Category Archives: E-Readers & Digital Editions

News for the Welsh Disapora

The 20% of the Welsh population who actually speak their national language finally have their own online weekly newspaper. Y-Cymro, the weekly newspaper for North Wales, has launched a Web site, an e-mail edition, and a digital edition. “We decided to introduced the service to attract new readers, but there has been a demand for the service from people all around the world,” Y-Cymro Deputy Editor Myfanwi Griffiths told Y-Cymro‘s print edition has a readership of around 4,500, but the publishers expect many new subscriptions for the digital edition from Welsh readers based overseas.

Satellite Newspapers Licenses New American Subsidiary

One of the oldest vendors of digital edition technologies hasn’t strongly penetrated the American market, but hopes a reorganization announced earlier this week will change that. PEPC Worldwide of The Hague, which earlier this month changed its name to Satellite Newspapers, manufactures and operates vending machines that can print on-demand consumers’ choices of 122 daily newspapers from 50 countries. It’s installed 115 of these machines worldwide, primarily in hotels, resorts, airports, and corporate headquarters, but only 47 of the machines are in the Western Hemisphere and only 24 in the US. To accelerate its Western Hemisphere sales efforts, SN today announced that Satellite Enterprises Corp., a Canadian holding company publicly traded on NASD’s Bulletin Board exchange (ticker NASD-BB: SENR), has paid it US$10,000 worth of stock for an irrevocably license to SN’s vending machines, technology, and its sales rights in the Western Hemisphere. SN early this month quietly purchased a controlling interest in Satellite Enterprises Corp., which had no active business holdings; is moving it from Calgary to Boca Raton, and has installed SN CEO Steve Mannen and CFO Niels Reijers as its new chairman and as a board director. They have hired Fred DeVries and Renato Mariani, two former telecommunications executives as Satellite Enterprises Corp.’s new CEO and as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. None of the executives I’ve mentioned at either company have any newspaper industry experience.

Garcia Predicts Broadsheets Will Become Smaller Sized

Broadsheet newspapers are large, much larger than handheld electronic devices such as Tablets PCs. So, won’t broadsheets be unreadable when shrunk onto those devices’ displays? No, what makes you assume that broadsheets will stay broad in the future? “I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of newspapers became tabloid-sized, even A4-sized – and within my lifetime,” says Dr. Mario Garcia, an affiliate member of the Poynter Institute faculty and a world renown expert on newspaper design. Garcia has recently redesigned The Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Die Zeit, Handelsblatt, Liberation, and The Hindustan Times, and make his prediction about newspaper size earlier this week while in Dubai unveiling his redesign of Gulf News. International A4-sized paper is roughly equivalent to the American 8.5 x 11-inch paper.

Dr. Dobb's Journal's Convoluted Digital Edition Offering

The most convoluted combination of print, digital edition, and paid-content arrangements we’ve ever seen has just been announced by the computer magazine Dr. Dobb’s Journal. The magazine has launched a PDF-based digital edition, but it’s only available to printed edition subscribers and turns from PDF to HTML after 60 days. Dr. Dobb’s Journal Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Erickson provides a 500-word (not including the FAQs) explanation of how and why, with ‘Standard Subscription’ and ‘Premium Subscription’ options that we’ve yet to unravel.

Web Sites vs. Digital Editions: A False Competition

We received nice coverage this week in Online Journalism Review‘s story about newspaper digital editions.

The only thing we’d change is to note we haven’t ‘worked with all the major digital-edition vendors’ and hadn’t said that. We work for the publishers, not the vendors. The only digital edition vendor we’ve ever consulted to was the original PressPoint, which invented digital edition technologies in 1996. We worked for PressPoint onsite at its New York City headquarters three days each week during 1999-2001.

An item of interest in the OJR article was news that the in Colorado Springs already has 1,580 paying subscribers to its digital edition. The story quotes its content director saying, “Our circulation people are just ecstatic about the numbers,” which are tipping the paper

PEPC WorldWide Becomes Satellite Newspapers

PEPCWorldwide, whose satellite-connected vending boxes can on-demand print any of 119 daily newspapers from 48 countries, is rebranding itself as Satellite Newspapers. Steve Mannen, CEO of the Dutch company, explains, “This new easy-to-remember name reflects our company’s focus on the seamless distribution of digital newspaper editions through multicast satellite transmission. To secure a uniform and consistent market approach we decided to simultaneously link the name of the newspaper-vending machine directly to the company.”

London Times and FT to Launch Digital Editions

The Times of London and the Daily Telegraph, competitors, are the latest UK dailies to begin publishing digital editions.

What’s notable about these large (weekday print circulations ranging from 500,000 to 2 million) dailies publishing digital editions is that the Audit Bureau of Circulation in the UK & Ireland doesn’t yet audit or certify digital edition circulation. These large dailies nonetheless see positive business cases for launching digital editions.

The UK Journalism says that The Guardian and the FT plan to begin retailing digital editions later this year. (Actually, those two newspapers have been wholesaling digital editions for several years via PressPoint and NewspaperDirect, to newsstands, hotels, cruise ships, and kiosks. But now The Guardian and the FT will now be offering digital editions directly downloadable to consumers.)