In all the reporting about the unveiling of the Apple iPad, there is one, frightening sentence that I can't get out of my head: " All of the content that was accessed on stage was free."
That was Sara Ohrvall, an executive at Bonnier Corporation, which has developed a prototype for a tablet device, talking to the
at the launch yesterday.
Much of the buzz leading up to the device's launch (including that drummed up by Carr) was colored with hope that it could save the print industry, or at least throw it a life raft to hold onto for a while.
put it: "There was not one demo of an i-magazine, just a quick visit to Time.com, complete with a Flash media error (reportedly). No wired version of Wired, no singing version of Rolling Stone, not even a video-enabled Sports Illustrated. That's astonishing for such a sexy, high-resolution device that's repeatedly been billed as a boon to magazine publishers."
Books got some love with the iBooks store that is looking to go head to head with Amazon's Kindle. Deals with publishers -- Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster -- were announced. (Random House is holding out.) But nothing similar for newspapers or magazines. It seems nothing is going go save them but themselves.
Alan Mutter has some good suggestions on just how on his
"Significantly, publishers and broadcasters should be single-mindedly focused on finding ways to charge...for all the exciting new content, services and advertising opportunities that will be enabled by the 'Pad and the imitators that follow."
The iPad turned out to be less of a life raft than a gauntlet thrown down before an already very tired print industry.