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Magazine editors and publishers are excited about tablet devices like the iPad. In them, they see a chance to give consumers the best that digital media can offer -- and to be able to charge them for the content. But does the profit from the apps justify the expense of building and marketing them? And even when the apps are profitable on their own, can they ever bring in enough revenue to sustain a sizable portion of the business?
Consider it an inauguration of sorts, a celebration of the e-book industry becoming a member of the major media club just as digital music a… Consider it an inauguration of sorts, a celebration of the e-book industry becoming a member of the major media club just as digital music and online video have before them. When you influence a billion dollars, people have to take you seriously. In the book business, it means that traditional publishers can no longer live in deny-and-delay mode; meanwhile, digital publishers get invited to better parties and people in other media businesses like TV and magazines look over and wonder if they could cut a slice of this new pie just for them. To honor the occasion, we have just published our five-year forecast for eBooks in the U.S. The punchline is this: 2010 will end with $966 million in e-books sold to consumers.
In March, Anna Quindlen wrote in Newsweek , "Well, what is a book, really? Is it its body, or its soul?" Publishers of all stripes are struggling with that definition, including children's publishers. Picture books have used artwork as a core part of their storytelling as long as the art form as existed, yet they have always evolved, too.
As newspapers everywhere struggle to stay afloat and remake themselves for a web-based world, many continue to debate how much emphasis they should put on digital vs. their traditional print operations. John Paton, CEO of the Journal Register group of newspapers, says the time for debate is over. Newspapers need to be digital first in everything they do , he says, and more than that, they need to take the same approach to their businesses that many web-based startups have, and that means being transparent, crowdsourced, collaborative and flat. There’s no question; it’s an inspiring message, but will anyone listen? In a speech he delivered Thursday at the Transformation of News Summit in Cambridge, Mass.