Digital Delivery for E-Publications
The type of digital delivery may be the most important question. This probably breaks down into a version for subscription and one for purchase models. Subscription publications will strive to make distribution as flexible as possible due to their dependence on circulation driving advertising revenue. The challenge for the publisher of market specific magazines will come from the need to justify advertising revenue based on actual reader click through rather then just the circulation list. However, magazines and newspapers that are able to command a subscription price will still be able to leverage advertising revenue based on circulation. The key to this all: without physical distribution barriers, the competitive playing field will be leveled favoring the digital presentation as much as the actual content.
Unique publications such as books will be far more concerned about control of the digital object. Of course efficient distribution models such as from Amazon or Apple’s iBooks will dominate, however, they will be most concerned about the Digital Rights Management. Unfortunately I believe we will start out with as many restrictions as the distributors can get away with. I do not see the E-Reader device as the controller because I do not see the major players designing for that. It may appear that Apple leans in that direction, but they make money either way. Amazon offering an iPad version of their Kindle is a prime example of catering to a single revenue stream. Control of the digital object will be handled by the software application. Hence the E-Reader will be selected for affordability for desired features.
Here is the link to my interview with OurBlook on Digital Delivery which expands upon this topic.