OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in News on 03/12/2012 By Mark Glaser & Desiree Everts

What the new iPad means for publishers, advertisers

In the months leading up to the launch of Apple’s newest iPad, rumors and speculation about its new features whirled throughout the blogosphere. News publishers including The New York Times, the New York Daily News and The Associated Press updated their iPad apps in anticipation of the tablet’s debut. While some of the rumors were off, others were spot on. The “new iPad,” as Apple has christened it, is similar to previous versions in shape and size, but it has better screen clarity, improved video and photo-editing software, and the capacity to connect to 4G LTE networks. Will it be a game changer for publishers? Most industry observers say that’s doubtful, but it will offer some advantages for both publishers and advertisers alike. As ClickZ’s Anna Maria Virzi wrote, “Apple’s iPad has dazzled consumers. And the latest model, unveiled today, includes features that marketers will need to consider in the coming year.”

The most striking update is the sharper Retina display. At 264 pixels per inch, the new iPad has twice the resolution of its predecessor, the iPad 2. What does that mean for publishers? That “translates into a bigger canvas on which to create more powerful digital experiences,” Andrew Solmssen, a managing director at Possible Worldwide, told ClickZ’s Virzi. Digital Book World’s Jean Kaplansky agreed, saying the new retina screen resolution combined with faster processing will “vastly enhance and enrich the reading experience of books, newspapers, magazines, and catalogs.” Knight Digital Media Center’s Amy Gahran focused on the updated camera and photo-editing software. “The improved camera and built-in photo, video, and audio editing and management capabilities of the iPad 3 might also make this market segment a good target for multimedia contests, or collaborative projects such as crowdsourcing,” she noted. And while it might take publishers some time to figure out what to do with the new features, Apple in the meantime is in a good spot. As Digital Book World’s Kaplansky wrote, “As publishers begin exploring the potential of the new iPad, Apple can rest (albeit briefly) knowing that it has outpaced its competitors and left the rest of the tablet industry to catch up, yet again.”