Monday, February 9, 2009

NYT: Buy A Kindle Or We'll Shoot This Newspaper.

You can skip Richard Perez-Pena's some-holds-barred account of the NYT's financial troubles this morning, and go straight to the home page right now for the paper's fawning coverage of the new Amazon Kindle. "New Kindle Is Faster, Smarter, Thinner," boasts the headline of the lead story right now -- a virtual love sonnet to the second-generation electronic reader. The story follows a morning of live-blogging from the Kindle announcement at Amazon HQ.

Why should the NYT pay so much money to cover an event that has solely to do with selling digital readers to the public, for profit? The answer is obvious, and maybe a little sad.

You know the Kindle. It's the rectangular plastic thingie from Amazon that was supposed to kill off books. Well, it turns out they got that wrong a little. It's gonna kill off the American newspaper instead.

One of these days, we'll all have a Kindle, just like we're all getting iPhones and Netflix and TiVo. They're still a little expensive, but that will change. It's $379 (with free Super Saver Shipping!) so it may not replace the newspaper just yet. But over the weekend, the NYTPicker found itself in the presence of a longtime print subscriber who could not manage to turn the pages of the sports section without crinkling them up. Kindle will take care of that.

“We see the Kindle and we see e-books as a real opportunity because we think that it will not cannibalize the physical part of the business and it will also generate and create new readers of books,” Markus Dohle, CEO of Random House, told the Times. That quote might just as easily come from the mouths of an NYT executive.

Come on, let's sell some Kindles, everybody!

[UPDATE: The NYT website just updated and toned down its Kindle headline. Now it reads, Amazon in Big Push for New Kindle Model.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

see this story? it's about how the chinese have banned official news sites from carrying pictures of the hotel fire. and the NYT story itself carries ---- no pictures.