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Hoping Tablet People Pay

TWiT Kindle MoleskineBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | My Kindle, My iTouch, my Moleskine.

I LISTEN TO PEOPLE who talk about getting news they can use on their mobile screens. Anecdotally, it sounds like many of my online friends pay to get stuff on tablets.

Opening mobile revenue streams is a big challenge for content developers. Many Irish analysts figure that the print broadsheets have another eight years before their major revenue flow is via digital channels. The conclusion occurs because of the year-on-year declination of print subscription revenues.

You might think tablets' pleasure and convenience would induce people to pay for content on screen. I pay for half of the content that lands on my Kindle (sandwiched between TWiT and my Moleskine in the photo). And you might assume that advertisements delivered into tablet space, with their higher resolution and potential for greater interactivity, might be received differently than on the desktop.

But data in an October Pew report "revealed that the broadening of the tablet universe has not made people more likely to pay for content. But there did seem to be more response to advertising in this news space than in the desktop realm."

The report also revealed "certain demographic groups are more likely to respond to ads than others."

Pew's Excellence in Journalism's deeper analysis shows 300 newspapers now charging some kind of fee for digital content, proving the industry is clearly moving in this direction. The Irish Times is the third most popular Kindle subscription for all of Europe. -- "Mobile Revenue Opportunities" on December 11, 2012.

Bernie Goldbach teaches an academic module on electronic publishing in a BSc in Creative Multimedia for the Limerick School of Art and Design.