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Publishers and Broadcasters Embrace iPad and 3D

19 May 2010

Apple's iPad is the good news story in the wake of negative circulation and readership reports for newspapers and magazines. In just four months publishers have become iPad obsessed, and broadcasters rush to see the world in 3D.

AS if one media revolution at a time wasn't enough, reports Lara Sinclair in The Australian, the twin powerhouses of traditional media print and television are simultaneously grasping at technologies they hope will reserve them a new, irreplaceable corner in people's hearts.

Pre-ordering for the iPad indicates local demand for the tablet computer is "off the charts", according to Apple, barely a week after the company began taking orders.

The prospect of paying between $600 and $1000 for an iPad has deterred few hopefuls, with anyone who has not already ordered an iPad set to wait another 10 days after the official launch date of May 28 to be guaranteed delivery.

The same delays are occurring in Britain, while more than a million iPads have already been sold in the US.

The news must be encouraging for local newspaper and magazine publishers who are now rushing to launch iPad applications designed to get their mastheads in as many pairs of hands as possible.

Pacific Magazines have confirmed they will launch apps for Men's Health and Women's Health, with other magazines under consideration.

The Australian will have its iPad app ready to roll on May 28 and has sold the first four iPad-specific advertising packages in Australia, worth a total of $1m in new revenue to the newspaper, with Commonwealth Bank and Optus the first to publicly confirm their support.

Other newspaper publishers, such as Fairfax, are believed to be working on a mix of free and paid apps, with inserted magazines Sport and Style likely to be one of the first.

Niche publishers are also expressing their keenness to get on board, with technology site ZDNet Australia promising it is already "optimised for iPad usage", whatever that means.

Globally, publishers such as Time, Hearst, Conde Nast and News Corporation were quick to see the possibilities.

As reported in The Australian, some TV networks, such as the ABC, have even jumped on board, seeing the iPad as a portable video player, perfect for watching ABC content on its iView website.

Most broadcasters, however, are following the lead of television manufacturers and filmmakers, which acted as one at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and declared 3D the new black when it comes to in-home electronics.

Foxtel have announced it will show the Socceroos' final friendly match before the World Cup in South Africa in 3D. This will be followed in rapid succession by three State of Origin rugby league games and 15 FIFA World Cup matches, all to be screened in 3D.


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