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Major print publishers confirm collaborative digital store

post #1 of 51
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Affirming repeated rumors, Condé Nast, Hearst, News Corporation, Time Inc., and Meredith all officially announced Tuesday that they will agree on open standards for a new digital storefront.

The five publishers said the independent venture will "allow consumers to enjoy their favorite media content on portable digital devices." As was reported in November, the consortium will be run in the interim by John Squires, former executive vice president with Time Inc.

"For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops," said Squires, the interim managing director. "Once purchased, this content will be ‘unlocked’ for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform."

Publishers intend to create a reading application that can render the "distinct look and feel" of specific publications and can be optimized for a number of devices with different operating systems and screen sizes. The plan also includes a consumer storefront with an "extensive selection" of products, and will also allow "innovative advertising opportunities."

While the store will initially include magazines and newspapers, it may expand in the future to books, comic books, blogs and more. Outside publishers, beyond the five equity partners, will also be welcome to offer their content on the unnamed service. Publishers will be able to obtain revenue from subscriptions and advertising sales.

Together, the five companies represent a reading audience of 144.6 million. They hope to gain some of the 10 million readers expected to be sold in the U.S. in 2010, along with 50 million smartphones in the country by the end of next year.

Interestingly, all of the partners in the new digital store have also presented their own, individual plans for digital subscriptions. Hearst has said it will launch a service sometime in 2010, while Time Inc. has been showing off a tablet-friendly magazine concept.

Likely to play a part in these companies' plans is Apple's rumored forthcoming tablet device. Earlier this year, reports claimed that Apple had reached out to publishers about bringing their print publications to the touchscreen device. The new, unannounced hardware is expected to debut in early 2010.
post #2 of 51
These guys are smart ... no war of the formats for them! I guess they learned a lot reporting on all the other format wars!

In other 'visual' news not yet reported here ... Google Goggles for Android. I wonder of Google will create an App for iPhone or will this be the start of withholding their technologies?
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post #3 of 51
Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

If Apple planned a tablet you can bet that they're still going ahead with it.

For example, everyone is trying to find a way to get their content/services onto the "locked-down model" of Apple's iPhone in the most convenient way possible. It will be the same for the tablet. When the tablet changes the game, watch all these publishers magically rethink their entire strategy. Apple has the power to determine your content's exposure, viewability, and consumer reach. Apple acts as distributor, very simply, because they provide the best model for consumers to access content. If you don't play nicely with Apple and Apple products you're only harming your chances.

As long as Apple products (read: devices on which to view media/content) and services continue to lead by a landslide in desirability and ease of use, opposing Apple is not a good idea.
post #5 of 51
This reads like these guys are really committed to controlling the storefront, more than anything else. I think the idea of common standards is a good one, but they never really controlled distribution before (newsagents and intermediarys do that) so it's a fair shift in that direction.

As much as anything, Apple probably assumed that everything from music to magazines can be dumped in iTunes (or whatever the browser equivalent might be called) and this sounds like it might scuttle those plans a fair bit.
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

... Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

No. this is a pre-emptive strike. If anything it completely supports the idea that Apple is about to enter the market. All this means is that after years and years of people being caught flat-footed by Apple, someone has finally wised up and tried to strike first.

If Apple comes out with the tablet and it works or is popular, then they own the distribution channel. It would be as if Apple currently owned most of the magazine and newspaper stands and routes all across the country. That means they'd have a say about what is sold but more importantly the price and the general format.

