Media

Go Read This | Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX: power, with a helping hand | The Verge

You have to hand it to Amazon, its is just going at this market hard and not letting up and by the looks of things, it is learning as it goes:

Whether you’re in the market for an 8.9-inch or 7-inch tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX is a hard device to beat. Not just for the screen resolution or the high-end processor, either: at $229 for the smaller model or $379 for the larger, the HDX is among the cheapest tablets on the market that we’d even consider recommending at those screen sizes. Even the LTE models, at $329 and $479 respectively and available for Verizon and AT&T, are as cheap as you’ll find for their kind. (And they’re not even the cheapest of Amazon’s new tablets.)

If Amazon can deliver on all its promises with its core apps, from email to the updated Silk browser, and can make the HDX into both the best vessel for Amazon content and something more besides, these two tablets are going to be hard to beat. And Mayday’s going to have a lot of customers this fall.

via Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX: power, with a helping hand | The Verge.

Tesco-Logo

Go Read This | Tesco tablet expected on 23 September

Tesco-LogoIt has been clear for some time that probably only full-scale retailers have the capacity to respond to Amazon, Google, Apple and other digital giants. They have the advantages of scale, access to capital, direct customer interaction and customer inertia working in their favour.

Of course, those advantages are threatened by online retailers like Amazon and by the shift to digital consumption of media. It makes sense then that really forward-looking retailers will attempt to move into the digital distribution and retail space. Many of them have been offering online grocery shopping effectively for some time, long before Amazon or other newer entrants. Tesco has been making what look like smart moves in digital media for a while. It will be intriguing to see if this forthcoming tablet play works.

Success, however, cannot be measured by units sold alone. A good sign of it working would be of the company sells lots of tablets AND signs lots of people up to its digital content services. At the kind of price point the articles on the tablet are talking about, content sales and customer acquisition for the digital services are the goal in the short and medium term.

The question that arises for me is what’s the longer term play for Tesco? How can it build on success in the UK (if it materializes) and can it compete with the giants even if it does succeed in the UK. The costs of such competition can be quite hefty, as B&N has learnt to its cost:

Tesco might be able to hit the £99 price using a cashback-style promotion, Wood suggests: “I can see Tesco using substantial discounts on other services such as bundled media from Blinkbox, or vouchers for discounts on petrol or groceries through its ClubCard loyalty scheme.”

The tablet would take on competitors from the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon, and will be tailored to online shopping and video viewing – both areas where Tesco is looking to capitalise on its position.

via Tesco tablet expected on 23 September – and may be very low-priced | Technology | The Guardian.

On The Media Show

I recorded a piece about ebooks, digital change and self publishing for the media show last week. It’s right at the top of the show and I think it went pretty well:

There’s also a fascinating piece with the editor of the Irish Independent talking about the digital change going on at Independent (kicks off around 13.00 mins or so) and Brian Fallon from Distilled media talking about TheJournal.ie and the other brands in that group.

Go Read This | A New Kind of Publisher: On Merging Creative Industries

A nice post from Zoe Faulder about how publishers are positioned for the “third generation” of ebooks:

There is a third generation of ebooks that exists but is far less prolific than the previous two generations – primarily due to cost. Unlike a straight text ebook, or even enhanced ebooks to a degree, this generation cannot be tacked on to the existing production cycles and requires completely new skill-sets. The third generation of ebooks has been called apps, but I would argue that there is more to it than what we have come to expect of applications available in the iTunes App and Google Play stores. The third generation of ebooks is about taking the content and spinning it into something grander than its original form. It encompasses all the tools made available in today’s networked world. Ebooks could become immersive digital experiences based on locative media, social interaction, interactive narrative and gamification.

via A New Kind of Publisher: On Merging Creative Industries.

Go Read This | Why 2012 was the year of the e-single

Much noise and heat generated by short ebooks (the kind of which, TheIrishStory.com has been selling for some time). Laura Hazard Owen’s piece over at PaidContent gets to the heart of it:

They don’t cannibalize other formats. It’s nearly impossible to find a magazine that will run a 10,000-word story these days (much less a magazine that will run your 10,000-word story — even if you’re a professional journalist). Many of these stories simply would not have been published in print, and that’s not because they’re not good enough. They just weren’t quite a fit for magazine or book publishers. Now the projects can come to light, and journalists who might once abandoned these stories because they weren’t sure how to pitch them can make a little money off them.

via Why 2012 was the year of the e-single — paidContent.

Go Read This | Introducing GigaOM Books — Tech News and Analysis

Very sensible and not even remotely surprising:

And increasingly, one of those ways is in digital book format. The fast rise of tablets and e-readers, the low-friction of buying content through vertically integrated experiences from the likes of Apple or Amazon, and the explosion in new voices that digital books have enabled, have all helped e-books ride up the hockey stick of growth to reach 25 percent adoption in the broader market, and is no doubt even higher among our own early adopter audience.So what does that mean for us?  At GigaOM, it usually means we try new things. One thing I learned quickly when I came over to the company in 2009 to help launch a new model for market research, it was that Om and our CEO, Paul Walborsky, encourage their employees to experiment and embrace new ideas.  So late last year, when Mathew, Nicole Solis and I suggested we should try our hand at e-books, they were all for it.

Announcing GigaOM Books’ first two titles

And so today, we’re happy to announce our new imprint, GigaOM Books. What is GigaOM Books exactly? Well, it’s where we’ll publish new works from our own team of writers as well as other great voices we’ve discovered. We’ll also publish some of our most popular reports from GigaOM Pro, allowing, for the first time, access in e-book format to great research on Kindle, Nook and iPad.

via Introducing GigaOM Books — Tech News and Analysis.