Magazines answer to e-book readers

book2-0082381Magazine behemoth Hearst Corp. is developing an electronic reader for magazines (like Amazon’s, Sony’s, and B&N’s). As with all forms of new media that pop up, publishing execs are trying to figure out how to accommodate all the pros and cons of the platform. While readers who won’t be able to scratch and sniff perfume samples (an idea that may already be in development), there’s a lot a handheld digital presentation can offer publishers, readers, and the planet.

– Portable (about 8×11)
– Video integration
– Instant shopping
– No printing or shipping costs
– Unstackable (no need to store in cabinets and corners)

A MediaWeek article mentions the “grey presentation” of Amazon’s Kindle as a possible con, but I’m pretty sure that color will be what developers will be after with the magazine e-reader. Bookworms haven’t protested the black and whiteness of books for centuries,  and I can’t see them making a huge fuss over Kindle’s decision to stay in the same thread. On the other hand, if somebody decided to put magazines in “grey,” it would be like trading in an ’09 Sony flat panel for a ’32 Baird TV kit.

– Natasha Dorsainvil

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