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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Will Cheap Android Tablets Give iPad a Race for the Future of Publishing?

In the recent past, the slumping newspaper and magazine industries were drawn to Apple's iPad as the possible publishing savior for their products.

Of course, Apple had the only game in town in the recent past ... and with some bad management caveats at that; like not allowing the publishers access to the subscribers' demographic data.

All that is about to change; and I never thought for one moment that it wouldn't! I have posted on this issue previously.

BetaNews has the latest developments on this ever evolving issue in a report by Tim Conneally:

Still think iPad is the future of publishing? Philly papers offer cheap Android tablets to subscribers

The withering newspaper and magazine industries began to gravitate toward Apple's iPad as a possible anchor publishing outlet last year, but a pair of Philadelphia newspapers are taking a different approach and bundling cheap Android tablets with a subscription.

Last year, Conde Nast's Wired showed off an impressive iPad-optimized version of its magazine, and News Corp released The Daily, a subscription magazine designed from scratch for consumption on the iPad. These major ventures didn't simply re-format existent content for the iPad, but rather designed their content around the tablet itself.

The major hindrance here is that readers have to already own an iPad to get a subscription, so the audience will always be measured as a subset of iPad owners.

So the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are taking an approach to distribution more similar to mobile phone companies. When a customer subscribes to a digital edition of one of these papers, they will get an Android tablet at as much as 50% off of its retail price.

This way, they are subscribers first and tablet owners second.

Read and learn more

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