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800 Newspapers Coming to Iliad E-Reader

iRex Technologies scores scores of newspapers for its new iLiad e-reader. From E-Reads:

Digitally delivered news is gaining momentum and as we turn the corner to 2009 it’s gotten a rocket boost from the Dutch firm iRex Technologies, which announced it has made a deal with NewspaperDirect to deliver 800 newspapers on iRex’s Digital Reader 1000 …

The iRex/NewspaperDirect partnership will undoubtedly cause some headaches for Amazon.com, too. A visit to Amazon’s Kindle newspaper web page shows 28 listings. The 800 titles to be carried on the iRex 1000, dubbed ‘Kindle Killer’ by some, will obviously dwarf Kindle’s offering. Of course, many of them are foreign language papers like Le Figaro and Die Welt. But 800 is 800 and that’s good news for the environment.

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  • bowerbird

    i’m sure amazon feels that anything that grows the pie
    is going to be a good thing for them in the long run…

    -bowerbird

  • http://toc.oreilly.com/mac-slocum Mac Slocum

    For newspapers, this is a no-brainer: distribute content to as many outlets as you can and see what sticks.

    But I can’t help thinking this is a step in the wrong direction, device-wise. Is there really a large readership pining for a pseudo-broadsheet experience? Hasn’t the Web shown that reader interest lies in the *content*, not the container? And if true that content is the real driver, why would anyone subscribe to an e-reader-based digital newspaper when the same content is largely available for free via Web and mobile delivery? Maybe I’m missing something here.

  • bowerbird

    > Is there really a large readership
    > pining for a pseudo-broadsheet experience?

    do you mean “are there people who want to read
    content on a large yet portable screen?”, because
    i would have to say the answer is a very loud “yes”.

    of course, i don’t think there are very many who
    want to pay the current cost of an iliad to do so.

    but if mary lou brings big and cheap and functional
    screens into the equation, they’ll sell like hotcakes.

    > Hasn’t the Web shown that reader interest
    > lies in the *content*, not the container?

    how big is the monitor on your desk right now?

    people are interested in transportation, mostly,
    but they’ll still pay extra for a nice, fancy car…

    and they’re interested in having a roof over head,
    but they’ll still pay extra for a nice, fancy house…

    some people have money to burn.

    > And if true that content is the real driver,
    > why would anyone subscribe to an
    > e-reader-based digital newspaper
    > when the same content is largely available
    > for free via Web and mobile delivery?

    well, many a newspaper believes its content
    is unique, so if it’s on the web “for free”, it’s
    because that newspaper put it up there, and
    they can (and will) remove it if-and-when
    they can muster a paying audience instead,
    and this gives them a shot at doing just that.

    so, in chicken-and-egg fashion, the equation
    might change down the line, so that the “same”
    content is no longer “largely available for free”.
    (many newspapers feel that free content model
    will not be sustainable, so they have no choice.)

    but even if the identical content is “on the web”,
    and thus freely accessible via iphone or netbook,
    people might well prefer to read it on a large iliad,
    even to the point of paying money for the privilege,
    providing the subscription isn’t all that expensive…

    it’s easy for a site to detect what type of machine
    is accessing it, and format the output accordingly,
    including sharply reducing that output for an iliad,
    unless the user logs in with their subscriber code.

    the choice then is “read it free on your little iphone”
    versus “read it for very cheap on your nice big iliad”.
    which is a very different choice indeed…

    also of note is the fact that we do not seem to know
    if there will even be a charge to access these papers,
    or whether access is bundled free with the iliad itself.
    so your questions might be flawed from the start…

    > Maybe I’m missing something here.

    maybe.

    -bowerbird