Coming to Terms with the Tablet

Did you know it is predicted that by 2015 there will be 82.1 million tablet users in the United States?


I have remained a firm believer in print mediums as the world has moved to adopt tablets as a part of life. I can’t imagine that anything can replace the experience of receiving my monthly subscription of Vogue in the mail every month. Though the convenience of reading a magazine on a tablet is clear, nothing compares to flipping through the pages and tearing out your favorite pictures.


So I asked myself, if tablets are so radically different from print mediums, why are they so popular? Despite my hesitance to accept the tablet I found arguments in favor of the tablet that begun to change my mind.

1) Tablets eliminate the need for physical storage

With the tablet your library is in your hand. No longer do you need to have massive shelves of books taking up space in your house. I particularly like the idea of replacing my backpack of heavy textbooks with one thin tablet. Not only will you never forget a book at home but also students will have fewer heath issues from weighty backpacks.

2) Textbooks for class cost less on the tablet

The tablet can also make the purchase of textbooks more affordable for students. The inherent cost of producing a textbook is removed when the book is purchased in tablet form. In essence, books on the tablet are “scalable.” Meaning that though there may be higher fixed costs to make a book available on the tablet, once it is set up the marginal costs are very low.

3) Tablets allow magazines to provide data for advertisers

The best argument that I found in support of tablets, however, is the benefits they provide for advertisers. In the spring of 2012, Condé Nast started to report readership statistics from their tablets. Each advertiser can now know:

  1. The number of sales for both tablet subscriptions and single-copy sales during a specific reporting period
  2. The number of readers who opened the tablet edition
  3. The number of times that readers opened the edition
  4. The amount of time that readers spent reading the edition

Advertisers who paid for a premium ad can also know:

  1. How many readers clicked on their ad
  2. How many times the ad was displayed
  3. How long the reader looked at the ad

I think that this data is great for both magazines and advertisers. It will allow advertisers to know that they are placing their ads in the correct magazines and that readers are interested in their product. It will also allow companies like Condé Nast to provide real statistics that will show advertisers that it is worthwhile to advertise in their magazines.

Print subscriptions will not be disappearing anytime soon but with this new data maybe magazines will be able to improve their revenues from tablets. If companies like Condé Nast can make this their core competency, I think that the magazine industry will not only be sustained but excel.

Vogue Magazine:


Moving forward I think that book and magazine lovers will need to weigh the costs of benefits of the tablet. Like many technological advances, the tablet is an example of the double-edged sword. For ever pro there is a con and each user will need to determine if he or she wants to utilize or pass up the tablet as a way to interact with reading. For now I think I will stick to my monthly subscription in the mail, but in the future perhaps I will invest in a tablet as well.


8 thoughts on “Coming to Terms with the Tablet

  1. Great post! I loved the format and the use of different font sizes and colors. The post was well organized and visually appealing and easy to read. You also made a lot of great connections to class topics. I was one who very much resisted the tablet. I just didn’t understand what was so great other than playing games. My family bought a nook right before I went abroad to New Zealand and I was able to take it for the 4 month trek. I LOVED having it! The fact that I could buy books instantly was great and that I could have multiple books and games on one small devise was awesome for the long flight. I think that there a lot of great benefits to tablets and I will be interesting in seeing their growth in the future. Great job!

  2. I totally agree with you and am also not a big fan of tablets. I think they are a luxury only and are not really useful to have, especially when everything that a tablet can be done by your smartphone and laptop. Also, I just prefer to read an actual book, as I think reading one off of an electronic tablet just takes away from the experience. In regards to advertisers I do feel like the tablet is a better choice because of the data that can be collected on the users. Magazines just can’t compete with that as advertisers just have to guess what magazines to put their ads in based on the reading content. The blog post was organized very well and it made it much more more interesting to read.

  3. I agree with the pervious comments about the visual set up of this blog, The organization and style of it made it really easy and interesting to read. I would have to say my feelings on tablets have changed. I use to not really understand the point. Like kmakenich said, I did not understand what was so special because smartphones and laptops can do the same thing. However, after using friends’ and family members’ tablets, I can see the benefits of their use and convenience. While I still believe you can live without a tablet, less so than with a smartphone or laptop, I think the fast past environment we live in today calls for as much connivence and efficiency as we can get. With all the features offered on tablets, which have a larger screen to display more content, I think humans will adapt even more to become more reliant on this technology.

  4. I found this post easy to relate to because I have been skeptical of tablets for a pretty long time now. Personally, I feel that I get a lot more out of my reading when I use print copies, but their is no denying that it is cheaper to get them online. I really liked how you touched upon the scalability of selling books through tablets. I also liked the image at the top because I am beginning to realize how popular tablet use has become in this country. I agree that advertising on tablets is extremely beneficial to firms because it gives them all of this new data to evaluate and learn from. At this point I am unsure whether I will succumb to the pressures and purchase a tablet or not, but this blog presented some pretty good arguments. Nice post!

  5. I can’t lie; I was one of those people who stuck my nose up when the iPad first came out and viewed it as a glorified, over-sized iTouch. Now, my haughty feelings have faded somewhat, but I still don’t see myself having one anytime soon. I think it has to do with the fact that similar to an iTouch in comparison to an iPhone, the iPad doesn’t have everything that is could have in comparison to a MacBook. Maybe I’m greedy for functionality, or maybe I just need my tech items to be concise in numbers, but it’s extraordinary that this sector of technology didn’t exist three years ago while now existing as a multi-million dollar business! So like you, I have come to term with it being here to stay.

  6. Great job on this post, Taylor! I too have often stopped and wondered who actually uses tablets and how are I don’t think they can be THAT different from laptops except for the fact that laptops are capable of more. I understand that it is easier to tote around, but iPhones and other smart phones have just as much functions, but are even smaller and act as a phone too. Why do so many people have smartphones AND tablets? That is what confuses me most. I feel like, at this point, all of this has become one giant competition to figure out who can have the most “cutting edge” technology at once. However, after reading your blog post, I think I have a bit more of an understanding of why people are so hooked and hell bent on getting a tablet. I think the thing about magazines being able to provide data for advertisers is really cool, but I don’t see how that should interest me. I get why a company would want that, because they get concrete results of what works in advertising and what does not, but it does nothing for the reader. I get why they can be so helpful, but I still do not see myself becoming a part of the trend. Awesome blog!

  7. This post was very well done. Great use of media as well. One thing in particular that you said that stuck with me that instead of worry about whether the print industry will suffer because of this, companies should be thinking about how they can expand their market on these tablets to make themselves more profitable. I completely agree. As daunting as it is that these tablets could possibly eliminate the print industry, companies can view it as the fact that tablets are adding another industry for them to possibly succeed in. Although tablets have not surpassed the print consumers just yet (viewed in your statistic from Vogue magazine), with how technology has surpassed many industries within the past couple years, this could be a possibility.

  8. Really nice post! You touched on some key aspects of advertising and marketing here. It is difficult to envision a future where print media is completely gone, but you make some good points about the efficiency of tablets. I do think that the tablets are here to stay and will grow in the future.

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