BoSacks: The Profit Prophet: The Lure of the iPad
Here is an interesting observation and a modern-age publishing dilemma. Due to print publishing's vagaries and analog necessities, this article was due to my editor four to five weeks before it would be released in Publishing Executive's print and electronic editions. I was asked to write about what publishers should be considering regarding the iPad. Basically the questions are: Where do we go from here? Should publishers be developing apps or wait till the e-smoke clears?
I found the request to be incredibly interesting on several levels. For example, advice I am writing today may be less than perfect by the time you get it compared to if you were receiving it real-time. That concept alone is worth considering as we progress from what we were to what journalism will be. In some cases and for some stories, this delayed offering of actionable advice about a young and still embryonic publishing platform might be considered problematic. In this case, offering sage recommendations that are already one month old when you read them is a fascinating analog-publishing problem, and it exemplifies the new demands and timing of our digital age.
But as a confirmed and fearless futurist, I will share my thoughts with you anyway.
As I write this, Apple announced that it sold more than 1 million iPads in its first 30 days—impressive on many levels, only one of which is that it beat the iPhone's first-30-days sales record. So, is it reasonable to expect that the numbers could easily double by the time this article is published? Let's be conservative and say that Apple will have sold 1.5 million iPads. That is a larger reader base than almost any magazine.
Why wouldn't you develop an app for a potential base readership of millions? This is not a shotgun approach to marketing your magazine. It is a focused effort to a high percentage of not only buyers, but readers.