E-reading in E-urope
Posted November 12, 2009on:
While Europe is way ahead of the U.S. in plain-old cellular service—an extra $65 to AT&T for the month got me all-you-can-eat roaming data on my iPhone throughout Europe, with ubiquitous 3G coverage from Munich to Geneva to London—it’s trailing us in the shift to e-readers and tablets. This is mainly due to fragmented markets; there are so many carriers, publishers and languages that it’s hard to see how any one platform will arise any time soon. The Kindle, which was just launched abroad, is still considered cutting-edge technology and is wowing the masses, though books are only available in English for now.
I had one tiny epiphany I wanted to share, however. I was invited to attend an in-house conference at Richemont, the company that owns some of the world’s best-known luxury brands. Throughout the day, the digital brand managers were showing off some of their Web-based projects and, as I watched some of the really gorgeous, cinematic stuff that they were doing, I realized that one day soon, these sorts of things will evolve from being Web pages to being the ad pages that adorn digital magazines.
This is actually a very big deal. It means that display advertising will work again.
Right now, the model doesn’t work because you have to go to, say, Van Cleef & Arpels’s website to see its ad. But what if the ad came to you, just as it does in a magazine. Only it’s way better than a magazine because it’s animated and compelling. Imagine reading your favorite magazine on a tablet, and you hit this leopard (Now, on the Web, you’ve got to let it load first; that won’t be a problem on a downloaded e-mag.) How could you not stop and interact with it? Advertising will work so much better in the tablet-mag world.