Monday, May 4, 2009

The kindle family and newspapers

People are used to reading news on the Internet without an additional cost. I am not sure how the economics of digital distribution will work.

USD 13.99* seems cheaper than the price for print. Moreover, there are many advantages to digital distribution—ask anyone living in a small town (like Marshall, Texas). The devices WILL improve over time and a solid "push" from publishers will help.

Oh, and Condé Nast, now is not the time to bicker over Amazon's monopolies. Let them have a monopoly. When we reach 2016 (and Amazon starts seeing cumulative positive profit results). Then, you can reverse the roles as RIAA did with iTunes Store and with music. Or even better, allow Amazon to sell your newspapers without DRM today!

I already see a good prospect for The Economist to sell the audio version of their magazine on the Kindle. Perhaps the Times will also offer its podcasts on the Kindle (for free). How delightful that would be!

Now, how do we get millions and millions of people to buy these readers? Do we go the iPod route, offering upgraded versions of iPods every year and planned obsolescence? Do we wait to jump on the bandwagon until we get "high definition color" screens and risk missing the train altogether (or worse risk killing the new revolution before it has arrived)? These are tough questions that cannot be solved in a day.

As Bob Dylan said, "The Times They Are A-Changin'."

* Update: It seems that New York Times might be considering plans as low as USD 9.99 a month and/or plans that subsidize the cost of the device itself. May contain uncited information from  one or more of  The New York Times, TechCrunch, Ars Technica. Please cite this blog post at your own peril. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be kind.