gil asakawa | media stuff

Asian American writer, journalist, blogger, online content ninja, Social Media and SEO expert, movies & music fan, guitar player, cat owner, retired artist and King of the Grill.

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E-readers & tablet ownership doubled past month -- what it means for newspapers

The Denver Post is smart — they’re publishing an ebook (with a print edition available on demand) of the Broncos and Tim Tebow’s remarkable NFL season. The e-edition is $4.99 and the dead-tree version is $19.99. The CU Independent, the student-run news website for which I serve as the staff adviser, is also compiling an ebook. Both the Post and the CUI are working with Book Brewer, the company launched by the above article’s author, Dan Pacheco.

Study: 79% of consumers want tablets over laptops for the holidays

Which would you prefer?

Pew: E-reader ownership doubles in six months while tablet use grows more slowly

When I was at MediaNews negotiating with e-reader manufacturers to get our newspapers on their devices, without fail all were optimistic that the coming onslaught of tablets wouldn’t kill off e-reader adoption. They were right. Maybe it’s the price point, but people seem to like single-use dedicated devices for reading.

An interesting note at the end of the survey article: “…this survey marks the first time that laptop computers are as popular as desktop computers among U.S. adults.”

Rupert Murdoch’s iPad news app, The Daily, was presaged 17 years ago by then-Knight-Ridder’s Roger Fidler, a brilliant news media futurist who ran a new media think-tank lab in Boulder in 1994, when this video was created (Knight-Ridder at the time owned the Boulder Daily Camera, which has changed hands a couple of time since).

Check out the tablet computer that’s demoed in the video. Everything Fidler predicted has come true, though he thought it would all happen around “the turn of the century.” It’s worth taking the 13 minutes to watch this.

Here’s the link since Tumblr doesn’t seem to like the embed code much.

Are tablets and mobile phones changing the way we read online content in general?

It makes sense. Reading in the analog days used to be a function of sitting where you’re comfy and have the right light, whether it’s in a favorite chair or the library or in bed. But our reading changed when we became anchored to our desktop computers. Laptops made us a little more mobile, and wifi helped too. But now with mobile phones and tablets, Read It Later finds that people are changing their reading habits and “time-shifting” content to read when it’s convenient for us. In a way, the iPad is allowing people to return to the days of yore, and curl up with their “magazine” in bed, or their “newspaper” with their morning coffee. 

What do you think?

Isn't it a little too early to talk about tablets replacing newspapers?

Not that I think newspapers ar gonna stick around forever. It just seems a little premature to double down on tablets as THE future. What about mobile phones? What about that oh-so-1990s convention, the website? I feel like the Web still has some innovation left in it for news media.

Forrester: Tablet sales will double this year, and 1/3 of US online consumers will use tablets by 2015

Could this be a fundamental shift like the one started by Apple’s launch of the original iPod?

Are other tablets besides the iPad doomed to fail because the market for tablets is too limited?’s Marco Ament (founder of Instapaper and former lead developer for Tumblr) brings up an interesting point. Take away the iPad, and the mainstream consumer market for a tablet computer may not be that big. 

eMarketer report predicts tablet sales will quadruple by 2012 with iPads in the lead

I expect to have a tablet by the end of 2011, though I’m not so sure it’ll be an iPad. Deep down, I want HP to come up with a killer tablet using the former Palm OS. Or maybe I’ll pick up one of the dozen or more Android or Windows 7 tablets about to hit the market. Or maybe I’ll opt for the iPad 2, due in February. How about you?

75% of iPad owners spend 35 minutes per day reading news

That’s certainly good news for news companies, though without serious monetization iPads (and other tablets) aren’t going to save the media industry. I spose if I had an iPad I’d blow off work and read news throughout the day too. Oh wait, I already do that, on a laptop.