Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Tortoise and the Hare, Digitized

A Race Between Digital and Print Magazines. (The New York Times, 2/4/2011)

Excerpt: This morning I decide to try a little experiment: I opened up my iPad, clicked on the little Wired icon and purchased the magazine’s latest digital issue. After I agreed to fork over $4, it began downloading. For the next phase of the experiment, I grabbed my car keys, left my apartment and drove about 12 blocks to a local magazine store in Brooklyn, where I also purchased the latest issue of Wired magazine, this time in print.

I didn’t run any red lights, or speed, or park illegally during my shopping expedition. Yet when I returned home with the glossy paper product in hand, the digital iPad version still hadn’t finished downloading to my iPad. Anybody who reads Wired would call this an Epic Fail.

You don’t need a computer science degree to conclude the results of this research. Digital magazines are currently too big and bulky and almost defeat one of their main intended purposes, the promise of instant access to content and information.

“Publishers are not putting enough thought into delivery and the constraints around that,” said Ned May, an analyst for Outsell, a research firm focused on publishing and technology. “In many ways it harkens back to the early days of the Net where people had to wait 15 minutes for a single image to download

Related articles:
Conde Nast Readies iPad versions of its top magazines. (3/1/2010)

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