Savior or dud? If you read the commentary this morning the rumored larger Amazon Kindle that is supposedly being announced at a NYC press conference this week will be both. Apparently Amazon has partnered up with the New York Times and will be unveiling a larger version of the Kindle tailored to deliver newspapers and periodicals over its Whispernet service. Some see it as a potential savior of the sagging newspaper industry, some see it as a dud or a Ã¢â‚¬ËœHail Mary.’ We’ve been seeing talk of these larger devices for some time now. (pictured is the PlasticLogic device.)
James Kendrick makes an interesting price point comparison that I think bears noting. Given that the current Kindle costs you more than $300, this will have to be more expensive or a change in the already established Kindle price. Couple that with the fact that most of these publications are probably looking at this as a way to stem the bleeding and will charger for their content and you’re looking at an expensive proposition. Unless of course they follow the logic that giving each of their current subscribers a Kindle costs less than printing and delivering the paper. I don’t think that will happen and I think everyone is seeing dollar signs in their eyes in desperate times.
I’m not sure it will be a savior or a dud. My guess it will be somewhere in between as the evolution of this kind of dissemination of info continues. Of course if it isn’t deemed an immediate hit, that will probably be seen as a failure. I’m pretty positive that whatever pricing structure will be unveiled will follow a similar up and down trajectory as news content on the Internet did as something like this finds its way. Regardless of pricing, regardless of what the deal turns out to be (we’ll know how it starts in a few days) getting news on the Internet is about to change.
What’s your thinking? How much would you spend for content that is currently available for free? If that source dries up thanks to a new approach like this, how much would you spend to get that content?