Can Any Device Save Publishing?

By Jason Boog Comment

peterkaf23.jpgAre too many publishers placing false hope in the idea that an e-reading device can salvage lagging sales? Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was All Things Digital reporter Peter Kafka, a tech journalist with some interesting thoughts on the subject.

Kafka has reported on media and technology since 1997, and shared insights into the week’s biggest tech headlines–stories that will shape media news for the next few years.

He focused on the hypothetical Hulu for magazines being developed by the world’s most powerful publishers, taking a shot at the digital reading revolution. “I’m very wary of the idea that a lot of publishers have glommed onto now which is: there is this thing which people don’t value if it’s on the web, but if you move it to this Kindle-like device that doesn’t exist yet, somehow people will pay for it,” he explained.

“I watched the music industry go through this with mobile content a few years ago. At the time, people were stealing music, so they thought they could sell you a song for three dollars on your mobile phone. The idea was it’s more valuable. You can have it on your phone, it’s on the go. I think that’s what the magazine and book guys are following, [the idea that] the device somehow increases the value of the content. I don’t think that’s the case,” he concluded.