The iPad launch on April 3rd will be a legendary day for the media world. The 240k reported pre-orders have already proven that, though there is still the chance that the iPad won’t live up to the hype and sell five million units in its first year, it’s highly unlikely.
One reason is that the publishing industry is working hard not to leave the iPad’s launch content offerings to anxious amateurs and developers. The apps will be there at launch, but anyone lucky enough to have already pre-ordered an iPad (Apple is no longer accepting orders for in-store pick up on April 3rd and all new orders deliver on April 12th) will have content from notable brands like Time, Newsweek, and GQ. In the coming months expect to see Wired, Sports Illustrated, Glamour, Viv Magazine and more. These are some of the oldest, most respected brands on the shelves today, looking to step up the experience they bring to their millions of subscribers and give them a reason to splurge and be a part of the iPad frenzy.
John Huey, Time’s editor-in-chief, said it best when asked why the publishing empire was putting the release of their flagship news brand before their monster male mag Sports Illustrated, “it has a huge, influential audience, and we’re anxious to get this new alternative into their hands.”
The key words in Huey’s statement are influential and alternative. Time knows there is an overlap between the quarter-million pre-orders and their subscriber list. It would be bad business if they didn’t show up to the party on April 3rd. They wouldn’t be so influential, and their readers would be prime targets for anyone pushing an alternative.
So what about the African-American market? Has anyone seen or heard of an iPad demo of Ebony or Jet? Or how about Black Enterprise, Essence, Uptown or Vibe? AA brands are the ones who could benefit most from the new revenue streams offered by the iPad. Spending fell by 33.3% in 2009 for national mags in the AA category, and 72.1% for AA network television, according to a recent Nielsen report. Looks like advertisers are finding alternative outlets to reach the AA audience. Even worse, that the influence of the AA audience is being taken for granted or ignored by their oldest representatives.