Thursday, January 28, 2010

Can the iPad save the media?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Hell no. The iPad will offer new ways to consume media, sure. But only the media can save the media, and so long as the old guard white-knuckles antiquated business models and people keep saying things like "I don't like to read" the media's future will continue to look grim.

Now, the hard part.

Before it existed, Apple’s iPad was infused with the wishful expectations of a thousand hopeful constituencies, none with more at stake than a host of media businesses still grappling to find a killer app in the digital domain. Now that we know what the iPad does, though, it’s still an open question how the much-heralded device will actually improve their fortunes.

The good news is that book publishers, magazine publishers, newspapers, the recorded-music industry, television studios, game developers and film studios — all of whom need some form of lifeline, some desperately — each have a place at the iPad table.

But in the advertiser-supported niches, print analogs still command higher advertising revenues than their digital equivalents. So, the question will turn on two issues: Will publishers get to control the customer relationship to a greater extent than has been possible with iTunes? And will publications be the kind of shiny eye candy that advertisers crave, but now delivered on a bright, crisp, LED-backlit touchscreen instead of heavy-stock glossy paper.

The answers are mixed, simply because this versatile device offers the same myriad distractions as the average computer does, or maybe even more. In order for anything to succeed on a platform like that, it will need to be perfectly designed and contain top-notch content with interactive features and automatic updates wherever they make sense (in magazines, perhaps, but perhaps not in books).

Read the rest of this Wired article, by Eliot Van Buskirk, here.

Now, let's talk about the new product's goofy name. Who but "MadTV" could cover this topic?

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