These guys are hoping that they can define the format and the distribution and the price first before Apple beats them to it. Without a device of their own though I don't think they will have much luck. If the tablet is a success, they will still have to come to Apple in the end.
post #7 of 51
I'd be nice for the product to be released for trial and then the potential users can give their feedback ... wouldn't that reduce the financial risk involved with producing a new product .. no ?
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

As much as anything, Apple probably assumed that everything from music to magazines can be dumped in iTunes...and this sounds like it might scuttle those plans a fair bit.

yeah, definitely a pre-emptive strike. I'm curious to see if their content will be "exclusively available" through their storefront - ie, are they willing to distribute through iTunes as well? We shall see.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

Huh? I would have thought Apple is right in there. Ultimately these guys want to sell content and if Apple can help them do that, then they will want to ensure the format works nicely on the iPhone and on the alleged tablet. Likewise, Apple needs content and I don't see why Apple would want to care about DRM if the content providers don't. All apple want is to have the sexiest device to view the content on so they can sell lots of them. I don't see why Apple wouldn't enter the market now. I imagine that Apple has been instrumental in shaping this new platform.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers...

You started off good...

Quote:
...back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

then you got all anti-Apple, as if they are the problem that print media is failing.

Quote:
Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

Did you miss the quoted text stating, "Once purchased, this content will be unlocked for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform.? Id say this encourages Apple even more, not tells them to trash the R&D on a product. If you look at the iTunes LP and Extras you see Apple moving toward open-standards for their rich media. This falls in line with what these media companies supposedly want. Well have to see what they have in mind but to be completely cross platform and open itll have to be something like HTML/CSS/JS or PDF format.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

If Apple planned a tablet you can bet that they're still going ahead with it.

For example, everyone is trying to find a way to get their content/services onto the "locked-down model" of Apple's iPhone in the most convenient way possible. It will be the same for the tablet. When the tablet changes the game, watch all these publishers magically rethink their entire strategy. Apple has the power to determine your content's exposure, viewability, and consumer reach. Apple acts as distributor, very simply, because they provide the best model for consumers to access content. If you don't play nicely with Apple and Apple products you're only harming your chances.

As long as Apple products (read: devices on which to view media/content) and services continue to lead by a landslide in desirability and ease of use, opposing Apple is not a good idea.

Having a general release media subscription service doesnt negate the possibility for a richer, potentially more expensive service that is designed for more robust devices, like an Apple Tablet or notebook. What can work on a smartphone may not be a great experience on a Tablet so I may want to pay more for a better experience. If they have to cater to the least common denominator they find that their product is less than adequate. I really hope they are using HCJ (HTML/CSS/JS) for their model, have a standardized WYSIWYG development app and have worked with HW makers, like Apple, to make sure it doesnt fail.
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post #11 of 51
Just what the world has been waiting for--a digital store selling books and magazines. How innovative!
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

Congrats on showing everyone what a moron you are.
post #13 of 51
What are these 'open standards' mentioned in the first sentence?

Any details?
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

Apple supplied the the technology, know-how, and concept. The publishers are in cahoots with Apple. This isn't a preemptive strike, it's a Beta Test.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

What do you mean? "Will Apple even enter the market now?" Apple sells sells content, so why would they not sell digital magazines if a standard format is created (assuming they are planning on selling them)? The only question is whether or not Apple will choose to distribute digital magazines in this format or not. Apple does not need DRM on the content they sell and it is typically imposed on them by the content providers (see music/movies). If magazines don't want DRM, you probably wont see it on whatever Apple distributes either.
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post #16 of 51
Over the years, Apple has attempted to create open standards (aka Quicktime, h.264, HTML 5) as opposed to create closed ones. The main reason DRM was in iTunes originally was because the Music Labels required it. Apple has been talking to these publishers for months, and I don't think this adoption is any coincidence. Microsoft tries to hinder open standards (look at Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, etc.) and block innovation. I bet the format is ultimately of Apple's choosing - which they've presented to the publishers - and is thereby perfectly suited for the upcoming Apple tablet. I may be wrong about the format being Apple's own, but I bet they at least had a large inluence in directing which one was chosen.
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post #17 of 51
Shrugs.

It doesn't matter what they do. Paper is taking a beating. Books, comics, newspapers...do any of them sell as much as they used to?

