Major Publishers Join Forces In Anticipation of Apple's Tablet?
by, December 8th, 2009 at 08:01 PM
A handful of magazine publishers have joined forces in order to develop a standard for digital distribution of content. Previous reports have surfaced suggesting that publishers are planning to digitally distribute their works, but this is the first report that suggest they are jointly working towards a standard of distribution and of the user experience.
Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc. today jointly announced that they have entered into an independent venture to develop open standards for a new digital storefront and related technology that will allow consumers to enjoy their favorite media content on portable digital devices.It is much anticipated that Apple's rumored tablet will have a "digital reading" focus, such as e-books, digital magazines, and digital comic books, putting the device in direct competition with the Amazon Kindle.
It is unknown if this joint venture has arisen in anticipation of the Apple tablet, speculated to be arriving next year. Also unknown is if this collaboration between publishers is to help or hinder Apple's rumored tablet device. The consortium may exist in order to ensure the control of digital content remain largely in the hands of publishers, rather than in the hands of device manufactures such as Apple.
With a standard already set for digital content, if and when the Apple tablet surfaces, the publishers may have the upper hand. They could in theory have the majority of control of distribution and the user experience. If Apple wants content to be available for the Apple tablet, they may have to accept the standards established by the consortium which could mean less control on Apple's part.
Lastly, this is likely all about money. The publishers may be preemptively stopping Apple from having an iTunes monopoly on digital content. The Publishers establishing their own method of distribution would mean tighter control of revenue.
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