The bright side of iPad subscriptions

There’s been a lot of uproar over Apple’s 30% subscription for the iPad.

And you can understand why: just when publishers thought they could see a way to charge for digital content, the revenue evaporates before their very eyes. And revenues aren’t all publishers are worrying about. They’re not used to their distributors having so much control over content.

But maybe we should take the long view on this. The iPad and the other tablets coming on the market got people used to the idea that they would have to pay for some content. It gave publishers the push they needed to start developing digital strategies that include paid-for content.

So, if you can get people to pay for one thing, you may well be able to get them to pay for another, and another after that.  It may not be access to readily available news on a website; it could be something far more specific.

It may not turn out to be an iPad app. But the iPad could well be the trigger that gets publishers coming up with all sorts of new ways to pay for the content that we love to create.

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