The Digital World Continues to Advance

What are some of the latest developments?

Here’s some of the news that we have been paying close attention to over the past couple of weeks:

• Sports Illustrated recently announced it will be offering subscriptions to digital editions on Android smart phones and tablets. The Time, Inc. publication will offer readers options for a variety of electronic and print formats. An iPad version should eventually become available once issues with limitations are ironed out with Apple. Details on packaging and pricing of the digital subscription have not been released.

• Amazon’s Prime Member service will now offer its member access to 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost. And, the service is offered commercial free (well, at least for now). This is in direct competition with Netflix and YouTube. Amazon is also welcoming self-published e-books through its Digital Text system which allows writers to upload unedited manuscripts for sale and readable on their Kindle.

• Ryanair, an Irish budget airline, is planning to sell targeted advertising aimed at people booking tickets at home and checking in online. Having ads on boarding passes is not new. What is new is the ads will be much more precisely targeted to the individual traveler. This will allow Ryanair to command higher ad rates from their advertisers.

• Apple announced a new subscription service for digital content sold through the iPhone and iPad. Two magazines, Elle and Popular Science have signed on to the new service. Publishers are continuing to struggle with Apple regarding the terms for sharing custom data and ad revenue. As these issues get ironed out, look for for magazines to become available.

What does all this have in common?

For consumers, the abundance and availability of reading material is continuing to move into the digital world. Consumers will need to adapt as traditional print subscriptions will become less relevant. Online marketplaces like Amazon will leverage content, like movies, to drive consumers to subscribe to their premium services. Airlines will use their captive audiences as source of revenue to help subsidize their up and down profits.

So how is the way you read your favorite magazine, watch a movie, or look at your boarding pass changing in the digital world?

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