Now that we’ve laid out the whole e-reader dilemma facing news content providers, we want to get into the nitty gritty. What do those on the front lines — the editors of the content that we read — think about the future of e-readers and digital content?
Richard Stengel, the managing editor of Time magazine, liked our representation of e-readers as “opening a new door for a struggling industry.”
“We have something like 10,000 subscribers to Time on the Kindle, in a form that’s not anywhere near what the tablets will be and the e-readers will be, and that tells me something,” Stengel told FishbowlNY.
“People are paying for content on these devices…And I think if you provide something of value to people, something that’s different but something that is core to your brand, I think people will find value in it and will pay for it. So I do think that it is a door opening for our industry.”
So what is Time working on exactly? Stengel was mum on specifics. (Time‘s publisher Time Inc. is part of the recently announced consortium working to develop a new e-reader format.)
“I don’t want to over-promise and under deliver, but we’ve been working on it for a while and we will have something interesting to show in the New Year,” he said. “And I’m very bullish on it. I think the e-reader is a new form of content…and I think the challenge for all of us is to figure out how to produce something that really has a new and added value to readers and subscribers. We’re definitely on top of that and you’ll see something [from us] in the not too distant future.”