How can magazines make the iPad work for them?
Okay. Here’s another prediction. Or maybe it’s an observation. If magazines are going to profit from digital readers like the iPad they’ve got to do more than just move their print issues to a different platform.
It didn’t work with the web. It won’t work with the iPad.
We’ve said it all along. Users are canny. They want new platforms to deliver new experiences. And those experiences must be better than what they can get already. They’ve got to offer value. If they don’t, only a small minority of novelty seekers will pay for them.
Evidence is rolling in that this is precisely what is happening. After an initial surge in sales, sales of iPad apps have dropped to disappointing levels.
Why? Well some of them are simply the print versions moved to the iPad. They take a long time to download, they don’t offer the same kind of layered linking that readers have become accustomed to on the web and they cost the same as the print version.
It doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. But publishers must learn lessons from these iPad trail blazers.
And surely the first of these is to do what magazines have been doing so well for years: make the content work with the platform.