BTB #287: In Europe, iPad May Mean iPay

Max von AbendrothAcross Europe, magazine publishers have greeted the arrival of the Apple iPad with cheers. As media consumption of such tablets and other handheld devices grows in popularity, publishers see an opportunity to establish new business models for digital news and entertainment. Subscriptions and app purchases are among the ways magazines hope to engage readers and remain economically sustainable. Keynote speaker at the Future Media Lab conference in Brussels Juan Señor wryly observed that if publishers are to be successful, consumers may come to equate iPad with iPay.

“The introduction of the iPad can be considered as the biggest revolution since Gutenberg for our sector,” Max von Abendroth, EMMA executive director, tells RightsDirect’s Victoriano Colodrón. “In April 2010, magazine publishers had launched 66 magazine apps. In April 2011, there were 1,863 magazine apps, and today, almost another year later, we have more than 10,000 magazine apps.”

As von Abendroth explains, the European Magazine Media Association, which sponsored the Future Media Lab in February 2012, represents 15,000 magazine publishers across Europe. The EMMA membership is seeking innovative business models to monetize the emerging “app culture” that the iPad makes possible.

“Certainly, subscriptions are one way of making money in the digital world,” von Abendroth said. “But also, if you want to have only one article or share specific parts of the content, then you can buy that separately. With micropayment models, there is a real possibility of publishers going into transaction selling – one or two or three articles and not the whole publication – this is indeed the basis for a new business model.”

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