WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 26.10.2014


Kindle

This should be boom time for the e-reader.

The end of 2012 saw a glut of new 'front-lit' e-readers Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Glowlight and the Kobo Glo. All of these devices offer touch screens, Wifi (some even 3G) and a new  technology that projects light from the side or top of the screen, avoiding backlighting to simulate a less obtrusive ambient light.

Yet in his outlook on 2013, Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) mentions in passing that tablets are "gradually replacing another device: the dedicated e-reader".

And Pew research supports this: while e-book or e-reader sales continue to grow, moving from 10% to 19% market penetration in the US between December 2011 and November 2012, tablet penetration increased from 10% to 25% in the same period.

So is Mossberg's statement true? Just as the e-reader evolves, the tablet has usurped it?

Author

Nick Tjaardstra's picture

Nick Tjaardstra

Date

2013-01-02 12:00

Could there be new hope for print newspaper lovers? Consumer electronics company LG will launch a plastic electronic paper display (EPD) in Europe this April, Mashable reported.

The EPD is 6 inches in size, 0.7 mm thick, scratch-resistant and has a resolution of 1024 x 768, the article said. And, unlike technologies that use glass screens, such as tablets and e-books, LG's e-paper can be bent up to 40 degrees from the center, the article said.

According to Extreme Tech, the display uses e-ink, the technology used in e-readers such as Kindle and Nook. Using e-ink is especially beneficial to manufacturers, the article said.

“Unlike flexible OLED displays, which have been around for a while, e-ink displays are cheap to produce and can run for months on a small battery,” the article said.

ComputerWorld reported in November that both LG and Samsung debuted prototypes of flexible displays at an FPD International event in Japan. While LG’s e-paper used e-ink, which relies on surrounding light, Samsung’s version used OLED, a technology in which pixels generate light when charged, the article said.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-03-29 17:03

USA Today is the latest paper to launch an app specifically for the Kindle Fire, Amazon's Android-powered tablet device that was launched at the end of September. The paper already has a general Android application for tablets, but seems to have deemed the device important enough to target directly.

The app features "a custom look and design specifically for the tablet" and provides "a convenient interactive package designed to take advantage of Kindle Fire's seven inch color touch screen," according to a press release from USA Today. The Fire runs on an older version of the Android OS than many new devices and has a very different user interface.

The app is available in Amazon's app store, which also boasts a Wall Street Journal Fire-specific app, as well as some Condé Nast titles. The Kindle Fire is already the second most popular tablet after the iPad and was projected to see a 13.8% market share in the last quarter of 2011, reported paidContent in December.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-05 11:52

On Monday, Amazon announced that John Locke became the first independent author to join the ranks of those who have sold a million or more books on Amazon's Kindle. Locke published his books entirely through Amazon's self-publishing system, selling his action and adventure stories for 99 cents.

Noting the business opportunity that a 35-cent profit margin on every 99-cent provided, Locke said he "set a goal to become the world's greatest 99-cent author."

Kindle's self-publishing model has been praised for freeing authors from dependence on third-party deals, but that is not the only publishing opportunity it provides. It also promotes shorter reading material, as many readers are more likely to turn to shorter stories over novels to avoid staring at a small screen for hours at a time. This is good news for long form journalism, which does not always find its place in digital news.

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-06-21 14:01

Poynter's Damon Kiesow presented some convincing arguments why the publishing industry should consider following Amazon's example and look into selling subsidised tablet devices. Amazon announced this week that it would start selling a new version of Kindle for $114, which is $25 less than the cheapest Kindle currently available. (There is no word when the new version will arrive in Europe or what its price will be.) The catch is that the new Kindle displays ads as screensavers and as banners on the home screen.

The general opinion seems to be that the $25 reduction is not enough to justify the ads, as CNN reported, but Kiesow believes that the model of selling subsidised tablets could nevertheless work for newspapers. He argued that the average newspaper gets its profit from advertising revenues anyway, as production and circulation costs are usually higher than the subscription revenues. Thus, selling tablet devices below costs with long-term subscriptions would not differ considerably from the current revenue model of most newspapers.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-04-14 18:06

Perhaps it's not that people have shorter attention spans, it could be a problem with platforms. That's the argument made by The New York Times upon the announcement of Amazon's January launch of Kindle Singles, a series of one-off essays and short stories priced between $1 and $5 that you can download to the device or to smart phones, or sometimes find online from the respective content provider for free. This new series is Amazon's attempt to bridge the gap between books and long-format magazines in print with digital content that is actually palatable to read.

The point, duly noted if not emphasized enough, is that books do not always translate to readability in pixilation because of discomfort with reading small fonts on a small screen for hours and hours at a time. Amazon and other companies are responding to this sentiment by starting to publish content that is potentially more appropriate to the platform of handheld devices for the consumer: digital pamphlets ranging between 10,000 to 30,000 words long, in page length between 30 to 90, which, according to Amazon's press release, could be "twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book," and are priced much less than standard books.

Author

Ashley Stepanek

Date

2011-02-16 18:22

Amazon presented today the update for its Kindle for Android app, allowing readers to access more than 100 and magazines, Editor & Publisher revealed.

"Amazon has long offered access to newspaper and magazine content via its Kindle hardware devices, but this is the first time that functionality has been extended to third-party gadgets," explained Mashable.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-12-20 10:54

Amazon announced on Monday that it would give publishers as much as 70 percent of the revenues it collects from selling newspapers and magazines through its Kindle store, The New York Times reported.

The royalty increase will take effect on December 1 and will be calculated on the retail price minus the delivery costs, The Associated Press reported. However, to qualify for it, "publications must be able to be read on all Kindle devices and applications built for devices such as Apple's iPhone and the Blackberry," Agence France-Presse explained.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-11-10 11:11

Figures on readership behind the Times and Sunday Times digital paywalls have finally been released. 105,000 people have made some digital purchase, and about half of these are monthly subscribers to one of the digital editions: the websites or the Times iPad app or Kindle edition. "Many of the rest" said the press release "are either single copy or pay-as-you-go customers."

100,000 more print subscribers have activated their digital accounts either to the websites and/or iPad apps and the press release therefore concludes that the total paid digital audience is "close to 200,000." James Murdoch, News Corp's chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia said that this means that the "total paid circulation of The Times has grown."

The two papers went behind an online paywall in July, and introduced a subscription-based iPad app. Online access costs £1 a day or £2 a week, and the iPad app costs £9.99 a month. It is a straightforward, complete paywall, compared to metered models which are more flexible.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-11-02 13:29

PaidContent.org revealed that Amazon will soon be allowing all newspaper and magazine subscriptions bought for the Kindle to be accessed on any digital platform that runs Kindle apps.

According to paidContent.org, the new feature is scheduled to start within the next few weeks and will work on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, with Android apps planned for "down the road." For the time being, publications purchased on the Kindle can only be read using the device.

It makes sense for readers and for Amazon, says paidContent's Stacy Kramer, but does it makes sense for publishers, she asks? The new feature may not be the best idea for those already selling their own multi-platform subscriptions or who want to control their brands on other devices. The Wall Street Journal will not partake in the digital content exchange, and The New York Times has been less than forthright about its plans for being included, saying "We'll be announcing our bundle details when we launch the details of our paid model."

Author

Grace Donoso

Date

2010-10-26 10:41

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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