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MEDIAWATCH
Will the iPad save newspapers?
The issue of paid-for content for online newspapers has been
brought centre stage once again, ever since Rupert Murdoch
announced that he would be introducing a pay wall for The Sun
and The Times newspapers later this year. In the US, the New
York Times also said that it would adopt a subscription model in
2011 for users who regularly access its website. Although some
newspaper owners here have flirted with charging for online
access to special-interest sections (eg, crosswords, death
s Kindle
notices, etc.), the general view seems to be that there are many
obstacles to attracting many subscribers for wholesale news con-
tent. “It will be difficult for local publishers to make this work com-
on Amazon’
mercially as long as RTÉ continue their move into the online pub-
lishing territory and as long as they continue to provide online
imes
content free of charge,” says Keenaghan.
The future for digital revenue may lie beyond the physical web-
The Irish T
site, however. Mobile applications, for instance, may offer better
and
potential for persuading people to pay for immediate news con-
tent. The Irish Independent was the first Irish newspaper to
launch an app for the iPhone, providing a daily snapshot of the
paper’s main stories for €2.39 per download.
Metro Herald
Similarly, e-reader devices from companies like Sony and
Amazon also present new opportunities for those publishers who
can re-purpose some of their best content or features into attrac-
tive packages for subscribers. And that’s before the Apple iPad
arrives.
It would be easy to get carried away by the hype associated
The new iPhone app from with the new device and the appearance of an app for the New
York Times on it, but in reality the newspaper industry probably
views the introduction of the new device with mixed emotions. On
the one hand, there is the tantalising possibility that the new
‘Jesus Tablet’, as it has been nicknamed, will enable Apple to do
for the publishing and newspaper industries what it did for the
music business – provide a means to get the digital consumer to
pay for print content. On the other hand, it potentially speeds up
the erosion of the more lucrative medium of print that has been in
train for some time amongst Generation Y.
There will also be the niggling issue of whether publishers will
be willing to relinquish control of their content distribution to any
‘Perhaps surprisingly, younger
of the global companies who gain critical mass for their digital
devices. But perhaps that will be a nice problem for newspaper
consumers have a preference for
owners to have at some point in the next five years.
reading newspapers in print format
Peter McPartlin is strategic
over online … it’s unlikely online will
director at Carat Ireland.
entirely replace the printed format
but rather will supplement it,
determined by reading occasion’
44 Marketing Age Volume 4 Issue 1 2010
JN
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