T his is downright painful to watch, but here it is anywhere. Here we have two old media types, and mean old media types, stating with confidence that "no, the iPad will not save print media".
Well, I know very few serious commentators that have said that a single device would save print media. But, come on, one of these guys, Alan Murray, represents the WSJ, a company that plans to charge iPad users more than the cost of a combined print and online edition -- and he is supposed to have a clue? The other, columnist Jon Friedman, says "If everything is free on the web, you're not going to be able to sell people an expensive app, they'll take the free stuff." Ah, Jon, who is charging for an expensive app? The WSJ. Of course, if you use Murdoch as the model, you'll say the iPad won't fix the problems of print media. But who is taking the "let's charge a fortune" crowd seriously anyway?
For a different view, digiday:DAILY's John Gaffney has an interview with National Geographic’s Paul Levine, SVP, Corporate Strategy, Development and Extended Platforms (what a title!). “We don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be in the publishing business, and yes, we’re very excited right now,” says Levine.
And, yes, the National Geographic Society already has one iPad up on iTunes, and their magazines will be available through Zinio.
Then there is the views of Salon's CEO Richard Gingras: “I’m not spending a whole lot of time thinking about it for Salon, though. I think the iPad is a fatal distraction for publishers. They have this view that it will save them and help bring back the old model. That’s not going to happen. If it becomes a more commonly used device, I could see creating something special for it. But not right now.”
Someone needs to tell Mr. Gingras that the iPad comes with a browser.