Newspapers flubbing the tablet opportunity

Editor & Publisher ®.

Alan Mutter, one of the smarter voices on the transformation of the newspaper industry, decries the lack of good newspaper apps on the iPad. I read the New York Times on mine religiously and love it. Hate The Daily. Wish the Cape Cod Times would get on the bandwagon, but evidently News Corp’s love of the new doesn’t extend to its podunk newspapers.

The issue would appear to be no in-house experience or expertise in building an app, the expense of third-party development, and indecision over waiting for HTML 5 to transform the reading experience and give the newpaper’s designers full control.

Publishers have to start doing better, because iPad owners, who represent the vast bulk of the tablet computing market, look an awful lot like newspaper readers. 

In a study released last year, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that 90 percent of tablet owners — who are concentrated among wealthy, highly educated adults between the ages of 30 and 49 — regularly use the gizmos to consume news. Significantly, 59 percent of respondents said the tablet has taken the place of “what they used to get” from a print newspaper. 

In other words, tablet users represent not just a potentially valuable audience for publishers, but also one they can’t afford to lose. “

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

One thought on “Newspapers flubbing the tablet opportunity”

  1. David: The solution is simple. Hire a bunch of college kids from one of the top tech schools (along the lines of Carnegie Mellon). Feed them pizza and Mountain Dew and pay them a decent fee. Lock them in a room. In a few weeks they will have created something that works, that will be read by the younger generation and will vault the newspaper world into the current century.

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