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Magazine publisher, Condé Nast, is getting ready to create iPad versions for its Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Glamour magazines, according to The New York Times.

While GQ will have a tablet-friendly version ready by April, Wired's version will come in June, with the New Yorker and Glamour getting their iPad versions by summer, said an internal memorandum on Monday.

The New York-based magazine publisher is no stranger to mobile technology. GQ has an iPhone app (pictured on the left) that sold over 15,000 copies last January.
NYT reports that the company will be testing a number of pricing techniques as well as approaches to digitizing the content until the fall. Editorial director of Condé Nast, Thomas J. Wallace, told the NYT that they "need to know a little bit more about what kind of product we can make, how consumers will respond to it, what the distribution system will be."

Author

Maria Conde

Date

2010-03-02 19:20

Some predict Apple's iPad will eat up the entire e-reader market, but it may not be too late for Amazon or Sony. These e-reader makers could get a competitive edge by offering a much cheaper device and a new technological development could make this happen.

A new chip by Freescale Semiconductor Inc. could help reduce the price of e-readers to less than $150 this year, according to Bloomberg.

Glen Burchers, a marketing director for the formerly Motorola-run company, said Freescale will begin to offer samples of a new processor that takes on the functions of other chips and reduces e-reader costs.
Freescale's processor could not only take up the function of the display chip, reducing the time it takes to turn a page on the e-reader from two seconds to half a second, but could also drive the cost of these devices down.

Amazon, the reigning king of the e-reader market, currently uses Freescale's technology in its Kindle device. While Amazon's most modest e-reader sells for $259, the company's most deluxe e-reader has a pricey $489 price tag. Sony Corp.'s e-reader, which also utilizes Freescale's chips, retails for almost $200.

Author

Maria Conde

Date

2010-03-02 14:20

More details have been released about the MediaNews paywall plans, which will charge for investigations and analysis but not for breaking news, Poynter Online reports.

Vice president for content development Howard Saltz said that investigations, enterprise, analysis, columns and reviews will be behind the paywall. "The kind of content that goes behind a wall is the kind of content that paid, professional journalists do," he told Poynter, "the kinds of things that you really couldn't count on bloggers and Web enthusiasts to do."

Articles will be free if it's necessary to remain competitive with other news sources, including breaking news and multimedia, he said.
These are just guidelines, though, and many of the final decisions will be left to editors. "If someone robbed a bank, that's in front of the wall," Saltz said. "The story of how bank robberies increase when the economy goes bad, behind the wall."

Author

Elizabeth Redman

Date

2010-02-12 17:49

French daily newspaper Le Figaro has announced details of its plans to charge for online content, offering three different tiers of subscriptions.

The three levels will be called Connect, Select and Business. Connect is a free subscription that allows access to free email newsletters with general, cultural and financial news. It also enables users to comment on articles and create a personalised front page.

Select also offers these features, and in addition, it includes more in-depth news, and specialist reporting on politics, culture, and international news. It features a selection of articles from The New York Times translated into French, access to the digital edition of the newspaper from 3am, 30 archived articles a month, and access to networks of other subscribers with common interests. Subscribers can publish their own articles and ask questions directly to Le Figaro's journalists about a particular theme of the news. All of this will cost subscribers €8 a month, with the first month free.

The third level, Business, gives subscribers access to everything included in Select, but with 90 archived articles a month instead of 30. It will also add a morning and afternoon economics newsletter, as well as news about business and management, a business-focused social network, and a concierge service for restaurant and travel bookings. It will cost €15 a month.

Author

Elizabeth Redman

Date

2010-02-11 18:51

German publisher Axel Springer has made good on its promises and put up online paywalls for two of its German newspapers, Paid Content reports.

Two of its newspapers, the Berliner Morgenpost and the Hamburger Abendblatt, are now charging for online content. It now costs €4.95 a month for access to all content on morgenpost.de. By contrast, abendblatt.de has a mixture of free and premium content, with a premium subscription priced at €7.95 a month. It appears to charge extra for content specific to the Hamburg region while providing national news for free. Subscriptions for both sites are renewed on a monthly basis.
The company revealed plans to charge for online content in December last year. At the time, Springer's head of public affairs Christoph Keese said: "The meta-philosophy of free - we should get rid of this philosophy. A highly industrialized world cannot survive on rumours. It needs quality journalism, and that costs money."

