I Watch, Therefore iPad

Apple's ipad (promotional image)

Apple's iPad - introducing video journalism to the mainstream? (apple.com)

By Emily Craig

When it launched the iPad, Apple described its new product as ‘revolutionary’. And, with its 9.5 inch high resolution screen, it has been designed with video in mind.

Aware that more and more people are consuming video content online, the iPad is marketed as ‘the best way to experience the web, email, photos and video’. But is Apple responding to a demand for video content that already exists, or is it stimulating that demand?

There is clear evidence to support the latter. YouTube and Apple have collaborated on a new app, designed specifically for iPad users. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, and Rupert Murdoch, the most famous risk-taker in the journalism business, have just launched a new newspaper – The Daily Its focus? Delivering video content.

At the same time, a new report suggests that people are more likely to spend longer viewing videos on a mobile device than when they’re sitting down at their desktops. Those who own iPads demonstrate the longest ‘staying power’ (about 5 minutes). So it looks like Jobs and Murdoch might be onto something.

It could go either way for The Daily. At the moment, everything Apple touches turns a profit; Murdoch, the traditional newspaper man, is searching for a game changer. But if The Daily succeeds, it’s unlikely to be the first attempt at capturing the iPad market.

The iPad is allowing people to consume content in a different way. In fact, it’s a device designed for content consumption. Unlike a laptop, there isn’t a keyboard; unlike a laptop, with its connotations of work, the iPad advertisements show us young, attractive men and women lounging and ‘playing’.

It’s one thing to watch a music video on your iPad via its YouTube app, it’s quite another to expect the ‘news’ to arrive this way. Apple successfully sells entertainment – arguably, it’s the iPod that’s enabled the company to secure mainstream sales figures. But it’s not yet clear whether the iPad will understand, or will promote, more serious video journalism.

Many people are waiting to see what happens to The Daily. 10 million iPads are expected to be sold by the end of the year, as Apple’s competitors launch their own tablet computers.

If this new technology doesn’t invite video journalists to the party, it’s difficult to imagine who or what will finally secure them their mainstream popularity.

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One Response to I Watch, Therefore iPad

  1. It’s been announced that The Daily is to be launched on 2 February. This event had originally been scheduled for mid-January, but the Wall Street Journal reported that there have been problems with setting up the subscription platform.

    James Murdoch has said that a subscription to the new iPad newspaper will cost $0.99 per week.

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