Digital Newsstand: Food for Thought for YP Industry?
The New York Times reported yesterday that four leading magazine publishers — Time, Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith — are jointly developing an “online newsstand.” The initiative has ambitions of becoming the “iTunes of magazines,” according to the article. That bit of hyperbole aside, this initiative has a central idea that makes sense for traditional media players, including Yellow Pages publishers. Compete for customer spend, but collaborate on technology initiatives where it makes sense.
From the article:
“The new magazine company would, in theory, make it easy to buy print and electronic copies of publications like The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Better Homes and Gardens from a single Web site. While mostly leaving the hardware to others, the alliance of competing publishers would develop software standards for magazine viewing on iPhones, BlackBerrys, e-book readers and other platforms, people with knowledge of the plans said.”
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This is guaranteed to fail. Standards for publishing to mobile devices already exist. If they fail to adopt those standards, they’re going to put themselves at a disadvantage behind all of the more easily accessible content from millions of other sources.
This is the type of thinking we often see from companies who over-value their own content. We see the same thing from yellow pages companies who come up with proprietary interfaces to their content with little to no success.
Coincidentally, the reCAPTCHA for this comment is “dumbness old”.
This will be for premium content and whoever doesn’t get on board will be the loser. Google and Yahoo have been robbing the publishers popup revenues for too long at the expense of their hard work. No more free-ride. Look at Viyya.com and you tell me!!!