Study: Tablets altering the publishing landscape
For better or worse, digital technology has proven to be a game-changer for the publishing industry. Rather than relying primarily on printed sources for the news, readers are now gravitating toward web-based and other digital formats.
According to an August 2011 study from forest industry analyst firm RISI, tablet computers are expected to further this trend and cause an even greater disruption in the publishing industry.
The study estimates that 195 million media tablets will be sold by 2015. This, in turn, will cause paper use for magazines, newspapers and books in North America to drop by as much as 20 percent. In 15 years, paper use in North America could be cut in half, RISI predicts.
Publishers are not expected to disappear altogether, however. While the rise of tablets and other web-connected devices certainly disrupts business models, many publishers are expected to adapt to these new trends and release publications that cater to the new technology.
This adaption has already been seen in several areas of the publishing industry. Amazon, for example, has found a lucrative business with its Kindle™ e-reader and Kindle apps for tablets. Additionally, several news publications have introduced magazines and newspapers designed specifically for tablets.