Certainly the newspapers arent' the force they used to be in sales. Why would they be with free online editions?

CD sales? Well, well iTunes is no.1 digital downloads has nailed 'cd's' future to the wall.

£600-800 is going to be alot of money for an e reader. And if the publishers, who've been charging alot of money for regurgitated content for years...think they're going to charge me £5 per issue the same as the paper edition...then they're got another thing coming.

So I guess it's going to be a true multimedia device with an e-reader as one of many strings to its bow.

If Apple sells a gazillion of these 'slates' then the publishers will break rank...crack and offer editions on the itunes store. I don't see them passing up the dough. They need the money.

I'm very surprised sellers of 1s and 0s...still think they can get away with charging the price close to physical media. 200 million people on the internet or more...and scales of economy set to rise in the future. And guess what. They still can't offer a song for 10p or a small amount of money and leverage the economies of scale. I'd actually bother to register an itunes account.

For me, alot of music, tv programs, magazine content is not compelling enough to pay near physical media prices to 'sit on my hard drive' most of the time doing nothing. And I feel that way about physical media. It has to be good to clutter my house space up with it.

For me, unlike a virtual song replacing a 'whirrrrring' cd in my iMac...I just don't see I'm going to have the same emotional rapport with a 'good book' on an e reader as I do the tactile bond I have with a real book.

Maybe I won't think that way in ten years time. But I feel like that now.

I still think the Apple i-slate is going to be a hit. Because it won't be used soley for the e-reading (read saviour) it'll be a big iPod touch that you can casually and comfortable use on your living room sofa.

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post #18 of 51
It's the smell of a comic book, the staples...the physical turning of a page. It's been a while since I've read any comic books. But I remember how it used to feel...

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post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Over the years, Apple has attempted to create open standards (aka Quicktime, h.264, HTML 5) as opposed to create closed ones.

Please do not confuse 'create' with 'adopt'. Apple may have had some input into H.264, HTML5, etc., (Quicktime is not an open standard) and advocated their use, but don't overreach and say that they created those technologies.

(And to be precise, H.264 may be a 'standard', but it is not 'open'.)
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

The main reason DRM was in iTunes originally was because the Music Labels required it. Apple has been talking to these publishers for months, and I don't think this adoption is any coincidence.

That is a good point that is often overlooked by the myopic trolls on these forums. Jobs issued an open letter to the labels nearly 3 years ago to remove DRM, before the labels tried to over-through iTunes by partnering with Amazon. One labels CEO even scoffed at the idea calling it absurd to even consider.

With the publishers is such a bad state of affairs I dont think its too extreme to think that they have been highly influenced by Apple by their open platform and distribution method of published media.
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post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

No. this is a pre-emptive strike. If anything it completely supports the idea that Apple is about to enter the market. All this means is that after years and years of people being caught flat-footed by Apple, someone has finally wised up and tried to strike first.

Well, they announced something before Apple released something. I can't imagine that this design-by-committee project of the five publishing (not software development) companies will beat Apple to market, or that it will be very good when it finally is unveiled. It will be fun to watch events unfold.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Well, they announced something before Apple released something. I can't imagine that this design-by-committee project of the five publishing (not software development) companies will beat Apple to market, or that it will be very good when it finally is unveiled. It will be fun to watch events unfold.

For their sake I hope they are working with Apple to get it right. I have doubts they can do it on their own.
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post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

For their sake I hope they are working with Apple to get it right. I have doubts they can do it on their own.

Likewise, but the fact that they want to have their own storefront makes me wonder how much Apple is involved.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

i imagine that apple has been instrumental in shaping this new platform.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mj web View Post

apple supplied the the technology, know-how, and concept. The publishers are in cahoots with apple. This isn't a preemptive strike, it's a beta test.


bingo!
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Likewise, but the fact that they want to have their own storefront makes me wonder how much Apple is involved.

There could always be portal to iTunes or another store that any platform can access.

