New Digital Reader Could Give Kindle Run for Their Money

Five of the largest publishers of U.S. newspapers and magazines are taking aim at Amazon's Kindle e-book reader by developing their very own digital reader with their own, unique format that would display in color and work on an array of devices. The publishers, Meredith, Conde Nast, Time Inc, News Corp and Hearst Corporation publish Time, Cosmopolitan and Better Homes and Gardens, just to name a few, and they announced in December that their format will compete with Kindle's gray e-ink. They also disclosed the fact that their e-book reader will have an emphasis on visuals so that the distinctive look of each publication is retained which is a far cry from Kindle's text oriented format. The new digital reader would incorporate games, videos and social networking sites with the magazine-like layout that the user can flip through with a swipe of a finger. The Amazon Kindle has been on the market since 2007 and Amazon sells e-books, newspapers and other publications that cannot be viewed on any device besides the Kindle. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp's Chief Executive has been very vocal about his disappointment in the Kindle. His company receives a bit more than one-third of the $14.99 monthly subscription fee that Amazon.com charges users for the Wall Street Journal but News Corp. has very limited access to the data of its subscribers which leads Murdoch to say it is not a good deal. The new innovative venture would allow the individual partners to set their own prices for their content and it also has plans to come up with some new forms of interactive advertising that zeros in on users who are more engaged. Together the five media companies reach 145 million readers and they are all equal partners in this new undertaking. The announcement of this new venture certainly gives us, as consumers, a glimpse into what the future holds for electronic readers. It is widely thought that e-readers will be the norm in the very near future and that traditional paper and print media will be replaced by this more cost-effective and eco-friendly way to receive news and read magazines. -C Rupp

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