Four things about the use of iPads

Aug 15, 2011
Four implications of iPad usage for information industries and newspapers
A fascinating article was published on 10,000 words about iPad usage. Some aspects are positive for the information industries, others not so much. However, all are intriguing for those tracking the evolution of new information channels.
First, and crucial for newspapers whose circulation is plummeting, the iPad will not convert paper readers, which is concerning for digital ones trying to maintain the same revenue. Several reasons contribute to this. Firstly, the value of digital exposure and subscriptions is decreasing; secondly, tablets increase content availability, causing users to become more selective about their purchases; thirdly, newspapers and their production/business models have reached their limits. Tablets like the iPad require new, more dynamic, cheaper, and less centralized formats of information production and distribution.
Secondly, e-readers will continue to have an advantage over iPads for reading books due to their readability, price, and weight. Despite being limited to a function with proportionally fewer adopters (as reading books requires time, effort, and focus), devices like the Kindle are better suited for reading lengthy texts than tablets, which allow users to easily switch tasks.
Thirdly, the iPad revolutionizes advertising, making it more engaging, interactive, and appealing (and efficient) for consumers, potentially increasing the value of ad spaces for those who can effectively leverage the platform. This could lead to a shift away from mass media campaigns, enabling advertisers to spend less and sell more with smart advertising strategies.
Fourthly, even with lower revenue, if newspapers want to survive, they need to consider how to engage with iPad users, as they represent the future of news consumption.
One possible conclusion is that the future of journalism will not be dominated by bloggers. As Steve Jobs stated at the D8 conference, a free press is essential for a healthy society. What is likely to happen is that media moguls like Rupert "Palpatine" Murdoch will need to relinquish some of their power to avoid becoming obsolete. More dynamic and savvy organizations (like HuffPost, despite its journalistic shortcomings) have already recognized that new users and readers reject the monopolization of information by autocratic entities. Both bloggers and large corporations will remain relevant as long as they adapt to these changes. In this landscape, the iPad and other tablets are undoubtedly key players - until they are superseded by the next innovation.

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