The future of newspapers?

Over at our Planet Ink HQ we have been doing our bit to champion the cause of digital publishing through our expertise in page turn technology.

Among the people we have spoken over the past year or so as the business developed has been executives at The Scotsman who appeared interested in the concept, but insisted that it wasn’t something for them at the time.

Fast-forward to last month and great the arrival of a new lifestyle magazine for Edinburgh from the same stable, called The Pulse, which can be viewed here as a digital page turn document much as we’d proposed.

Now, I’m not suggesting any skullduggery.

But I am heartened by the fact that major publishers are now seeing sense and benefit in the concept we have been pushing for months now.

The Scotsman are using facilities hosted by the impressive PageSuite tech house who also boast the likes of News International and Archant among their clients.

Other similar concepts are offered by the likes of our friends at Yudu and Zinio among other notable suppliers.

Each has their own strengths, and weaknesses, from the kind of zoom functions they utilise to the package of statistics they offer.

The good thing from our point of view at Planet Ink is that so many new suppliers coming on the scene allows us as a design, media and publishing company to shop around and source the best solution for our clients, utilising the expertise we have built up over the past 18 months.

What has been a surprise is how long it has taken a major Scottish pulisher – in this case Johnston Press – to jump aboard the technology train.

The Scotsman’s own website, after all, was a multi-award winner under the highly regarded Stewart Kirkpatrick who, as luck would have it, I am due to meet for lunch in the next week or so to put the world to rights.

Whether their new incumbent to the post, Colin McNeil, joining from the Portsmouth News, can continue in the same vein is very much up for debate.

But what it does provide is further proof that newspaper owners are becoming increasingly aware of just how vital a role that the internet and associated new delivery systems, such as page turn digi-titles, are becoming to their business models.

And there could be wider ramifications for readers in general as this technology develops even further.

Already the sold out signs are up at Amazon for the AmazonKindle wireless reading device.

Weighing in at just over 10 ounces and just 7.5″ x 5.3″ in size, the aim is to persuade the book, magazine and newspaper reading public to do just that – only on this new platform.

Given the demand, it is clearly catching on, despite those traditionalists who will always want to retain their tactile relationship with their title of choice.

As for the next generations, that’s another chapter yet to be written. How we’ll read it, that’s something else altogether.

Categories: Blogs, Media philosophy & trends, Planet Ink Ltd

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