Major print publishers confirm collaborative digital store

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 22 of 50
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    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.
  • Reply 23 of 50
    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!
  • Reply 24 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 I?ll likely just stick with my Google Reader, RSS and other sources for news.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post


    bingo!



    ditto!
  • Reply 25 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 26 of 50
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    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.
  • Reply 27 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 28 of 50
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    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 I?ll 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.
  • Reply 29 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 30 of 50
    eehdeehd Posts: 137member
    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.
  • Reply 31 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 32 of 50
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    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.
  • Reply 33 of 50
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    I told you.. the only way this will work is if they all agree on a standard format. Expect more to join in.
  • Reply 34 of 50
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    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.
  • Reply 35 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 36 of 50
    I sense a touch of brinkmanship here.
  • Reply 37 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 38 of 50
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    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.
  • Reply 39 of 50
    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???
  • Reply 40 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    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 label?s CEO even scoffed at the idea calling it absurd to even consider.



    With the publishers is such a bad state of affairs I don?t think it?s too extreme to think that they have been highly influenced by Apple by their open platform and distribution method of published media.



    it is amazing and not surprising at the same time.. all the stops are coming out to compete in the publishing business === and some publishers are going to do it with their own hardware offerings.. That is going to be a challenge for them when it comes to making a profit.



    Simply stated - Handling the manufacturing of hardware with key parts used in these machines is commodity driven.. I don't understand how they can keep up with innovation (they are not hardware designers with software savvy) and the manufacturing economy of scale will never allow purchasing these parts at a good price (see even the Zune being a low volume purchase with no price advantage or match to ipod)



    To compare the publishers with apple as competitors with hardware . i like the video game business model to predict a future for media content from publishers.





    If publishers hardware is proprietary to read and watch what is now their magazines and will soon be vooks or video mags - they will need to give away the hardware to compete with multiple media players - this is not likely since current example like the Kindle is selling at a high price and is not a profit maker at Amazon (so it isn't a give away to make a profit elsewhere in the marketing mix).. Sony's hardware price indicates economy of scale is yet to even see light. But lets get back to Video game business as a business model: WII or play station or XBOX now offer other media usage on their boxes.. or to allow DVD's to play or to hook up to rent a film.. etc etc to make their hardware a media device instead of a game player. But, unfortunately, the customer is not apt to carry their home bound device around with him - and IN THE HOME competition for these devices with other single shot media devices like a dvd player etc etc is really commodity driven.. in other words, trying to put value into game machine hardware is not easy when it comes to doing something besides playing a game with no itunes store to plug into. And that business model has been destroyed by the phone or ipod touch business model. The consumer is moving away from single function media devices in favor of software driven (app) devices that do more than one thing. For some reason it is only Apple that seems to have a player that sells. Google is the only vender on the horizon opening a music store.. and their own phone with everything in it.. and they will most certainly come out with a ipod touch kind of product that is a spin off of their new phone.... So it is Google and Apple right now.. Microsoft i just don't know?



    Competing with the publishers might be easy - as they don't understand hardware and will find it hard to keep up. They have no profit from their print media at the moment, so marketing may not be spendy enough to get any market share with their own players.. And their hardware will need to be in the hands of at least 10-12% of the consumers all of the time to determine a life cycle of their proposed media device ... and of course their players will have no music store.. no podcast store.. no rental music store. not rental movie store... no audible book store. not streaming .. no cloud... until they do all this themselves .. SURE.. JUST LIKE IN THE PAST - they are getting on it right now!!! Can i guess that one year from now some of these plans will be somewhat implemented and available via distribution in a profit/LOSS making way? No I can not guess that as they have challenges that will never catch up to Apple and Google being a heart beat away from the same thing offered as a "total solution".. the consumer will not wait for slow pokes.



    in the mean time, Apple and Google will come out with "total solutions" that offer all the various forms of media interests in one package .. in a portable device the the consumer talks to other people on... or a player that does all but talk.. or a media device that replaces what is useful for the consumer on the present laptop that will be replaced next time with a media player.,. to do it all in one device well enough to justify no single use media device is winners end game solved.... in fact.. it will be good enough so that the already fallen single shot manufacturers.. like camera folks.. and phone folks.. and music player folks.. and game player folks.. and audible book player folks.. and reader folks... THAT ONLY OFFER ONE OR MAYBE TWO FEATURES ON A MEDIA DEVICE - WHILE IGNORING PORTABILITY AND SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS THAT CUSTOMIZE INDIVIDUAL DEVICES like the ipod touch.. or the iphone.. or an inefficient computer example like a net book will DIE IN LESS THEN 12 MONTHS AFTER THEY ARE INTRODUCED. The up front money spent by publishers for players will all go mostly down the drain...



    I am not against publishers wanting to get into the player business. but to suggest they can control their distribution via the printing press as a model for distribution via a hardware device is really tantamount to predicting probable failure. The power of the publisher is in their distribution model.. That is now essentially failing as it is being eaten away on the plate of multiple function media devices taking the consumer away from the news stand. At retail, the consumer electronics media stores like Best buy are now lone survivors trying hard to fill the space in their stores with other profit making ideas - like electric bikes for example.. Sure, they will handle as many single shot media players as a publishers "guaranteed sale" with UP FRONT advertising dollars will buy..



    What the publishers can do is hold back everyone until they get their players out on the street.. This will not delay Apple's entry. Apple will be pushing advantage that the big publishers have not started working out yet. Apple is offering a software developer kit that will allow anyone to set up and sell their own magazine .. with print and video (VOOKS).. they will tie in with the under 30 crowd with a multiple media device that will COMPETE with these mostly single shot players coming from the publishers.



    So it isn't what a media device can do that is meaningful that counts - as software development makes that unlimited .. it is what it can't do that is meaningful that counts. the days of the single shot device like a cassette player.. cd player.. vcr.. dvd player taking hold where everyone shares their content on that single player are over. there will be more than one media player - and Apple looks to have a good chance of being the most profitable one.. the single shots are destined for $ losses.
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