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Tablet Users Unwilling to Pay for News… Will They Change?

A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The Economist Group found that consuming news was one of the most popular activities for tablet users. The study also found that out of tablet users who regularly read the news, three out of 10 of them spent more time consuming news than they did before they got a tablet. Four out of 10 regularly read in-depth news and analysis. These are promising figures for the future of digital news and the tablet.

But the figures came with one pitfall: “News is valued but willingness to pay is low.” The majority of tablet owners (85 percent) had never paid for news on their tablet, and 78 percent said that news on the tablet was not worth more than any other medium. Out of those who had not already paid for news, only 21 percent would agree to pay $5 a month for their favorite tablet news source. Most turned down the $5 charge, even if it were the only way to access it.

So who are those lovely people paying for news? Read more

Publishing Your News Content on the Kindle

Amazon’s made big news in late September with the announcement of their new family of Kindle devices. The new Kindle now comes in touchscreen and non-touchscreen versions, both of which no longer have the QWERTY keyboard found on previous versions of the device. And of course, there is the introduction of the new Kindle Fire, which bundles Amazon’s multimedia services, web services, and the new Amazon Silk browser into a compact handheld tablet. With an attractive price point and a number of solid features, the entire Kindle family will be an important new platform for journalists.

If you are a journalist or a newsroom that is currently not syndicating your content on the Kindle, now is the best time to start. You can request to become a beta publisher through the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals program. You must have the distribution rights for the content in your publication, and your content must be in the proper format (NITF, XHTML or RSS) for submission. Amazon’s review process takes about 3 to 4 weeks, and once it is published, customers can have a two-week trial subscription for your publication before purchasing a full subscription.

Kindle Publishing for Periodicals

Publications are currently only available in the United States, and the program supports publications in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese. Amazon also sets the price for your publication ($0.99 and up), and qualifying publishers can earn a 70% revenue share on delivery costs.

For blogs, there is the Kindle Publishing for Blogs program, which allows customers to subscribe to your blog through their Kindle.

Kindle Publishing for Blogs

Adding your blog to the Kindle store is easy, and blogs are generally available for customers within 72 hours of acceptance. Like the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals program, Amazon also sets the subscription price for your content ($0.99 and up). You will receive 30% of the monthly blog subscription price for each subscriber to your blog. Blogs are currently only available in the United States, and the program supports blogs in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German.

Both the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals and the Kindle Publishing for Blogs programs are free to join.

The Kindle Fire: Amazon’s Answer to the iPad

Looks like the tablet family just got a whole lot bigger. Today, Amazon announced three new e-reading products with impressively low price points that are sure to tantalize even the most fanatical luddites amongst us. Along with an upgrade to their original Kindle, Amazon released two touchscreen e-readers called the “Kindle Touch,” one with free 3G wireless capabilities and one without. What’s so cool about the Kindle Touch is that even though it incorporates the multitouch technology we’ve grown accustomed to in our mobile devices, it still eschews LED backlit screens in favor of E Ink, a format that makes the reading experience much more akin to reading printed copies. It’s also easier to read E Ink in bright environments than it is to do so on backlit devices like the iPad.

But perhaps the most exciting product announced today is the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s answer to the iPad. With a price point significantly lower than the iPad, and no camera or microphone capabilities, the Kindle Fire isn’t a direct competitor to the iPad, but it’s definitely a significant stride in that direction. It’s a smaller color screen device that comes loaded with access to Amazon’s impressive entertainment database of movies, music and books. The tablet runs on Android OS, making it easy to sync your Google and Amazon accounts on the device. The Kindle Fire’s affordable price is what makes it a formidable opponent. A Kindle Fire device is just $199, compared to $499 for the least expensive iPad model.

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4 Things We Know About iPad Usage (So Far)

Ever since Apple released the first iPad in April 2010, critics and consumers have been buzzing. It’s a whole new type of device for consuming media, thought some. It’s just a large iPod Touch, lamented others. There were those who loved the novelty, and those who just couldn’t find a good reason to keep the thing around. The entire hullabaloo combined with record sales and market domination makes the iPad the latest, coolest, most intriguing gadget around.

But how did consumers really use the device in the past year? And how will it affect journalism? Some statistics could really put these questions into context.

1) The iPad Won’t ‘Save’ Print

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Innovative Move? BBC Develops iPhone App for Field Reporters

The BBC is in the process of creating a new app that would allow its reporters in the field to file photos, audio and video from an iPhone or iPad directly into the news organization’s system. The app would also allow reporters to broadcast live from an iPhone using only a 3G signal, reported earlier today. But is this an innovative move? Read more