Apple’s iPad may revolutionize publishing by eliminating the middleman

“The publishing industry was drooling over the Apple iPad long before the product was actually announced. What it saw in the rumored device was the potential for a powerful delivery platform for a new generation of books, magazines, and newspapers,” Tim Bajarin writes for PC Magazine.. “Publishers hoped the color screen, speedy processor, and intuitive interface would help them innovate content and create new business models.”

“Now that the iPad is a reality, the publishing industry has begun to gear up to create publications that integrate images, video, and audio into text, dramatically enhancing the storytelling process,” Bajarin writes. “In this sense, the iPad is a blessing. It gives publishers a new palette to work with, and, if they’re smart, new methods for charging directly for that content. They could, for example, offer new subscription models or position individual publications as standalone apps.”

Bajarin writes, “But here lies the curse of the publishing industry. The iPad could give rise to a new creative self-publishing crowd that could, in turn, become competition for the established publishing industry. Today’s creative writers could bypass the industry altogether. The opportunity is already there to a degree, via a number of self-publishing programs, but Apple’s iBookstore would give them a power partner with a unique technology and powerful distribution.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We see nothing wrong with eliminating redundancy and inefficiency by replacing outmoded business constructs with new ones. We suspect the same sort of thing will happen for more and more musicians over time, too. Obviously, the authors and musicians who can effectively utilize technology to go straight to their audiences will reap the greatest rewards.

37 Comments

  1. Though you still need some sort of company to market your product. Like on iTunes, most people can get their music on it, but you really need some entity to promote it, push it, get it into people who can review it and give it light over all the other stuff on iTunes.

  2. Technically speaking, iBookstore could make the middleman irrelevant.
    But in reality it won’t be the case. Sure you’ll have more self-published authors.
    However a publishing house gives author credibility and good marketing.
    How in the world your name will stand out among the 1,000,000 books available?

  3. It would make more sense that apple will become the middleman then in the long term if anyone is eliminated it would be the publishers. Apple isn’t eliminating the middleman they are the middleman for now.

  4. IN MUSIC:
    Before Apple:
    Record Companies -> Record Stores – >Consumer

    After Apple:
    Record Companies -> Consumer (via iTunes)

    IN PUBLISHING:
    Before Apple:
    Publishing Houses->Bookstores->Consumer

    After Apple:
    Record Companies -> Consumer (via iBooks)

    —-

    Now yes, the book as a medium has been a tried and true format for a few hudred years, while music in the last 100 years has been sold over several mediums. So, I’m not saying that bookstores will be impacted by this nearly as much as record stores. But lots of people are now very comfortable hopping mediums to get their information, and adoption of a bookless reading medium will certainly be well-received (if done right; sorry Amazon). And so, the middleman will be impacted.

    Books and bookstores won’t go away, but like music, it will be forced to co-exist with a newer, more flexible medium.

  5. As I have said, the iPad will threaten the establishment. Maybe more so when you look at the news papers. They often omit, change, or enhance the subject to appeal to their target market.

    However, with easy publishing of a small independent sites updated from anywhere could, and I believe it will, upset the large media corporations that now own the news papers and television news.

    This little iPad will, again my opinion, change the course of social interaction.

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