04-15-2005, 06:43 PM
The New York Post is reporting (http://www.nypost.com/business/42637.htm) that the electronic form of the Wall Street Journal has "profit margins at least 20-fold higher than print". The publication is losing some customers, but many are moving to the less expensive online version, which is a big part of its future.
While I doubt that total profit figures of the online version are anywhere close to the overall print numbers, it is unlikely that the profit margins will be ignored.
After so many years, we finally see multiplying signs that the ebook industry is about to explode. It's about time!
(via Slashdot (http://www.slashdot.htm))
04-15-2005, 07:56 PM
I'm a WSJ subscriber at Audible.com. I listen to the Morning Edition during my 50 minute morning commute and the Weekend Edition while driving around on weekends. I listen to every single download in its entirety and find it a much more productive and informative way to spend my commute than listening to the radio. I wouldn't be able to find the time to sit down and read the same stories during the day that I hear during my commute.
We get our local Sunday paper delivered to the house (Worcester Telegram & Gazette (http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage)) which also includes Thursday's edition. My wife and I rarely read any considerable portion of the newspaper, and end up with quite a large stack of papers for the recycle bin with a lot of that being unread. The T&G has an electronic version with full content available online for subscribers, and I would really like an optimized version for my Zodiac delivered automatically every morning as well as a spoken word version to go along with my WSJ listening.
I also have noticed that my reading habits have changed: I read traditional books (hardcovers and paperbacks) as well as onscreen text/PDF's/ebooks on my desktop, laptop, and Zodiac. Reading the large format of the newspaper seems unweildy and cumbersome when compared to traditional books and electronic media.
If I was a train or bus commuter, or spent a lot of time in the air, I'd definitely go with electronic ink versions of my favorite publications if available.
If my media consumption habits aren't unique, I think this illustrates that for a lot of people, the newspaper is losing it's appeal and is a waste of paper. With the electronic versions, whether spoken word like Audible.com and podcasts or electronic text, they're more portable, convenient, in-line with people's reading habits, and environmentally friendly.
I'd really like to see a standardized e-ink newspaper format that would be ideally suited to ebook readers for PDAs, laptops, tablets and the rumored mini-tablets that are just around the corner.
I think more newpapers should follow the WSJ with different electronic versions of their publications: If they don't, I think their subscription rates as well as profits will drop. As ebooks become more mainstream (crossing fingers) I hope we'll see digital media increasingly replace traditional print media.
04-15-2005, 09:57 PM
I am a WSJ Online subscriber for two reasons:
a) it is cheaper than the print edition $79 vs. $215
b) print edition subscription is only available in the continental U.S. (in Europe, there is the WSJ Europe print which has different content)