We’ve all been reading about Amazon’s Kindle 2 e-book reader and how it will affect the publishing industry, more specifically the dying print newspaper market. Many say that in time the Kindle reader would spell the demise of the print media as we know it today. Let’s take a quick look at what the Amazon Kindle can really do.
The Kindle, be it the first or second generation model, allows you to read e-books, e-magazines, and e-newspapers from a diminutive screen anywhere, anytime. You might think that it’s just an iPod loaded with an e-book reader app, but with a larger screen. But what makes the Kindle outstanding is the fact that if you are located in an area covered by the Amazon network, digital content can be pushed automatically to your Kindle reader. And not just ordinary digital contents, but those which you have selected and opted to buy or subscribe to at the Amazon Kindle store. This could range from magazines such as Time and Newsweek, newspapers such as NYT and WSJ, and of course e-books from the Amazon bookstore.
Purchasing digital content from the Kindle Store is fast for as long as you are connected. When you purchase a book, you can opt to have it send wirelessly, and it does so faster than you can immediate. You wouldn’t even notice that the book you purchased will already be in your Kindle. Compare to that to actually going to a bookstore to pick up and interesting book, or ordering it online which will take several weeks to arrive, especially if you are living outside the U.S. The same holds true for newspapers and magazine titles. The Amazon Kindle ensures quick delivery of information.
Now, the question is, will Kindle spell trouble for the dying newspaper industry? Not really. It might reduce the number of print subscribers but not everyone would be willing to spend extra to get the Kindle. While those who are more than willing to spend extra for such a device may not actually be print newspaper readers, or worst don’t read newspapers at all. But with a gadget as cool as the Kindle, it might actually encourage them to start their daily newspaper reading habit.
Rather than killing the gradually dying print newspaper industry, the Kindle reader might actually save it. Of course that is also true with the Kindle’s effect on Amazon’s potential gains as well. Investment bank Collins Stewart predicted revenue of $305 million this year for Amazon, with gross profit amounting to $70 million this year. Not bad, considering the fact that Amazon was just trying to market its main product – printed books and other information material when it created the Amazon Kindle.