In our era of hi-tech gadgets, we enjoy everything from iPhones and iPads to wireless internet at our favorite coffee houses. There really aren’t too many places we can’t go without being able to access a social media site or look up daily news online.
Maybe that’s why Fortune’s recent article, The Future of Reading, took on the hot topic of online reading. What will happen with our publishing companies, our newspapers, and even our magazines, if you can access books through Netbooks and Tablets and look up news stories online? Would we need these hard copies, if they are just a click away? As much as I hate to say it, people would rather pay nothing for the same piece of information they can get for free….FREE is the key word.
According to the article print magazines and newspapers have both shown a decline in profits and sales over the past couple of years. As the information super highway grows bigger and stretches out to more people, will we really cease to buy The New York Times or Wall Street Journal on the sidewalk or in an airport? Is it really worth spending the cash in your pocket, when you can look it up for free?
The New York Times is fighting back by creating a “paywall” on its website. So either way people will still need to pay to access the information. And honestly, I see most other publications following in their footsteps in order to stay portable.
According to Quittner, publishing companies are not doomed to fail because people still enjoy this medium. But they wanted it delivered to them in an “exponentially more useful way.” If publishing companies start looking toward the future of how people want to receive their news, magazines and books, they could possibly have an easier transition between print and digital with the help of Tablets.
The only problem left to solve is the fight between Tablets and the Web. Will people pay for Tablets when they can get information for free on the Web? Even though Tablets are the digital version to a traditional means, it is difficult to say if this will help the publication companies.
Personally, I would hate to see the demise of the print publication world. Even though I’m considered a member of Generation Y, I believe there’s no better way to start your day than to sit down with a crisp, fresh newspaper in your hands – and coffee of course!