iPad=Best Invention Ever? Can it Help Save Journalism?

The iPad may very well be THE BEST invention of all time. Mashable has even written a piece on why you need an iPad this Holiday season. Pretty much anything can be done with an iPad. It is probably the most versatile, advanced piece of technology available today. But lets move on from creating all this hype about it and get down to the nitty-gritty as to why it is so great.

In general, I think the iPad is the most awesome thing around. There are so many apps on there. “There’s an app for that” rings true with the iPad (or iPod Touch/iPhone for that matter). Hundreds of thousands from which to choose.

These thousands of apps are literally changing the way we live our lives and revolutionizing how we get our information. The news is so much more accessible now than ever. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Mashable, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, The Onion, Time, Newsweek, you name the news organization, chances are they have a mobile app. Many of these have apps specifically built for iPad.

Is it possible that the iPad is the future of journalism? Rupert Murdoch sure thinks so. It was announced that Apple and News Corp are set to launch The Daily, the first and only iPad-only newspaper.

This is a very interesting turn for journalism in the digital age. The Daily will have neither a print edition nor a website. The only way to read the paper is to download each edition. The weekly will be sold for $0.99 through the iPad app. The app will be available through the Apple app store sometime in early 2011.

It is reported that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp has hired about 100 journalists to run the “paper.” The preparation for next years launch is thought to be headed by former New York Post managing editor Jesse Angelo.

According to The Guardian, Murdoch believes the iPad will be a “game changer” with almost 40 million sold. A Guardian source said, “He envisions a world in which every family has a iPad in the home and it becomes the device from which they get their news and information. If only 5% of those 40 million subscribe to the Daily, that’s already two million customers.”

The “paper” should be fast-paced with a fun feel. The Daily will not just be a newspaper formatted for the iPad, but “will incorporate a great deal of video content and utilize the iPad’s technology in ways that no newspaper or website currently accomplishes.”

With those numbers, the outlook looks pretty good. But, Mashable poses the question “will people pay $0.99 for news they can get for free on the Web?” Many think people will cough up the money and that it in fact has the potential to save journalism.

In Mashable’s October post “Is the iPad Really the Savior of the News Paper Industry,” it reported The Wall Street Journal for iPad has been downloaded more than 650,000 times since it was launched. It also reports the number of paying subscribers is in the “thousands.

Some newspapers think the print version is a way to legitimize themselves to advertisers. This is quickly changing. Mashable also reported in the same article Financial Times deputy chief executive Ben Hughes revealed to The Guardian that, even though its app has only 400,000 subscribers, it has earned more than $1.5 million since May.

How, you ask? Advertising. A report says in-app iAds are selling for about five times as much as online ads. In addition, the click-through rate is about 15 percent higher for in-app ads compared to normal online ads.

“Jason Fulmines, director of mobile products for USA Today’s corporate parent, Gannett Co., says the newspaper is charging Marriott about $50 for every thousand times, or impressions, the ad appears. The average rate for USA Today’s regular Web site is less than $10, he said. In the printed newspaper, the cost per thousand impressions on a full-page color ad that runs nationally is $103.”

That’s outrageous! There’s a lot of money that can be made in the iAd world.

But as Mashable puts it, “2011 is going to be another interesting year for the rapidly changing world of journalism.”

Now let’s get the discussion going. What do you think about the iPad-only newspaper? Would you pay for it? What changed in journalism do you foresee in 2011?

Discuss below.

 

DISCLAIMER: Although I have been employed by Volt Technical Services as a Campus Rep for Apple, Inc., the opinions in the above post is completely my own. I was not paid by Apple or any of its affiliates to write this.

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