Newspaper program for Kindle DX creates opportunities, challenges

Amazon recently introduced the Kindle DX, the newest version of its Kindle mobile reading device. The company promises a higher-quality reading experience on the device because its screen, which shows content in shades of gray, is considerably larger than that of its predecessors.

In the news
Amazon recently introduced the Kindle DX, the newest version of its Kindle mobile reading device. The company promises a higher-quality reading experience on the device because its screen, which shows content in shades of gray, is considerably larger than that of its predecessors.

Media companies also got in on the launch – and further promoted their content on mobile devices. The New York Times Co. and The Washington Post Co., once bitter news-gathering rivals, jointly announced a pilot program where they will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live outside of their home-delivery areas and who sign up for long-term subscriptions.

Why does it matter?
The investment by the two media companies signals that outlets will increasingly use new platforms to reach readers, and also to create additional subscription revenue streams. “It's an incremental, tactical step,” says Lloyd Trufelman, president of Trylon SMR. “You can't fault them for trying something new, and everyone is looking for the savior, and the savior is to make online newspaper content as ubiquitous and valuable [as companies can].”

However, news content's move to mobile devices, whether the Kindle, iPhone, or others, could make the jobs of PR professionals more difficult because consumers read less of a story online, notes Steve Rubel, SVP and director of insights for Edelman Digital. Clients will more often expect placement in the first few paragraphs of a story, he adds.

“I think it's pain for the PR industry,” Rubel says. “We're going to have to think differently.”

Three facts:
1 The Kindle DX features a 9.7-inch display screen, more than two times the display area of the Kindle

2 The Kindle DX is not just for books, newspapers, and magazines. More than 1,500 blogs are also available via the device

3 Other US and international newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time and The New Yorker, are available on Kindle DX

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