Tablet PC and the future of newspapers and magazines

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Tech fanatics and bloggers were quick to herald the introduction of tablet PC's as the next big thing since sliced bread. The media hype that followed was enough to send jitters down the spine of newspaper and magazine publishers. Sadly, the skyrocketing popularity of Slate PC's coincided with an ad recession that saw small time newspapers and magazines close shop. The new buzz word became apps and if you didn't own one, you were doomed in the future.

As it turns out, all these fears were unfounded. In general, there has been a decline in sale of subscription newspapers and magazines; but not due to Tablet Computers. According to analysts, reduction in newspaper sale was more as a result of the economic recession than technological revolution. In fact, the economic recovery has brought back advertisers and print sales have begun to stabilize.

The reason for the turnaround is simple to explain. The popularity of Tablet Computers and Smartphone's is not driven by news. Hard news falls behind games, music, movies, books and other entertainment applications found on these devices. Hence, most of the news content that is sampled on slates and Smartphone's is also read on print. As a matter of fact, many people use tablet computer news applications to supplement rather than replace their main news sources.

Initial reactions to Tablet Computers among publishers were varied. Some were quick to commission for news applications and immediately set up digital divisions. Others took a watch and wait approach, while the rest brushed off the threat. The first batch is probably the most frustrated currently since they are seeing no immediate returns. Most slate users do not find it necessary to pay for online news content. The figures for development and subscription of news applications are also quite prohibitive.

All in all, no forward-looking company can ignore the ever-growing tablet computer apps market. Currently, there are more than half a million apps in the market with three percent representing news companies. Albeit there is no particular rush for newspapers and magazines to join the apps market, the option should still be kept open. It is important for newspaper and magazine publishers to study the tablet consumer market before investing in apps. As such, they will be able to reinvent themselves online and not simply replicate what others are doing.

Tablet computers have become all the rage since they were introduced in the market a couple of years back. Many people thought that newspapers and magazines had been relegated to the deathbed. Contrary to this, publishers are witnessing substantial returns from sales and advertisement. However, many publishers have also taken note of the potential in the tablet computers apps market and joined the fray.




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