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Tablets and newspapers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    For those with an iPad or an Android tablet, how many of you subscribe to digital editions? There are three that I would consider, the NY Times, The Economist, and Foreign Policy.
  2. gloves28

    gloves28 New Member

    That's a good question. I'm going to be one of the people at my paper responsible for having a tablet. Might be good to know what apps and what subscriptions are worth having...
  3. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Does anyone still read The Daily?
  4. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    I get the Wall Street Journal and a couple magazines on multiple tablet platforms. They work pretty well.
  5. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I've got NYT on my iPad2. Works great.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'm dredging this thread up for the dead because I bought a Kindle a few weeks ago. And I have to say: I have no idea why anybody would subscribe to a print newspaper, so long as it's offered on a tablet.

    A month ago, I took three newspapers at my house, the New York Times, the local metro, and the local suburban. Monthly cost: About $110. Now, I've switched my NYT and metro subscriptions to the Kindle, and added the Wall Street Journal (which I may eventually drop, depending on how much I read it). Monthly cost: About $60.

    Before, the amount of clutter generated by my newspaper subscriptions was immeasurable. Now, I just get one paper, the suburban, and it's very manageable. My papers are delivered to the Kindle each morning by the time I wake up, a few minutes after 4. I scan the metro sports section at home before I head out the door, and I read the NYT on my train ride into the city.

    I have also subscribed to Slate, the New Yorker, the New Republic, and The Atlantic on the Kindle, and plan to let my print subscriptions lapse when the time comes. The New Yorker is in my Kindle every Sunday night, like clockwork. This week, I read the lengthy Amy Bishop piece by the time I got to work on Monday, as well as the Talk of the Town pieces. My print magazine, by comparison, arrived yesterday. Wednesday.

    I don't see why anyone who consumes newspapers for current events coverage, rather than clipping coupons, would continue to receive a print product rather than a tablet. I don't. I don't know why anyone would subscribe to the print New Yorker. (I understand other magazines, like GQ, Esquire, Real Simple, and Sports Illustrated, which are very visual products, for which print remains a preferred format.)

    If I were running a newspaper, I would seriously start working feverishly to figure out how to generate enough revenue via tablet subscriptions to bring the print product to an end within the next few years. It's a relic. It's obsolete. I honestly feel that way after a few weeks with a Kindle, and I never thought I'd join that group.
  7. I agree with you, Dick. I tell people all the time that I read more newspapers and magazines on my iPad than I ever did in print. I get the New York Times, my local paper and USA Today on my tablet and read all three regularly (the NYT by far the most, though, because it has my favorite app of the three). Then I subscribe to SI, The New Yorker, Wired and Time on the tablet. The only magazine I still read in print is Esquire, and that's only because I got a two-year subscription for something like $12, where one year on the tablet was $20. Like you, the convenience factor is the biggest lure by far. I can take all those magazines with me without cluttering my bag, and it's by far more comfortable to read magazines like the New Yorker on the tablet than in the magazine (print is bigger, the bright screen makes reading in any light easy). I still get print editions of most of those mags because it's often cheaper to get the print subscription with the digital edition attached, but I give print versions to friends as soon as they come in. I'm sure the traditionalists are out there, but the tablet world has completely won me over.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Fletch, your post makes me think of a couple other advantages:

    * Reading in the dark. I have an infant child who sleeps in our room right now, as well as a wife who sometimes falls asleep before I do. It's great for not waking people up.

    * The comfort factor. I'm a train commuter, and I can read the Kindle standing up, sitting down, etc., etc. Whether I get a seat or not is no longer of any consequence regarding reading. Same thing in my everyday life. I can use one hand to continue reading the paper or magazine a book while getting something to drink, holding my children and so forth.
  9. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    A hike in tablet usage also makes the idea of an afternoon "newspaper," once thought to be a relic, realistic again.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Good point. I wonder who will do it first. Might be a great opportunity for USA Today to differentiate itself from the other two national dailies.
  11. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    The big concern for newspapers is when tablet prices become low enough that everyone has one. We're not quite there yet. Heck, smartphones wouldn't be as widespread as they are if carriers didn't subsidize them with discounts like they do. If we had to pay the true price for our phones, about half the people who have them couldn't afford them. Instead, we pay less for the phone and get locked into a monthly contract in exchange.

    If the prices fall a little more, which they're bound to do in the next few years, or if a company decides to start subsidizing the cost somehow (discounted/free device with a 2-year subscription to a newspaper or something similar), print is screwed (a frightening prospect for me). Heck, I'm surprised Amazon hasn't come up with a premium Prime service where you pay more for the subscription but get a cheaper Kindle and a few exclusive discounts or services as part of the deal.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    My Kindle will pay for itself in like two months because of the money I save just on newspaper subscriptions.
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