What I am looking for is a Podcast like model that is like the Kindle eReader, where I can subscribe and then have my newspapers and magazines auto-downloaded for me over WiFi or cellular data. Ready and waiting when hit the breakfast table or couch in the morning. If I have to go searching for the content then Ill likely just stick with my Google Reader, RSS and other sources for news.


Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

bingo!

ditto!
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post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

This reads like these guys are really committed to controlling the storefront, more than anything else. I think the idea of common standards is a good one, but they never really controlled distribution before (newsagents and intermediarys do that) so it's a fair shift in that direction.

As much as anything, Apple probably assumed that everything from music to magazines can be dumped in iTunes (or whatever the browser equivalent might be called) and this sounds like it might scuttle those plans a fair bit.

I think that reading comes from AppleInsider's over-emphasis on the "storefront" aspect of the announcement.

From the press release:

The goal of this digital initiative is fourfold, to create: a highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication; a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes; a consumer storefront offering an extensive selection of reading options; and a rich array of innovative advertising opportunities.

That's: (1) the software that would drive the content on PC, Mac, iPhone, etc.; (2) the application you would use to design and write the content to file -- probably plug-ins to InDesign, Flash Pro, and other work-flow apps, and maybe a stand-alone app for small publishers and self-publishers to use; (3) a branded web site; and (4) the integration of advertising into the business model -- probably a combination of display ads and sponsored features.

For the hardware, software and retail industries, the initiative will provide dynamic new business opportunities by organizing a library of quality content with a common format and technical specifications.

I read that to say that they're setting a format but will not try to tightly control which devices will run the content (hardware), authoring tools (software), or the distribution channels (retail).

Plus, Newsweek would want to be available on iTunes in addition to other outlets, and Apple would would want Newsweek to be available in iTunes Store.

Today, Apple makes money when you buy the new Weezer single from the iTunes Store, but Apple does not prevent you from adding the track to iTunes or playing it on your iPod if you bought the track on Amazon. Apple still has a giant share of the download market, placates the few consumers who want to buy their songs elsewhere, and keeps the antitrust police away.

If you have an Apple tablet, want to subscribe to Newsweek, and it's available in the iTunes Store, you're probably going to download it from the iTunes Store. And that's OK with Newsweek, which will sell lots more magazines by being in iTunes Store than it would otherwise without limiting its ability to make separate deals to be available on Sony's tablet, Amazon's Kindle, etc.
post #27 of 51
Sounds like a big ask to me. Management have certain strategic goals, such as not getting locked in with one tech company.

But in order to avoid that, they will have to write some pretty fancy software: according to them it has to support many distinctive looks and feel across an unspecified array of devices.

Speaking as someone who writes software for a living, it has the vibe of a project that will end up costing millions and ultimately be unsatisfactory.

Sometimes there is a gap between what is strategically desirable and what is technically realistic.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

It's the smell of a comic book, the staples...the physical turning of a page. It's been a while since I've read any comic books. But I remember how it used to feel...

Pardon me for pointing out the obvious, but… considering it's been a while since you've read any comics, I don't expect that publishers really care what your opinion is.

They're more interested in selling comics to people who, you know, actually read them — or might read them if they didn't cost $2.99 for a 22-page, 15 minute read.

I prefer printed comics, myself, but I'd buy a bunch of digital comics if they were $1 and I had a good e-reader. If I really like a comic, I'll buy the trade paperback, anyway.
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post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What I am looking for is a Podcast like model that is like the Kindle eReader, where I can subscribe and then have my newspapers and magazines auto-downloaded for me over WiFi or cellular data. Ready and waiting when hit the breakfast table or couch in the morning. If I have to go searching for the content then Ill likely just stick with my Google Reader, RSS and other sources for news.

iPhone OS 3.0 allows for in-app purchases, and because they'll want something that works for multiple platforms, I suspect they may intent to create a reader-type app that can access their store and purchase/subscribe to content. Whether they intent to leverage iTunes for iPod/iPhone access to their content or not depends if they are working with Apple right now, or trying to get out ahead of them. They could simple create the reader app and distribute the app via iTunes, but then you'd use the app to manage your subscriptions.

