Thursday, May 19, 2011

The publisher's dilemma concerning tablet editions: 'You're selling ice, and I have a refrigerator'

I received a call the other day from the local newspaper, one that, frankly, I have not subscribed to in quite a very long time. I was very nice to the telemarketer, after all, I've employed telemarketing firms in order to sell subscriptions or renew B2B trade magazine readers.
I let the salesperson finish their pitch and then gently said "you're selling ice, and I have a refrigerator."

There was silence on the other end of the phone for a second and then I continued: "I do most of my reading of the news on my computer, but if I want to spend time reading a paper, I pick up my iPad. You guys are selling a product that may still be good, but I'm not reading newspapers that way anymore."

There was silence again. Then the salesperson said "yep, me, too," and he was on to the next call.