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iPad not the ‘silver bullet’ to secure the future of traditional media

iPad not the ‘silver bullet’ to secure the future of traditional media

Volumes will take time to build and what is needed is an immediate model.

Despite forecasting a ‘gold-rush effect’ that will see the total value of downloaded applications on the iPad hitting $68.8m this year and $511.8m in 2011, research firm Ovum believes Apple’s much-hyped tablet device alone will fail to secure the future of news and magazine publishing.

By way of contrast, Ovum has forecast that the global mobile applications market will be worth $5.7 billion by 2014, with total paid downloads of 3.3 billion applications.

In a report entitled, Reformatting News & Magazine Media, Ovum says its research indicates volumes of the iPad will take time to build. Ovum forecasts total shipments of Apple’s iPad to reach 13.2 million by end of 2011 (by comparison, Apple shipped 25 million iPhones in 2009 alone). Likewise it predicts the the tablet media market will soon become as congested as the smartphone app store market.

Adrian Drury, Ovum’s principal media and broadcasting analyst, and co-author of the report, says in a press statement: “The iPad promise is a set of new distribution channels for packaged media, but it is one device and volumes will take time to build. Traditional publishing’s challenge to find a new and sustainable business model is immediate.”

He notes previous attempts to define this fourth screen product category have failed. Apple, he says, is doing more than just selling a hardware platform; it is also leveraging the content and the volume of pre-existing iPhone applications (most of which will run on the iPad) to demonstrate the utility of this form factor. Apple needs the content ecosystem to drive mass-market appeal, he states.

“The iPad and the tablet product category are a revenue opportunity and a showcase for the future of packaged media. However, this new fourth screen does not alone represent the silver bullet for the news and magazine industry.”

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