June 15, 2024

Is the iPad really going to save the publishing world?  According to Wooden Horse, as of this week it hadn’t:

“While USA Today and New York Times claimed downloads in the three hundred thousands, and Wall Street Journal a hundred thousand less, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when readers have to pony up real money (WSJ is free to current subscribers and the other two totally free.)

Lucia Moses at mediaweek.com reports that magazine publishers Time Inc. and Rodale aren’t talking – but let’s hear it for the geeks: Bonnier’s Popular Science announced they had 22,000 downloads of its April issue.  At $4.99 a click, total sales would be nearly $110,000.

But the iPad wars are heating up.  There are a long string of tablet gadgets either already here or coming, including Hewlett-Packard’s Palm-based “Hurricane,” the Dell “Looking Glass” and a likely “companion” device from BlackBerry.

And Google seems to be out to break Apple’s stranglehold on download sales — Time Inc. and Sports Illustrated are already onboard.  According to Media Memo, SI Editor Terry McDonell showed off a digital version of the magazine at Google’s I/O developer conference this week.  Readers would purchase this one from a Google app store, not the Apple iTunes.  “It’s potentially a big deal,” writes Peter Kafka at Media Memo.  “It opens up a much wider audience for the company’s publications, since they should work on any device that supports Google’s Chrome browser.  Just as important, it gives Time Inc another vendor to work with, one that might be willing to grant it concessions Apple won’t – like control over subscriber information, perhaps.”

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