Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Kindle promises to kindle new cravings

Today in New York Amazon CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos launched the 9.7-inch-screen Kindle DX (for "deluxe"), the latest of the portable, personalizable content readers.

College students are clearly a target market.
Other than the increased size, the biggest improvement in the Kindle ecosystem is the deal with textbook publishers. The textbook market will be key for the DX to succeed. Amazon has already signed up three of the top five textbook publishers (Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley) as well as 27 University Press Publishers. The Kindle DX will be used in trials with at least five universities this fall.
So are digital newspaper aficionados. The New York Times reports:
Amazon also said that three newspapers, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, would offer a reduced price on the Kindle in exchange for a long-term subscription, but only for people who live in areas where their paper editions are not available. Amazon and the newspapers described it as a pilot program.
Meanwhile, Mark Glaser is at a symposium at the University of Missouri where "a group of newspapers and tech folks . . . are looking at how newspaper content might work on various e-readers like the Amazon Kindle."

Economics of delivering a newspaper on Kindle:

> Avg. file size = 1.2MB
> Bandwidth cost = .12 cents MB
> Selling price = $13.99 month
> Monthly bandwidth cost = $4.32

That eats into monthly cost of serving content into Kindle. So Amazon is probably losing money on some of the lower cost publications it sells. This cost doesn't even include advertising in the mix.
Mr. Glaser has a blog post about "the next generation of e-readers." Check it out. It's good stuff.

Also see: Could Kindle 2 save the newspapers?
Huffington counsels old media: Monetize links, don't try to sell exclusive content
And: What will the future newspaper look like?

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