Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The failed eldorado of I-Pad

Last week, I wrote in this chronicle that the I-Pad was not the eldorado expected by the print industry. I did not expect to get a confirmation so quickly. Yesterday, two articles publishedbyhttp://www.numerama;com/magazines and http://www.mondaynote.com that both gave the figures of subscriptions of US magazines on I-Pad, showed that these subscriptions were a failure.
Take for instance Wired, the famous magazine devoted to Internet. 100000 people subscribed on June 23000 remained on November. Vanity Fait went down from 10 to 8000. Glamour, from 4300 to 2800.
Other worrying news came from the French operator Orange. Its sales of I-Pad went bust. Only 30 000 were delivered before Christmas. A bad figure for a product that was supposed to be on the top of the list of New year gifts.
Two conclusions can be drawn from these figures. First, the magazines don't work in the same way as daily newspapers. The screen, cannot easily compete with glossy paper magazines. Newspapers provide a flux of news that is easy to manage on Internet. Hence, the success of dailies seems more obvious on tablets than Vanity Fair.
The second conclusion is that nobody knows yet how news can best be delivered on various supports, computers, I-phone, I-pad. What do people want? Are they ready to follow the process of a print daily, moving from page 1 to page 40, or, which is more likely, do they want to pick pieces of news, according to their main interests? In that case, what are they willing to pay? Certainly not 1,50 euros, which is the cost of le Monde or le Figaro. They also begin to consider that the providers such as Orange get too greedy which could explain the deceptive sales figures of I-Pad.
A lot of food for thought for the year 2011.