Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The future of print

New technologies are constantly appearing, the way we digest information is always changing, and we are always seeking new and exciting ways to view media. Through it all thought, print still persists. It's impossible to talk about the (potential) death of print without mentioning the two primary threats - the Kindle and the iPad. The kindle is light, has great battery life, and uses a new technology known as e-Ink. e-Ink means no more eye strain when reading a screen, due to the screen only refreshing when a page is loaded. The iPad offers a great reading experience with rich media, and a store right on the device itself, so consumers need never go out of their way to get a book again. What prof is there proof is there that these devises are having an impact on printed media? Aside from many big names in publishing scrambling to get onboard before their savings dry up, Borders has already fallen. A massive book retailer fell to it's knees only after the birth of the two devices.

Due to print being so expensive and comparatively less accessible (having to go to a book shop or newsagent) its no wonder people are finding it cheaper to find digital copies. But will the iPad and Kindle be able to flourish as distributors of digital content? With the explosion of the web, most people will pay very little, if anything, for content. News is free online, and so why should people pay on the iPad? If there is no revenue coming in, people will forget about these digital copies which slide off the front page of the App store of Kindle Marketplace - but people will still see a newspaper at their local news stand, or pick one up while they wait for their coffee.

We are at a point where the iPad and Kindle are a relatively new category, with a long way to go. There is a lot of excitement, but it's hard to tell at this stage if the glow will wear off, and people will go back to the never failing, always charged, printed copy.

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