This week it was reported that Amazon is looking to open up newspaper and magazine subscriptions bought for the Kindle onto any digital platform that runs Kindle apps.
Reporting on the news, Editors Weblog and paidContent question whether this will appeal to news publishers already managing or planning their own subscription models across platforms such as the iPad and iPhone. Summing up Editors Weblog says:
The new feature may not be the best idea for those already selling their own multi-platform subscriptions or who want to control their brands on other devices. The Wall Street Journal will not partake in the digital content exchange, and The New York Times has been less than forthright about its plans for being included, saying “We’ll be announcing our bundle details when we launch the details of our paid model.”
News Corp has already enlisted New York Post executive editor Jesse Angelo to head the project, which seems designed to go nationwide with a mass-market U.S. title on iPad in the same way the Sun has been in the smaller UK for decades.
Picton has been editor of the Sun Online for the past 10 years.
Predictions are already being made about the potential of Rupert Murdoch’s reported plans to produce a national newspaper available only on the iPad, as we discussed last month.
Over on Tech Crunch Paul Carr doesn’t mince his words, insisting that the concept is “doomed”. It is not about marketing the value of the contents but a simply money-making exercise he says, which is not a long term solution.
Of course the idea is doomed – that much should go without saying. Like so many of Murdoch’s recent forays into paid-for online news, it reflects less a bold strategy to convince a new generation of readers that good journalism is worth paying for and more the 79-year News Corp proprietor’s desperation to keep the cash flow coming until the company’s profitability becomes someone else’s problem.
But what’s remarkable about this current escapade is that Murdoch is actually proposing to sell a product that people have previously failed to even give away for free.
The LA Times, who also ran an editorial on the plans this weekend, added that News Corp is just another news organisation “scrambling to prop up their bottom lines with new sources of revenue”.
The initiative, which would directly compete with the New York Times, USA Today and other national publications, is the latest attempt by a major media organization to harness sexy new devices to reach readers who increasingly consume their news on the go. The development underscores how the iPad is transforming the reading habits of consumers much like the iPod changed how people listen to music.