Death of Print

May 5, 2010
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Lately with the sudden boom of e-book readers such as the Kindle and now the iPad, people have become increasingly convinced that this new technology will be the downfall of print media.

Newspapers will be the ones who will decline the most. In a digital format, they are much more interactive and just a better experience all around for users. Newspapers are also losing a great deal of revenue because of their own websites, which in most cases provide the same content, faster, and for free or cheaper. On the other hand, this can sometimes benefit these newspaper agencies as well, because it saves them the cost for paper and ink, which is why the online content is often cheaper.

Magazines are also suffering, but I don’t believe they will decline to the extent that newspapers are because they are specifically tailored to people’s interests and most times cannot be reproduced digitally in the same quality, especially photography. Not only that, if magazines were to go digital they would never be able to create a system where they got the same amount of revenue because advertisers simply will not pay the same amount for the impact of a full glossy ad and a couple mouse clicks. Magazines can be easily replaced by blogs, and blogs written by people with a genuine interest in a certain subject, in some ways can be more rewarding to read.

Books are another concern. Yes, I do believe that this era will be the death of the newspaper, but I think books are in a special niche of their own and although these technology-savvy e-book readers are interesting to use, none of them can really compare to the feel of reading a real book. As an owner of a Kindle myself, I do agree that the Kindle is an amazing experience to read from, and the books are much cheaper, but there are still some problems that need to be worked out such as the lack of ability to turn to a certain page rather than figure out the percentage of the book you want to get to. The Kindle especially is becoming even more competitive, by offering the ability to install Kindle applications on the iPhone and Blackberry as well as on Window computers and Mac computers which means that you can read your Kindle with basically any piece of technology. This also opens the Kindle experience to people who are reluctant to buy a Kindle or just doesn’t have one. Another problem is that the digitization of books can go several ways. It can go the “Apple” way or the way music did, with a huge piracy problem but fortunately the industry has learned from the mistakes previously made in the music industry, and has the appropriate measures set up so that people cannot pirate ebooks. However, at one point or another people will be able to find a way to pirate these books as ebooks gain popularity, which will kill that industry altogether.

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