The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment.
No, not any more. The print publishing business is going trough a difficult transition period which is not completed yet. Personally I have concluded this transition by reading newspapers only in their digital versions.
It is like this: People are not ready to pay for news on the web, and this will not change again. But we have found out that people are willing to pay for their newspaper subscriptions on their tablets. Tablets will further influence our everyday life. Soon every household will have more than one tablet. This will be normal. And these trends will strengthen newspapers.
One thing is for sure: In 20 years to come we will not have printed newspapers any more. And if, then only as luxury products that certain hotels offer their guests as an extra service. Printed newspapers will not be of common use in 20 years.
It’s an homage to the bygone era when writers like Charles Dickens published their novels in newspapers one chapter at a time before collecting the work in book form. Kindle Serials is not likely to amount to a giant revenue stream for Amazon, which will ring up more than $60 billion in sales this year. But listening to the way Bezos talks about the history of serialization, you get a glimpse of his concept of customer feedback — and how Amazon acts on it. “Even in Dickens’s day, he would take notice of the criticism of the prior installments and use it to his advantage,” he says.