Tablet PCs are paving the way for a revival of newspapers and magazines. Many print publications had floundered in recent years amid the rise of digital media, but some are now finding new readers through portable content devices.
More than a thousand publications offer news for free or for pay to users of Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook. Major newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, Financial Times and Conde Nast are aiming to grab a share of the rapidly growing market.
In April, just six months after the iPad was released, the WSJ and the FT had secured 650,000 and 400,000 readers, respectively, for their iPad applications. Both newspapers provide some articles for free, but charge readers to view full issues.
USA Today's free iPad app drew one million readers, and the Guardian newspaper launched a free version for iPad users in May and garnered some 400,000 subscribers and US$1.5 million in advertising revenue in just six months.
These soaring numbers are possible as some 19 million tablet PCs have been sold worldwide, experts say, and readership will likely increase exponentially as tablets become more popular.
Some companies are even creating newspapers and magazines designed specifically for tablets. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has developed an iPad newspaper called "The Daily" in conjunction with Apple and plans to unveil it early next year.
This revival is also taking place in Korea, one of the most wired countries in the world. Some 190,000 Galaxy Tabs have been sold here since the device debuted in mid-November, and magazines and newspapers available on the Galaxy Tab digital content store have seen 41,000 and 45,000 downloads, respectively.