How will Apple’s Newsstand Affect the Printing Industry?

Last week, Apple released details on its new operating systems for iOS devices and personal computers. With this came the introduction of many new and innovative features, which John Carew documented in last week’s technology post. The one feature that has a direct link to the printing industry is Newsstand.

Newsstand is your digital “news rack” for all your magazines and newspapers. Apple is hoping to make digital subscriptions to these publications more user friendly by separating them from the iBooks completely. Subscriptions would be purchased once and updated automatically in the background when new issues are released.

So, one may ask, what does this have to do with the printing industry? Many would say nothing, but I would argue that it has everything to do with the printing industry. It seems like every time Apple releases a platform that allows other parties to sell their products to iOS users, it’s a huge success. Take for example iTunes, which revitalized the music industry; the App Store, which put small developers on the map; iBooks, which made amateur authors famous; and lastly the Mac App Store, which doubled and even quadrupled developers’ revenue in 6 months! Given that track record, who in his right mind would think that Newsstand won’t have an impact on print?

Of course, magazines and newspapers will still be found in printed form, but that won’t be the majority of the circulation. With over 200 million iOS users, the conversion rate from print to digital media should be astounding. But this is not about a diminishing industry; it’s about a changing industry. Designers who laid out print ads will now be learning how to design and lay out digital publications. With the new release of Quark 9, this will be easier than ever! Those who think this is bad news have already missed the boat. This could be for the printing industry what the iTunes Store was for the music industry. Stay tuned!

Will you convert from printed subscriptions to digital subscriptions?

Author: John Mehl

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One response to “How will Apple’s Newsstand Affect the Printing Industry?

  1. Excellent post! I think that Amazon through their Kindle truly innovated the mass marketing of relatively unknown writers much as Youtube did for musicians and singers.

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