combine that with the almost addictive multi-touch navigation that iPhone users know so well and…
Here’s what The Economist had to say in their January 30, 2010 “leader” (editorial): “Charging for content, which has proved difficult on the Web, my get easier. Already people are prepared to pay to receive newspapers and magazines (including The Economist) on the Kindle. The iPad, with its colour screen and integration with Apple’s online stores, could make downloading books, newspapers and magazines as easy and popular as downloading music. Most important, it will allow for advertising…. In theory, a [magazine] could ask readers to sign up for a two year electronic subscription and subsidise the cost of a tablet [computer].”
For publishers, two major pieces remain to be sorted out; subscription mechanisms (fulfillment bureaus take note), and advertiser metrics. But neither is impossible to solve.
This is clearly something we publishers should be watching very closely.