Asahi Abandons (English-language) Print .... for iPad
In the teeth of the recession, newspapers cut days of publishing to make ends meet. More than 80 dailies cut back days, mainly last year. Now with the prediction that as many as 50 million iPads will be sold in the next two years, according to yesterday’s EMarketer report, it’s clear we’ve got a new path. Have an unprofitable, or barely profitable print product. Bag it, and go to the iPad.
One of these early moves comes in Tokyo.
Asahi, the New York Times’ partner in Japan, is soon eliminating (good report from Andy Sharp on that market) its daily English-language edition that fit nicely into the back of the International Herald Tribune’s Japan edition. Now, the IHT will continue publishing, but without the Asahi pages.
Asahi is pricing its English-language paid iPad app for $9.99 monthly and for $5.99 for Kindle.
According to Sharp, all the English-language papers from Japanese publishers are losing money. Asahi was down to about 20,000 circulation. Yomiuri, one of the remaining English-language publishers — and incidentally, at 10,000,000 for its national edition the largest newspaper by circulation (in Japanese) in the world — counts about 32,000 for its English-language edition.
Look for lots more announcements like this — replacing marginal print with tablet products — over the next several years.