Do you think the iPad is short on news content? Would you be willing to transfer your paper subscriptions (newspapers, and magazines) to a digital device, like the iPad? Apple thinks you might, but we’re not so sure.
Somewhere between the death of traditional print media and new media there were technologies created to help disperse news in a more efficient manner. Geeks started cancelling newspapers and replacing them with RSS feeds. Social Media geeks started treating the Twitter service like a new-wave newswire, and until now, most of us were okay with that. But, somewhere along the way we lost the editorial, the commentary, and more importantly, the analysis. Blogs started trying to compete with twitter, and instead of carrying on as they should, posts turned into synopses with a catchy headline and a picture. The irony isn’t lost on us, we know we’re in the same boat here, but should we be?
Steve Jobs, back in June, had this to say, “I don’t want us to become a nation of bloggers myself. I think we need editorial more than ever right now.” It may have been the first major tell that Apple was taking the transition from print to digital pretty seriously, and that they were going to make sure that the worlds best editorials were going to be available to those people who were looking to hear it.
Of course, any discussion about Apple and media content ends up having executives concerned about Apple’s reach in the industry, and worry that they’ll have the same kind of influence that Apple Inc. has in the music industry. But, none of the usual suspects, News Corp., Hearts Corp., Time Inc., and Conde Nast have any concern about their readerships privacy issues. According to an Ars Technica post that was republished on CNN, one of the major sticking points for the publishers is that Apple refuses to hand over personal information about subscribers. For all the bad press that Apple gets these days, we have to say, we’re pretty happy that they’re leading the charge, anyone else would have signed over personal information in a second, Google included.
So where does that leave us? Absolutely nowhere. I won’t be signing up for a newspaper any time soon, nor will I be purchasing a digital edition either. Big publishers have dug their own grave, and I’d much prefer some new companies take over for them in the future. The print model is broken, and if publishers can’t manage to figure out what they’re doing wrong, why should we drag them into the future of print?