Why Can't We Get Our Digital Act Together?
This Apple thing is a mess that never needed to happen. Why, oh why, can't publishers play in the same sand box without kicking, screaming and playing king of the pitiful sand castle? Other industries manage to play together, but the intelligentsia, oh no, not us.
We have had years to get our digital act together. What is so hard about developing a sensible digital newsstand that we can all live with? There are many models that are near working order, or if not so near, at least workable enough to devise a fair and profitable business model. The Zinio newsstand is a workable model. Perfect? No. Workable? Of course! And, yes, they charge money, too. But not like the usury rates that Apple is now demanding. But that is another story, and I am on the hunt for easier meat in this rant.
Where the heck is Next Issue Media? Where is publishing's big time, mega-corporation, white knight on a golden charger come to save the day? I'll tell you where it is ... nowhere in sight. Not a glimmer, not a whisper, not even an occasional memo that all will be well, and we will be seeing you all real soon. Nada, nothing, nicht and nein.
What a huge disappointment this is to me. I actually bought into the old hype, hmmmm, about two years ago. Let's think about that for a second. Would that be a full year before the Apple sortie into our businesses? Why, yes, I believe it would be. I'm a humble man, but I could have done it in a year with half the resources now expended. If not me, then two dozen other sensible and reliable men and woman I know in this forlorn industry.
I have said for years that if we as an industry don't figure this out, some else will. Well, guess what? Someone else did. I have come to believe that as an industry we are getting what we truly deserve—our butts kicked—eventual possible irrelevance, due to greed, lack of attention to detail, and—I still can't believe it—hubris in upper management.