Larger Kindle could rescue ailing newspapers and magazines

It looks like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wasn’t kidding earlier this year when he said he thought there were “genuine opportunities” for Amazon to save journalism.

As newspapers and magazines are brought to their knees by plummeting ad revenues and their relative failure on the web, Amazon is rumoured to be launching a larger version of its game-changing Kindle, the portable electronic reader that is driving much of the book industry’s move to digital formats.

This Wall Street Journal article claims it could be as early as this week when the new Kindle debuts. Subscribing to your newspaper or magazine for via an ebook reader — and actually paying for it, even though it’s all free on the web — might sound like a dumb idea. But it seems it’s actually working. Amazon and several newspaper proprietors in North America have trialled the idea, offering paid subscriptions on the Kindle and apparently the results are promising, though in common with most things to do with the Kindle, no numbers have been released.

Self-confessed fan of the Amazon Kindle Rupert Murdoch is rumoured to be readying his own ebook reader.It seems likely it will be a “private label” version of the iRex Iliad.

Once newspapers, in particular, get on board, the speed at which these portable electronic readers will be adopted by consumers is likely to be much quicker. This will be good for books since many readers will add digital books to their devices. Magazines will mostly wait until colour has arrived but even in the black and white world that we’re in now, there will be opportunities for magazines. It’s never too early to start, especially when things are moving at the pace they are now.

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