Thursday, March 5, 2009
Hearst Corporation to introduce large screen e-reader
Last week, Hearst Corporation, owner of many popular daily and weekly newspapers as well as magazines, announced that it will launch a large screen e-reader designed to meet the needs of publishers in the declining market. According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, the e-reader initiative is part of the company’s “100 Days of Change” program which seeks to review the longstanding newspaper business practices to define a new cost structure and business model for the future. Another article in Fortune magazine explains that the e-reader is likely to debut later this year in black and white and may even be foldable. The company plans to sell the e-readers to publishers and take a share of the revenue acquired from selling magazines and newspapers on the devices. Additionally, publishers will be able to develop their own branding and payment methods. A third article from Information Week explains that Hearst’s move into the e-reader market is definitely risky but also necessary because even if Hearst is not successful in making money at first, the experiment could eventually lead to a solution to help boost subscriptions and revenues. Michael McGuire, analyst with Gartner’s media consulting business explained, "This is absolutely the kind of thing they have to be doing – experimenting. There are no set answers anymore." The same can be said for college stores. The market is changing with technology and the future is not clearly defined but experimenting with digital initiatives on campus can help lead to a solution for the future.