Tuesday, December 30, 2008

rekindling the news biz?

This, according to Mediabistro's Mobile Blog Network: USA Today will soon be available via Amazon's Kindle for download, at a monthly price of $11.99.

Other newspapers that are Kindle-ready include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

I'm not sure how to think about this. Will this help to keep newspapers in business? Hasten their demise? I guess it all depends on how many readers -- ostensibly commuters? -- would pay to read the news on a Kindle when they can read it online on a considerably larger flat screen for free.

Intriguing. bk


Andrea said...

Judging from my unofficial observations on the always delightful San Francisco muni on my commute to work, I'd say it's a toss up. I see plenty of people who read news on their iPhones/Blackberries (yes, I'm that creeper that looks at what people are reading...) in the morning, but I also see an equal number of people reading hard copies of the WSJ, etc. And on rare occassions, I've seen the Kindle out in the "wild".

Not sure that people would pay for the USA Today subscription if they already pay for a phone service that includes access to the internet on an equally small screen. Seems like USA Today is just scrambling to capture where the eyeballs are going across all new mediums. I wonder if they will be running ads on the Kindle to support their advertising efforts as well?

Jack said...

Actually, USA Today has gotten a lot of sign-ups. They get some of the money, I believe, so it's a win-win. The only grief it's caused me is having to re-slug my stories so they're Kindle-able!

barbara kelley said...

What makes for a kindle-able slug? i'm curious. anything else have to be changed/adjusted?

Jack said...

Good question! Things like "18 BK Profile" would become 18bkprofile_ST, with no spaces, a singular case and _ST if it's a story (versus _TB for a table, etc.)