Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Trouble with Tablets

Five years ago, it looked like the Internet would be print media's biggest threat. Turns out, that was only the beginning.

mg_feature1_3424.jpgThis month, the tablet industry celebrates its second birthday; the iPad first went on pre-order on March 12, 2010. If you think about that, it's fairly hard to believe: After all, it's difficult to recall another technology that's grown so exponentially, moving in just two short years from completely nonexistent to a multimillion-dollar juggernaut and an all-but-omnipresent part of life.
"There's certainly been tremendous growth in the tablet realm" of late, noted Jerry Monti of the Knight Digital Media Center at UC Berkeley.
That's an understatement: As of mid-December, 10 percent of American adults owned tablet computers, according to a Pew Research Center survey; by mid-January and the end of the holiday season, that number had jumped to 19 percent — and it only stands to climb as more affordable models, like Barnes and Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle Fire, are introduced, and as technological advances enable all companies to produce tablets that are better, faster, and cheaper.
But the iPad and its imitators also have spawned a tectonic shift in the way people consume media, one that has sent shockwaves through the newspaper and bookstore industries, forcing them to adapt to a completely new, rapidly evolving medium. Because even though all surveys (and there are many) of tablet users indicate that the majority of them regularly use their devices to read, reformatting, repackaging, and, most importantly, monetizing that material can be complicated and costly — which is especially problematic as publishing houses and newspaper companies continue to be hit hard by the recession.
Full story at The East Bay Express

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