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This is the future for e-readers

Published Mar 21, 2011

Two KTH students have studied the future for Internet tablets and e-readers (reading pads) in Sweden; they have also looked closely at two key factors. Firstly, the revenue opportunities that exist, and secondly how readers want the adverts to look like and appear in the Internet tablets and reading pads. The results show that integrated social media in reading pad newspapers can increase the payment willingness of readers and that readers prefer full-page adverts, which is an application within an application.

It is Torah Jansson and Anna Kvernplassen, both recently qualified engineers in Media Technology at KTH, that have studied the reading pads in their respective degree projects.

"There is a willingness to pay for newspapers in reading pads," says Anna Kvernplassen, who has looked into potential revenue models.

She can see, among other things, that there are a number of possible payment models, but at the memoment, newspapers are not experimenting with them in any significant way. The willingness to pay for digital content is greater among people who own a reading pad, compared to those who do not. The results also show that newspapers should integrate social media in their product in order to increase the value of the product among reading pad owners.

In addition, readers of newspapers place a value on their newspaper based on several different factors, for example, local and international news is valued most. Even supplements, the morning ritual, distribution and mobility are important factors to take into account with the advent of new media channels such as reading pads.

The findings show that newspapers should try several different payment models and that the packaging of the content should be done with a major focus on the customer. Local newspapers should wait with their entry and use of reading pads, but can start preparing their strategy for the media channel.

Tora Jansson has studied adverts in reading pad newspapers as this is all very new for advertisers. The purpose has been to examine what sort of advertising users prefer in terms of design, function and placing.

The results show that users prefer full-page adverts, which is an application within an application and that they may investigate a product directly in the advert instead of browsing further via the internet.

The findings show that adverts should be designed with a limited but intuitive interaction where images, in the form of icons, help the user in his exploration of the advert.

It further concludes that advertisers can enter alliances to jointly produce a more appealing advert for the users. For example, a tour operator may have a large advertisement, and in the advertisement, local businesses can advertise their attractive offers, such as excursions or restaurants.
"More cooperation between advertisers would benefit both users and advertisers," says Tora Jansson.

The reading pad market also looks set to become big in Sweden, where up to 655,000 Internet tablet and reading pads could be in the country within a year.

The study has been commissioned by the organisation Tidningsutgivarna (Newspaper Publishers).

For more information, contact Tora Jansson at 070-422 56 25 / toraj@kth.se or Anna Kvernplassen at 070-413 38 16 / annakve@kth.se.

Peter Larsson