Interesting side point from Jeff Jarvis over on Buzz Machine today, in a post counselling magazine magnates how to steer their empires through the crisis of print.
It was a warning about Steve Jobs and falling for the iPad. Sure it looks pretty, Jeff points out, but it is not the saviour of magazines.
Why it’s tempting to see the iPad as the saviour of magazines
1) they really need one
2) Steve Jobs reached out to some magazines before the launch giving the impression that the gadget was built around magazines
3) about the same size as a magazine with a beautifully visual screen, magazine pages do look great on it.
Why the iPad is not going to be the saviour of magazines
1) the platform allows magazines to drop their content straight onto a screen without having to restructure to fit the internet. Graphics that spin are nice, but it will take a significantly bigger shake-up to make them truly use the capabilities of the internet. That means more real-time content, more interaction with readers, more links, more webbiness.
2) on the iPad, magazines aren’t just competing with other magazines as they did on the newstand – they’re competing for the user’s money with films, songs, and ebooks. Oh yes, and they’re also competing with lots of free writing on the web browser of the iPad, the whole internet in fact…
3) Steve Jobs isn’t looking out for anybody except Apple. Even over relatively simple issues like magazine subscriptions, iTunes has been inflexible and difficult.
4) other iPad restrictions limit the content that can be placed in the magazines. Fashion mags like Dazed and Confused were forced to cover up model’s nipples in fashion shoots to comply with regulations about no porn in the iTunes store.