Monday, September 3, 2012

The Guardian believes in tablets

In to day's issue of the Guardian, the newspaper presents the new wave of tablets proposed by Apple and Amazon. They are smaller,cheaper, at about 150 euros and should sell massively to a new public.

It could be an opportunity for the print press . As the article suggests, the users of Kindle are already familiar of reading on tablets. It should be easier to sell them newspapers applications. Yes but at what price? It is still obvious that the customers are highly reluctant to pay. The popularity of e-books in the US and the UK has proved that people can buy books on the Web. Will they go as far as spending money for dailies? The failure of Murdoch's Daily is an ominous sign of the poor state of the market. A Nielsen report shows that last January in the US, one third of I phone and I pad owners downloaded a news application but only 3%  were paid apps.

So the press executives face the same quandary: how to finance editorial teams to satisfy an appetite for news which is huge. In his last Monday Note, Frederic Filloux states that newspapers should not hesitate to rise prices to finance digital developments. It is certainly a part of the solution. Tablets are also a promising device but a financial balance for the press is still far away and advertising is not much attracted by the split audiences of news websites. It is easy, then, to understand why The American dailies are developing video on their sites. There is no better way, right now, to catch advertisers.