I ran across this interesting article by TIME that’s titled, The Race For a Better Read, where the author posits about the uncertain future of journalism.
The theory is that if a spectacular device were ever developed that would make online content look better than paper and worthy to purchase, people would go for it. [Really?]
There are very few online magazines that make you pay for their content. The Wall Street Journal is one of them. I’ve always come to expect to read online content for free but the thinking on that is clearly changing.
So, it seems that online media is looking at the e-device or something similar as a life boat for paid content via the Kindle or something like it that makes online content look sexier than paper. I’m not convinced that it will help all that much when you take into account the prohibitive cost for such a device. I understand, you gotta look at what’s out there.
However, it will be difficult to get a consumer like me to purchase online content after years of reading it for free. It’s not our fault that the newspaper business decided to rely heavily on advertisers for revenue and not readers. Once you offer something for free, uh, it’s kind of hard to revert back. But in any case, the race is on to find the perfect device where paid content is worthy on your e-reader, laptop, whatever.
The article goes on to highlight and discuss the many exciting new e-devices out on the market today and what’s coming soon like Plastic Logic and Amazon’s Kindle version 2.0 (which surprisingly has a sleeker design). But what really caught my eye in the article was this rumor about Apple:
Might Apple be able to work the same magic for the publishing industry? Jobs once said he had no interest in creating an e-reader — “People don’t read” — but Apple is rumored to be working on an iPod Touch-like device with a 7-in. or 9-in. (18 cm or 23 cm) screen, big enough to comfortably read.
Is it true, is it true? I’d buy it. Without thinking twice.