Meredith CEO: e-readers may save $60 millon a year in publishing costs

The CEO of Meredith Corp., which publishes Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle and other titles, told analysts last week that consumer migration to e-reader editions could save the company $60 million annually in printing costs. David Goetzl reports that CEO Stephen Lacy said that he doesn’t expect those savings to materialize for at least five years, helped in part by increasing postal rates:

Lacy told analysts the publisher spends about $150 million annually on paper, $80 million in printing costs and $80 million for mailing. If audience migration to an e-reader allows 20% of that $310 million to be trimmed, ‘that could really be meaningful to us from a financial point of view.’ “ Read more

Survey: iPad driving news readership

A pair of surveys by research group ChangeWave shows a growing consumer interest in Apple’s iPad and a significant increase in newspaper and magazine readership on e-readers since the tablet’s April launch.

In a May survey of 3,000 people, ChangeWave found 20 percent of respondents somewhat or very likely to purchase an iPad, up from 13 percent in February. And of the 245 current owners of e-readers, the survey found 18 percent reading newspapers and 14 percent reading magazines. Both are increases of 7 percentage points over the pre-iPad survey results. The researchers attribute that increase almost entirely to the iPad, as 50 percent of iPad owners reported reading a newspaper on the device, compared to only 14 percent for owners of other e-readers.

> 1-in-5 U.S. Read more


Nook outsells Kindle, iPad beats both in March

Reacting to a story in DigiTimes.com, Dave Caolo reports that while the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader probably outsold Amazon’s Kindle last month, the iPad likely beat both in overall sales.

“Mingchi Kuo, a senior analyst at DigiTimes, noted that e-book reader manufacturers shipped more units of the Nook to Barnes & Noble than Kindles to Amazon last month. Kuo suggested that the Nook accounted for 53 percent of e-book readers shipped to U.S. vendors in March, 2010. … In the meantime, Apple sold 500,000 iPads in the first week of sales and is estimated to have broken the 1 million mark.”

A DigiTimes study of the market estimates 1.43 million e-readers were sold in the first quarter of 2010, not including the iPad. Read more


Kindle to sell at Target

Staci Kramer reports that Target will begin selling Amazon’s Kindle e-reader in stores, the first time the device has been available for in-person purchasing. Starting Sunday, it will be available in 103 Target locations (one in downtown Minneapolis and the rest in South Florida), with more expected later this year.

“Until now, Amazon has sold the various models of its e-reader only through its own site, eschewing the retail option while competitor Sony went the in-store route (it has been in Target since 2008) and as Barnes & Noble launched the Nook through its own stores. That’s not enough in today’s competitive e-reader world where every other major option already shipping can be found in stores and the more-glamorous iPad can be fondled at Apple stores and many Best Buys.” Read more


Alex e-reader starts shipping

Business Week
Spring Design’s Alex e-reader is set to being shipping Wednesday as the latest in a long line of digital tablets expected to hit shelves in 2010. Olga Kharif at Business Week reports the device maker has some notable supporters.

“Co-founder Albert Teng was a general manager at chipmaker Intel. Co-founder Jack Yuan previously co-founded storage maker SanDisk. Its partners include search giant Google and software maker Adobe.”

The Android-based e-reader supports the common ePub electronic book format as well as HTML and PDF. The device has two screens: one 6-inch electronic ink display for reading text and a smaller 3-inch color touch screen for navigation and other functions. The tablet retails for $399 and “offers full Internet browsing using WiFi connectivity, and later this year will also feature 3G and EVDO/CDMA connectivity.”

>Alex eReader shipping tomorrow (CrunchGear) Read more


iPad may not be a Kindle killer

Poynter Online NewsPay
Bill Mitchell was one of a handful of Poynter staffers who spent their day off in the office on Saturday poring over the new toy tool du jour: Apple’s iPad. In the NewsPay blog, Mitchell shared some of his first impressions of the device, namely he is keeping his Kindle and is not yet ready to pay for the New York Times in app form.

On the Kindle v.s. iPad: “The iPad didn’t feel especially heavy to me until I picked up my Kindle. I did notice the glare from the iPad screen, which the Kindle avoids with its E Ink interface.”

On the New York Times Editors’ Choice: “My verdict: Useful, interesting, enjoyable — but not something I’d pay for. Read more


Gizmodo: What to read on the iPad

Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo take a look at what’s available for reading material on the iPad, including comic books, e-books, Web sites and, near to the heart of Mobile Media, “news, news, news.”

There are only about 100 apps in the iPad news category so far, and many of them are aggregators, feed readers or social networks. Two dozen, more or less, are from major media outlets. Buchanan provides some early feedback from among that list:

New York Times Editor’s Choice
The app is “…kind of limited but the NYT plans to ‘keep refining and upgrading the application,’ so expect it to get richer over time. For now though, it’s free and ad-supported.”

The Wall Street Journal
“The Wall Street Journal iPad might in fact be the best of breed now, at least in terms of delivering the full content of the newspaper.”

“One of the busier news apps, navigation is dominated by sliding ‘tapes’ for topics like news, or arts & life. Read more


Digital tablets threaten yet another business model

PC World
Marvel Comics’ new iPad app, which lets readers purchase new and old issues for $1.99, has some consumers feeling overcharged and some store owners seeing the end of their business model.

The app is a free download and includes a handful of free books. But access to both new and archive editions require a $1.99 in-app payment. Jared Newman at PC World spoke to comic fans and comic store owners in a dialogue that mirrors the ongoing debate between newspaper readers and publishers:

” ‘I can get back issues from my local shop for $1,’ wrote IanX on iFanboy.com. ‘Why would I pay $2 to get them online?’ Other commenters said comics should cost less when there’s no distribution or paper cost involved. Read more

Barnes & Noble expects iPad app to launch soon

Wall Street Journal Digits
Amazon’s Kindle app launched Friday for the iPad, and Barnes & Noble expects their e-book store app to launch soon as well. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at The Wall Street Journal quotes B&N CEO William Lynch “We don’t have an exact date, but it will be there within the next two weeks. Apple certifies all apps, so it’s not totally in our control.”

Trachtenberg reports that the bookseller’s two apps for the iPhone, the Barnes & Noble eReader and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore have been downloaded a combined 1.5 million times. However, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble now face direct competition in the form of Apple’s own newly launched iBooks app and store.
Read more


New York Times aligns prices for digital editions

When distribution platforms collide, pricing structures do as well. A day in advance of the debut of Apple’s iPad, the New York Times on Friday raised the subscription rate on two of its digital reader editions. The Times E-Edition is increasing from $14.99 to $19.99 per month and the Kindle edition is increasing from $13.99 also to $19.99.

It is probably no coincidence that Amazon’s Kindle app for the iPad was released to the iTunes store yesterday, making the Times mobile site, desktop Web site and Kindle edition competing products on the iPad. This week’s alignment of prices points strongly to the New York Times full iPad app being released at the same price point in the near future.
Read more

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