Apple and Samsung go to court, Microsoft starts producing its own tablet, smartphone sales skyrocket, beating the PC revolution of the 80's by multiples of 10, traditional advertising revenue continues to decline, 1 out of 5 Americans have a smartphone, more than 1 million Android devices a day are activated and most importantly consumers of all ages are changing their ways of how they obtain and interact with the news. Even if Baby boomers have a nostalgic relationship with the Sunday Paper, the end to such a product is not too far away....
Long story short, perhaps never before have we been smack in the middle of a global technological and social revolution as we are now. Call it a crisis or call it an opportunity but we all need to be aware that action needs to be taken and more often than not, a change is needed.
For sure, one thing we all need right now is a good amount of agility and some smart timely decisions, to protect our planet, our kids' futures and our businesses.
The publishing industry is traditionally conservative and a slow mover. The internet was a huge challenge and the new digital world with an infinite amount of options for content creation and distribution is even more taxing.
If we take a look back and compare the introduction of the internet to the introduction of the iPad, one thing I think we can all agree on is that Apple has made it much easier and straightforward on how a publisher can market, distribute and monetize their content in a digital format.
It is kind of weird to compare the introduction of the Internet (a medium) to the iPAD (a product) but I think it is safe to say from a publisher's perspective, the 2 events are game changers in terms of workflow, editorial evolution, marketing, distribution and new opportunities to earn and lose revenues and margins.
Paperlit is a toddler, in its third year of business, but we have one huge advantage and that is we manage a publishing platform for hundreds of publicatons in more than 15 countries. We speak with publishers from all over the world every day and we have a huge amount of insight from this daily activity to the publishing industries challenges and evolution. In addition, as iOS, Android and WIndows 8 developers, we have a privileged view of these systems and what one can and cannot do, now and in the future. From our privileged position, we started looking seriously into Windows 8 about a year ago. Gionata, the founder of Paperlit, is an ex Microsoft guy, so he was particularly interested in Windows 8. "they got it wrong twice, usually the third time around, they get it right".
We think this is an understatment. Up to now, Apple has proven that its proprietary hardware-software combo is a dream for content owners and app developers. Up to now, this has been exclusively a tablet and smartphone play. Microsoft has come up with something sensational and that is this, "hey, an App is not just for a tablet or a phone, an App is a way to vehicle your content or service over any digital device, including a PC and monetize it".
If this is true, the, "if it is on the internet and therefore for free rule" has just been broken. Hence, the importance of Windows 8 is not simply that Microsoft is coming out with a wonderful upgrade but the concept of the app, if Redmond gets it right, will change forever, from just Tablet to all devices and thus, the potential market for such a product has just increased from 600 million to every single desktop out there.
In our small universe, we try to help publishers navigate these stormy seas and challenging times. We see ourselves as a guardian angel for publishers in the digital world and the more publishers we help, the stronger we become. In this sense, we are lucky to have invented a business and platform where two positives are simply 2 times positive. Our mantra has always been to keep it simple and this has lead us down a pdf centric vision and a one stop shop for all platforms.
The choices we make in terms of road map and product development, we make in part for what makes sense, after having collected input from all of our partners, and in part from the visioning we all do together to best support our publishing partners for the future.
The Windows 8 store will not be heavily populated at the beginning and the amount of reach it will have is going to be massive. If one concern of a publisher is being a needle in a haystack in the Apple store, launching with Windows 8 in October is a great bet to make.
We (your guardian angels) have been developing for Windows 8 for six months now. We launched our first 2 publishers (La Repubblica and Wired, Italy) for the consumer preview in early June and at present we are building 50 apps for the October launch.
Let us help you leverage this opportunity today!