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Amazon and Digital Magazines

Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

In the news: Will Amazon try to drive magazine business away from the iPad 2?

Amazon, long associated with discount books and the Kindle, is charging full speed ahead into the tablet market. In November, the online retail giant will release its answer to the iPad 2 in the form of a Kindle tablet. Like Barnes and Noble's Nook Color, the Amazon tablet will be a tablet/e-reader hybrid. Users will be able to download Kindle e-books to their devices, surf the Internet, and e-mail-all for an attractive, competitive price of about $250.

But Amazon isn't stopping with e-books. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is currently exploring its options in the magazine and newspaper industries in hopes of offering subscriptions and single copies of various publications. If successful, this venture could challenge Apple's steep publisher fees and device prices. Read more here and here.

Also Notable

Three-Dimensional Reading

Last month, Precision Media Group president and magazine industry veteran Bo Sacks discussed the new world of three-dimensional reading in our sister newsletter, Editors Only. In his article, Sacks discusses how information retrieval and the act of reading have changed. He believes that the next generation will be able to "think in 3D . . . They can be reading and clicking hither and yon, while learning and jumping from topic to topic in a system that linear people of the world can never truly understand." Read more.

This Decade in Newsstand Sales

MediaPost recently published the findings of its analysis of Audit Bureau of Circulations newsstand sales data. According to their findings, "combined newsstand sales of 68 major American magazines declined by nearly half [from $22 million to $11.5 million] between 2001 and 2011. All but ten of the magazines saw revenue declines, and the lucky ten generally saw modest growth. Perhaps most jarring, MediaPost finds that sales of many women's magazines (including Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart Living) fell by over 60 percent. Read more.

When Magazines Digitize

More and more magazines are becoming digital-only, says Matt Kinsman in a recent Foliomag.com article. Recently, Linux Journal released its final print issue in response to rising print and distribution costs. Readers of the computer industry magazine have mixed feelings. Some outright reject the abandonment of print, citing clunky formatting of PDF editions and limited value of the digital edition. Others look forward to the magazine's digital future, citing the potential for more interactive content. Read more.

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