With the launch of the iPad, Apple took another step towards that place John Battelle defines as iWorld, an environment open to application developers but, to ensure ease of functionality by users, has its strategic direction strictly regulated by Apple.
An adaptable, opening rate environment in which policies are strictly regulated, but where it is possible to reproduce web instances that are filtered from the complexity and background noise of the web, making it the ideal place for the migration of analogue to digital media. The open environment give the capability to media producers: films, books, magazines, newspapers and television series to distribute their assets on a digital platform, whilst developing commercial models for new forms of revenues. Apple, through the AppStore has created a market for developers that allow the reproduction of “instances” within “iWorld” – helping them develop remuneration models to support their work.
Thanks to the great user experience, the iPad “personal media” motivates users to fill it with all their favorite content that is made available through the stores. An exemplary case is represented by a newspaper, which when distributed on iPad, preserves its original layout, news ranking and overall appearance, something substantially lost on web versions. The newspaper is thus interactively enriched through the increase in photo galleries, videos, real-time updates and social media functions which are independent of the paper, however remain faithful to its original format.
There are several start-ups that are developing applications to support the distribution of newspapers on the iPad, which approach the market in different ways:
Paperlit (www.paperlit.com) – an Italian-Californian company that allows newspapers to be distributed with their own brand, guaranteeing the outsourcing of its R&D effort while maintaining strong control over the brand and the user experience.
Zinio (www.zinio.com) is positioned instead as a universal newsstand, able to aggregate all newspapers under its own brand that favors digital subscription. In this case, the newspapers outsource both R&D and distribution.
Another approach is characterised by a custom solution, developed by internal resources or third-party companies that develop applications according to the specifications of the followers.
The successful migration of the analogue, paper-based media to the iPad’s walled garden will in any case mainly depend on 3 elements:
- The number of sales that iPad can generate;
- The ability of newspapers to effectively migrate, with formats able to ensure forms of sale or subscription;
- The possibility that this migration may represent an innovative advertising platform able to combine the interactivity of a digital medium with the brand experience of traditional means.
The launch of IAD Apple’s advertising platform, which happened through the acquisition of Quattro, goes precisely in this direction, ensuring that the ecosystem can count on further monetization through the adaptable and firmly regulated opening rates of iWorld.