“The end of print isn’t just near — it’s here,” declares ManBitesTinseltown‘s Ray Richmond. “It happened when I downloaded an App onto my iPhone called News Fuse. “For a one-time payment of 99 cents — 99 cents! — it supplies you with content from 18 separate news outlets, including: the L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, CNN, NPR, ESPN, CBS News, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC News, BBC News, Reuters, Fox News and Yahoo! News.”
We’re all aware how news reading is being re-shaped and re-configured, but stop for a second and consider a simple principle. I read a newspaper maybe once or twice a month but it’s a genuinely pleasant thing when I get around to it. I don’t think anyone really enjoys reading newspapers on their iPhones for too long a period. It’s the way of the world and all that, but it’s not greatly pleasurable — it’s merely fast, convenient and at one with the pace of things. Shouldn’t reading pleasure have something to do with our reading choices?
I’m also reminded that an April 2009 Greystripe report claimed that “people use free apps an average of 20 times before getting bored and looking for something else” and that “the average time they spend using/playing with the apps is 9.6 minutes.” Does this equation change when it comes to paid apps? Somewhat, I’m guessing, but not to a great degree.