As for the anti-DRM claims, I don't necessarily read their statements as their content not having DRM. It could be read that it's "unlocked" for all of YOUR devices. The content could be cloud-based and any reader client registered to you could access your content from the cloud. If there was truly no DRM, one person could purchase and redistribute it, or they could disassemble it and remove all the advertising from it which would also blow their business model out of the water. I suspect there is still going be some some level of proprietary format or DRM included to preserve their business model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I bet the format is ultimately of Apple's choosing - which they've presented to the publishers - and is thereby perfectly suited for the upcoming Apple tablet. I may be wrong about the format being Apple's own, but I bet they at least had a large inluence in directing which one was chosen.

Something similar to Apple's LP/Extras format would probably be suitable. It's based on standards, which should make it easier to utilize on other platforms. Who knows, maybe the rumors of Apple being in talks with the print publishers was to sell them on that format. It could become the AAC of the print world, and could be used with or without DRM as needed, on any platform that supported those standards.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

iPhone OS 3.0 allows for in-app purchases, and because they'll want something that works for multiple platforms, I suspect they may intent to create a reader-type app that can access their store and purchase/subscribe to content. Whether they intent to leverage iTunes for iPod/iPhone access to their content or not depends if they are working with Apple right now, or trying to get out ahead of them. They could simple create the reader app and distribute the app via iTunes, but then you'd use the app to manage your subscriptions.

As for the anti-DRM claims, I don't necessarily read their statements as their content not having DRM. It could be read that it's "unlocked" for all of YOUR devices. The content could be cloud-based and any reader client registered to you could access your content from the cloud. If there was truly no DRM, one person could purchase and redistribute it, or they could disassemble it and remove all the advertising from it which would also blow their business model out of the water. I suspect there is still going be some some level of proprietary format or DRM included to preserve their business model.

All solid points.
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post #31 of 51
It only goes to show the power that Apple yields with pretty much anything they touch, or are rumored to touch. The print media is in decline because they have failed to innovate. Apple is only rumored to release a tablet that would be suitable for digital content of print media, but these people hadn't even thought about it. Now they are all jumping on the bandwagon.
post #32 of 51
The market for paid magazine and newspaper content will be limited as long as you can get most of the same content for free, so I think you're going to see publishers move away from putting so much free content on their web sites and instead emphasize the ease of use and multiple platforms you get as an online subscriber.

I think the publishers will try a variety of approaches -- free online subscription with paid print subscriptions, multiple-title online subscriptions, two free online issues of Good Housekeeping with your purchase of Tide's new detergent, etc. -- with a lot of emphasis on subscription over single-issue pricing.

I'll be interested to see what the publishing analysts have to say about the revenue potential of ad-supported, paid subscriptions vs. the current ad-supported, mostly-free web sites and what the price points are likely to be for online subscriptions.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

The market for paid magazine and newspaper content will be limited as long as you can get most of the same content for free, so I think you're going to see publishers move away from putting so much free content on their web sites and instead emphasize the ease of use and multiple platforms you get as an online subscriber.

It might also be a way for them to get away from the competition of the blogs. If they move all their professionally created content off the web and in to iTunes, or some other app, and the TV/media companies do the same, the web could start to get a reputation as a backwater. A place where amateurs and pirates hang out.

That could also help Apple in another area: if the web starts to get that reputation then it might rub off on some of Google's app/netbook efforts.
post #34 of 51
I told you.. the only way this will work is if they all agree on a standard format. Expect more to join in.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

As for the anti-DRM claims, I don't necessarily read their statements as their content not having DRM. It could be read that it's "unlocked" for all of YOUR devices. The content could be cloud-based and any reader client registered to you could access your content from the cloud. If there was truly no DRM, one person could purchase and redistribute it, or they could disassemble it and remove all the advertising from it which would also blow their business model out of the water. I suspect there is still going be some some level of proprietary format or DRM included to preserve their business model.

