Will newspaper companies finally smarten up?

Take a look at this bankruptcy scorecard for newspaper companies and you’ll get a snapshot of some of the disastrous business decisions made in the publishing and newspaper businesses. Too much debt and a complete misunderstanding of the new media landscape led to doom for many lenders in this space.

The good news is that many of these companies have dramatically reduced their debt, so perhaps now they can make rational, long-term business decisions. Hopefully they won’t be stupid enough to erect pay walls on their content, and focus instead on finding new sources of revenue from things like the iPad and other tablets where they can charge for the convenience of delivery, rather than charging for online access to their content.

  

The e-book boom is coming!

paidContent.org has this very interesting story.

Need more proof that we’re witnessing the beginning of the e-book boom? It appears that the Kindle version of The Lost Symbol, the latest thriller from The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, is out-selling the hardcover version on Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). Kindle Nation Daily first noticed first noticed the trend by analyzing the category sales rankings on Amazon; the $9.99 Kindle version of the book is currently more popular than the hardcover version, which is retailing for $16.17.

Everything is changing VERY quickly. As more and more people get comfortable getting all their news and reading material on devices instead of paper, we’ll see an acceleration of the trend.

Publishers of magazines and newspapers need to pay attention here. Instead of wasting time wondering how to charge for online content, start thinking about ways to offer PREMIUM DELIVERY options that one can charge for.

I love to read the New York Times online or on my Blackberry, and that should be free. It’s news, and the Times wants to be a leader there, and you can’t maintain leadership if you hide behind a pay wall. On the other hand, I’d pay a small subscription fee to have the Times or may favorite magazines sent to my Kindle in an organized, readable format. This way I can read it at my leisure, regardless of whether I have an Internet connection.

  

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