Newsagents Threatened by New E Book Concept

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Newsagents could come under threat after five major magazine and newspaper publishers including News Ltd, announced plans to build an industry-standard platform to present their work on the Web, phones and on e-readers as opposed to selling a print publication via a newsagent.

The consortium of News Ltd, Time, Conde Nast (who publishes Vogue), the Hearst Corporation and Meredith have put aside budgets to design software primarily for devices that do not yet exist. Among them are a generation of Smartphones, netbooks and full-colour e-book readers that will allow readers to access video and websites directly from the publication.

This week Time released a video that showed a full-color touch-screen complete with an interactive digital magazine that it claims readers would find not only more attractive than what is now available on mobile devices, but also vastly more interactive and more in touch with what they want.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a News Ltd-owned publication, the consortium envisions selling these versions of their publications through an online store akin to iTunes. The consortium hopes to grab not just readers but also advertisers, allowing publishers to charge higher rates for digital ads, which now are much cheaper than print ads.

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