Tablet and slate devices are going to be the savior of the publishing industry! Does the publishing industry need saving? That’s an interesting question in itself with impassioned arguments on both sides of the fence. Personally I have noticed a trend towards electronic publishing for many years, in fact its hard to miss. The publishing industry is merely the next medium to want to take advantage of electronic stores and distribution.
Yesterday I received an email from a magazine to which I am a subscriber and panel survey member. The latest survey was rather interesting, containing many questions about electronic magazines. They specifically mentioned the existence of an Apple iPad app to replace a subscription for some customers! The business model I suggested was a free iPad application which comes with a few example magazines and the ability to buy new magazines and subscriptions with ‘in app purchases‘
Lets look at the differences between digital and paper based magazines.
- The magazine is finished after being designed with Adobe In-Design software
- Trees are chopped down and pulped up to make paper
- Fish are mashed up to make glue to hold the paper together
- The magazine is printed on expensive printing presses using ink and paper
- It is glued, cut, finished and stored in a massive warehouse
- they are placed on trucks and planes to be distributed around the world
- The magazines arrive at stores which take a cut to sell the magazine
- They are purchased and read, then get recycled or thrown away
- Each business in the chain takes a cut with the original publisher of the magazine taking a surprisingly small amount of money.
Now lets compare that with a fully digital printing model
- the magazine is finished after being designed with Adobe In-Design software
- the magazine can now include video and new forms of advertising
- the magazine is printed to electronic formats such as ePub and PDF in seconds
- These are downloaded directly by the customers to their iPad, eBook reader, or laptop
There are no trees to cut down, no ink or glue needed, there is nothing to transport using fossil fuels and there is a direct transaction between the magazine maker and the customer. The magazine is cheaper for the customer, and yet makes more money for the publisher since there are no middlemen to pay and there are enhanced advertising opportunities. There is no waste, no landfill, no recycling needed!
This really could be just like that scene in Back to the Future, where the morning paper and your magazines are delivered straight to your slate in digital form. I don’t really like newspapers as they are too big, awkward to read and fall apart, with much questionable content. However, I could really see myself reading a quality newspaper delivered directly to my preferred reading device in the future. Why not try out an electronic magazine now to see what all the fuss is about?