Friday, May 28, 2010

iPad won't be print media’s silver bullet

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The iPad won’t be the ‘silver bullet’ traditional news media was hoping for, according to a major new study* by analyst firm Ovum.

Despite forecasting a ‘gold-rush effect’ that will see the total value of downloaded applications on the iPad hitting $68.8 million this year and $511.8 million in 2011, Ovum believes Apple’s much-hyped tablet device alone will fail to secure the future of news and magazine publishing.

By way of contrast, Ovum has forecast that the global mobile applications market will be worth $5.7 billion by 2014, with total paid downloads of 3.3 billion applications.

Ovum’s research indicates that volumes of the iPad will take time to build. In addition, the tablet media market will soon become as congested as the smartphone app store market.

Adrian Drury, Ovum’s principal media and broadcasting analyst and report co-author, said: “The iPad promise is a set of new distribution channels for packaged media, but it is one device and volumes will take time to build. Traditional publishing’s challenge to find a new and sustainable business model is immediate.”

He added: “Previous attempts at defining this fourth screen product category have so far failed. Apple, however, is doing more than just selling a hardware platform; it is also leveraging the content and the volume of pre-existing iPhone applications (most of which will run on the iPad) to demonstrate the utility of this form factor. Apple needs the content ecosystem to drive mass-market appeal.

“The iPad and the tablet product category are a revenue opportunity and a showcase for the future of packaged media. However, this new fourth screen does not alone represent the silver bullet for the news and magazine industry.”

Ovum forecasts total shipments of Apple’s iPad to reach 13.2 million by end of 2011 (by comparison, Apple shipped 25 million iPhones in 2009 alone).

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