But as I've mooted in an earlier blog the days of printed newspapers are numbered and research in the US suggests that day is closer than many anticipated. The way forward for US newspapers (at least them first, UK rags are likely to be very close behind) is electronic - not the blog length teaser articles we all dip into these days, but electronic newspapers with full length articles and interactive content bought through a subscription. Take up isn't great at the moment, but at least one newspaper is trying to make that change by reverting to old fashioned newspaper techniques.
The New York Times, ironically one of the four US newspapers to be considered likely to remain in print beyond 2016, is offering Barnes and Noble Nook eReaders at cut price rates to readers who buy a year's subscription. For a $20 a month subscription to the electronic version of the New York Times subscribers are being offered the opportunity to buy the B & N Nook Color tablet for $99, a well received seven inch tablet that retails for $249 normally. Alternatively subscribers can opt for a black and white B & N Nook Simple Touch for free.
Could this approach cross the Atlantic? Probably, but bearing in mind we are a little behind the drag curve regarding the demise of Newspapers, if the UK rags leave such an offer until they reach the same relative point that the New York Times finds itself in, tablet adoption could be quite high already. In that case some alternative offer would be needed to incentivise adoption - perhaps a reduced rate of subscription for those who don't need a device - for the first year anyway.
But perhaps we'll see this crossing the pond sooner - I'm sure there's a few mainstream UK newspapers watching the NYT offer closely and will be looking to see if they can steal a march on their competitors. And as it's rumoured that the Nook may be launched in the UK early this year, perhaps that's the ideal time to hammer out such a deal?
Of course it doesn't have to be the Nook - the field's open for Amazon to offer cut price versions of its Kindle range, including the Kindle Fire which should be on sale by the end of the month. Kobo have the full range, from basic model to the mini-iPad like Vox that's already here, and let's be honest - with the UKs largest newsagent, W H Smith, acting as prime retailer for the Kobo range there's a natural synergy to be taken for any quality newspaper wanting to take the lead on electronic newspapers - Telegraph or Times, anyone?
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