MediaIDEAS Co-Founder Speaks About Today’s Publishing Challenges and Tomorrow’s Technology
INBOX: What is your hope for the company both short and long term?
SACKS: It seems to me and many others we have interviewed that there seems to be a lack of resources in this industry to support publishers in their quest to remain relevant. We hear a lot of doom, but nothing constructive to guide publishers towards sustainable success. This is what we want to offer. Over time, we will be organizing technology and publishing conferences, with the same focus, where publishers can experience the available solutions and options, and discuss those coming quickly around the corner.
INBOX: What is the question you are hearing asked most frequently by publishers today?
SACKS: The main question I hear is “What will a magazine become?” which brings me full-circle to the release of our first Th(ink) Note, “What exactly is a magazine?” (http://www.media-ideas.net).
INBOX: You’ve been known to frequently tout the potential of e-paper. When do you see it becoming a mainstream method of distribution for publishers, and have there been any recent developments you view as significant?
SACKS: Yes, I believe that e-paper will be the next trigger mechanism that will complete the first digital information revolution that we have been experiencing for the last 12 years. After the successful introduction of inexpensive, wifi-connected, commercial e-paper, publishing technological growth won’t end there, but it will most likely plateau for a short period.
The most recent developments of some forms of e-paper [are] that they will use print-derived manufacturing technologies, such as ink jet printing and screen printing, which will allow these displays to be produced cheaply and in very large volume [with a] projected global production of 500 million units per annum in 2015 [and] a unit price of less than $50.
Currently, there is a program offered by Les Echos, a French financial newspaper, that allows a new subscriber to receive an Irex Iliad (a current e-paper device) with wifi connectivity, from which all stories are fed wirelessly throughout the day.