Borzykowski: Can Apple's iTablet make you pay for news? - MoneySense

Borzykowski: Can Apple’s iTablet make you pay for news?

Apple’s new reader may transform news, but let’s not get priced out of the revolution.


In one hour or so, Apple’s Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the iTablet (or iSlate or iPad, depending on what you read). Techies are hailing it as the mother of all inventions. People are saying it’ll change the press, the way we read, even the way we live. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this apparently 10″ screen device, but it’s far too early to tell if it’ll live up to its promise.

But whatever Apple reveals, there’s no doubt publishers are desperate for new revenue models. Print is dying, but is digital the future?

Yes, yes, this isn’t a tech blog, so I won’t go all nerd on you here. What I’m wondering, and what I think concerns MoneySense readers, is how much would you pay to read something online? We’re not talking about an article — this would be the full paper or magazine in all its glossy, illustrated glory. You’d subscribe to MoneySense and every issue launch date it would show up on your tablet ready to be read. This could revolutionize the internet — you wouldn’t have to venture over to our website anymore; instead you’d just click on the MoneySense icon and voila the issue and its digital extras would appear. But, of course, you’d have to pay.

No matter what I would find the money for my $90 New Yorker subscription. I would also subscribe to MoneySense (if I do say so myself) if I didn’t get it for free by working here. I wouldn’t pay $401 a year for the Globe (which is how much a yearly subscription costs for the daily paper) — that’s too steep for my daily news. I’d probably pay half that to access it on an iTablet, as long as it looks good and has lots of bonus content.

It’s great if this new invention lives up to the buzz, but hopefully consumers — and especially us wannabe savers out there — won’t be priced out of the revolution. (And I didn’t even mention how much it would cost to buy the device.)

How much would you pay to access news online? And how many publications would you subscribe to?