Author

Elizabeth Redman

Date

2010-02-08 13:40

In what seems to be the latest move in the battle of the e-readers, Amazon has acquired Touchco, a start-up based in New York that specializes in touch screen technology, to possibly update its Kindle e-reader so it can better compete with Apple's iPad.

The New York Times reports that Amazon will merge Touchco's technology and staff members into its Kindle hardware division, Lab126, based in Cupertino, California, a source briefed on the deal said on Wednesday.
The Kindle, with its slow-to-load, black and white display, could receive a much-needed facelift with Touchco's flexible and multitouch technology. Touchco, which began as a project at the Media Research Lab at New York University, had roughly six employees and had not yet turned its scientific know-how into a commercial product before Amazon bought it, says the NYT. However, Touchco's technology is quite promising because it can deliver a color touch screen that can detect different kinds of pressure and an unlimited number of touch points. But, the best part of the deal by far is its cost - Touchco can produce a touch screen with all of these capabilities at a considerably lower price than the ones Apple used on the iPad and the iPhone.

Author

Maria Conde

Date

2010-02-04 15:25

The New York Times has gained another 1100 subscribers in the San Francisco Bay Area after launching a local section for the area last autumn, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

A senior Times executive, Jim Schachter, told the Business Times that it wasn't just subscriptions that have risen. "Single-copy sales are up too," he said. "We're delighted at the reception we're getting from Bay Area readers for the pages that Felicity Barringer is editing, and for our Bay Area blog." San Francisco-based technology reporters also write for the paper's business section.
The Times previously had around 40,000 daily subscribers in the region, but has picked up the extra numbers since it introduced the Bay Area Report section in mid-October.

The section was designed to test the advertising market in San Francisco and to raise readership numbers. No word on advertising yet, but it's clear that the paper has been successful in increasing circulation.

Author

Elizabeth Redman

Date

2010-02-01 12:23

Nieman Lab's Johnathan Stray has created a paywall calculator, Paywall!, that aims to juggle the different factors that could go into building a paywall and find the best combination that could generate maximum revenue. He takes the New York Times' proposed payment model as a basis: a certain number of articles per month can be viewed free, and after that readers will be asked to subscribe.

"The key to paywall revenue projections is to understand how different portions of the audience are affected differently," says Stray, and his model breaks the audience into five groups based on their number of page views per month: fly-by, occasional, weekly, daily, loyal. Depending on how many articles are offered free, it is unlikely that a huge number of visitors will be affected by a paywall, Stray points out, but the ones that will be are the loyal readers. According to Stray's tests using different scenarios fed into the calculator, "a tuned paywall can make money for a large free site, but the details matter greatly. Reader reaction is key; small variations in response have big effects on net revenue." There is clearly no sure way to say whether or not a paywall will work: it will always be a gamble.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-01-27 12:23

How do non-profit news organisations pay their bills? The Texas Tribune had a fundraising goal for 2009 of $3.5 million, and managed to end the year with close to $4 million. In a note on the Tribune's website, chairman John Thornton has explained where the money is coming from.

First, it's helpful if the co-founder has deep pockets, or if someone else who does is prepared to chip in. Thornton and his wife contributed $1 million to the Tribune, and financier T. Boone Pickens has donated $150,000. Foundations have also helped out to the tune of around $1.1 million, including a total of $750,000 in grants from the Houston Endowment and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Next, membership is a key source of support. The Tribune has 1500 members, and each one has contributed between $50 and $5,000, with an average donation of $98: this works out to around $147,000. "Membership is perhaps our most important revenue line," Thornton writes, "both because of the dollars attached and because this is how we will demonstrate the breadth of our support to our prospective sources of equity."

Author

Elizabeth Redman

Date

2010-01-26 18:45

The Financial Times (FT) will launch a new mobile app for Blackberry in the first half of this year, and an app for Android is in the works, managing director of FT.com Rob Grimshaw told Journalism.co.uk.

The FT recently launched a series of travel guide iPhone apps. And the paper already has an iPhone app, which has been downloaded 200,000 times, but has rejected charging for the app. "The fact is you only get one hit from that and then after that the revenue stream dries up," Grimshaw said. "We thought it would be much more sensible and favourable to make it part of the subscription model."

The subscription model has been successful for the paper, which now makes more from content revenue than from advertising.

Non-subscribers can download the app for free but are limited to reading three articles per month. Grimshaw said that the newspaper receives new subscribers every week who wanted the app, adding that a feature may be introduced which allows users to subscribe via mobile.

Author

Elizabeth Redman

Date

2010-01-22 18:49

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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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