While you could very well be right, I don't see DRM as a means of protecting content anymore, but rather as a means of controlling content under the guise of protecting content. If you buy a movie in iTunes, you are restricted to Apple devices, if you buy from Sony, you are restricted to Sony devices, etc. Even if something is DRM'd it only requires one person in the world to crack it and seed it, so I don't know how effective it is in preventing copyright infringement. On the other hand it is very effective in restricting use and controlling content. At the very least, I would like to see an end to proprietary DRM, since it is not about copyright protection at all.

What I like about this concept, DRM or not, is that they want it to work across all platforms. If it does have DRM it, it is at least standardized.
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post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

No. this is a pre-emptive strike. If anything it completely supports the idea that Apple is about to enter the market. All this means is that after years and years of people being caught flat-footed by Apple, someone has finally wised up and tried to strike first.

If Apple comes out with the tablet and it works or is popular, then they own the distribution channel. It would be as if Apple currently owned most of the magazine and newspaper stands and routes all across the country. That means they'd have a say about what is sold but more importantly the price and the general format.

These guys are hoping that they can define the format and the distribution and the price first before Apple beats them to it. Without a device of their own though I don't think they will have much luck. If the tablet is a success, they will still have to come to Apple in the end.

I agree. These guys are finally getting ahead of the problem instead of dithering and getting steamrolled. This is very good news for all parties involved.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #37 of 51
I sense a touch of brinkmanship here.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

What I like about this concept, DRM or not, is that they want it to work across all platforms. If it does have DRM it, it is at least standardized.

That is the rub. The more universal you make content the less control you have over it. I bet there is a law that describes the problem these publishers are facing.

For instance, If they make it so hundreds or thousands of players can view the content all the same then any sort of protection mechanism will be easily broken and they may lose sales if the free alternative is convenient enough to obtain. On the flip side, if they make it too controlled then people aren't going to invest in paying for their content.

Prehaps they'll have a multi-step process. The first part is for publishers to create content using specific open-standards, formats and layouts (perhaps with certain specific codebases) that will work for multiple device types, but then have a waypoint between the publishers and the device specific store that will encapsulate it in certain DRM that will protect it. Text and images are cheap transport compared to music and video so once you've bought it you own it and can use a centralized system to have it sent to a competing HW's device by calling for it again with your specific account info. This puts the publishers as a consortium in the position MS is in with Windows, getting the HW vendors to fight for your business.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

The market for paid magazine and newspaper content will be limited as long as you can get most of the same content for free, so I think you're going to see publishers move away from putting so much free content on their web sites and instead emphasize the ease of use and multiple platforms you get as an online subscriber.

Here's a few questions maybe someone has some insight to... how much of my subscription price goes to pay for creating and delivering the physical media that is delivered to my door? How much of a publishers revenue is from subscriptions vs ad revenue? If they could preserve their ad revenue while eliminating the distribution expense, could they also eliminate the subscription fee?

The publisher gets revenue from my subscription, but they also incur an expense to print that newspaper or magazine and deliver it. They can eliminate that expense with electronic delivery, and still include all the same ads they do in print form. That's why I think there is still going to be some method (either a proprietary format or DRM) to ensure that the advertising is delivered with the content. So you can't just block Flash like you can in your web browser.

If we say a typical subscription averages around $2/issue, and if $1.50 of that goes toward creating and delivering the paper copy, they could significantly reduce the cost of the subscriptions. They probably wouldn't, but they could.
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?

I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.

Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?

I hope so. And by the looks if the time reader demo, that looked like flash. But that's speculative. Of course flash means free network shoews not apples locked systems. Surely tablet will play flash right???
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