Apple’s real iPad focus: TV

Steven Colbert with an iPad.The iPad may have been sold to the world as the device that will save publishing, but Apple has shown its real focus now that we’re just weeks away from release. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple put the publishing content on the “backburner in favor of focusing on other content,” like a subscription-based television service.

Apple wants to make a sort of “best of TV” bundle available for a subscription fee, as well as offering episodic downloads for a dollar. Content providers have been wary of making any deals, likely because they’re afraid of getting burned like the music industry. Now that we’re years into the digital music business we can see that things haven’t been all bad for the labels, but there are probably some things they wouldn’t have agreed to if given the chance again.

It’s looking unlikely that we’ll see anything by the time the iPad launches, which leaves Apple in a position it knows well – using sales figures to produce contracts. The iPad has already had some nice presale figures. Once version 2.0 rolls out you can bet we’ll see more widespread adoption.

Print industry collaborates for “Hulu for magazines”

Print ain't dead.The magazine industry has finally announced what people have speculated for months now: several publishers will collaborate to introduce a digital format for existing print magazines. The project includes Time Warner, Hearst, Meredith, Condé Nast, and News Corp. and will exist as its own entity, replete with a full corporate infrastructure, including a new CEO.

The most glaring problem with this plan is distribution. The unnamed venture hopes to control publishing, something neither Amazon or Apple can possibly like. This new venture has to keep both those companies in mind as it’s their devices this media will release to.

And then there’s the issue of value. Are people really going to pay for this kind of content? I’d say it’s doubtful at best, and the odds go down if it can’t be tied into an existing Amazon or iTunes account. I’d say the target for this sort of project already has their online subscriptions to sites that offer high value per dollar. Can the same be said for a digital version of Condé Nast Travel? I don’t think so.

Source: All Things D