Tag Archives: apartments.com

iPad’s Impact on Newspapers: Too Little, Too Late?

Wired on the iPad, via All Things D

Next month, Apple’s iPad comes out (and I will buy one). But what will be the impact of iPads and tablets from other companies on traditional media? Many are considering it to be the new magazine form factor. In theory, the iPad would make online ads compelling, and better enable digital subscriptions and a la carte buys. Wired Magazine, for one, has been showing off a good- looking prototype. I highly recommend this video from the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D site.

Newspapers will look great, too. Look at The New York Times iPad demo. My guess, however, is that the iPad’s impact on newspapers’ bottom line will be marginal for several years – and then, it may be too late. While the iPad should have excellent introductory sales, most sales will likely be low end units without communications, so their usage will be mostly home and coffee shop based. Low end units, limited to WiFi Internet, are $499. Wireless Communications adds $130, plus $30 a month. Wifi-only won’t provide a big lift to newspapers, because it doesn’t get the product onto commuter trains.

Newspaper companies, of course, are better positioned to participate in the mobile revolution than a year ago by virtue of their vertical properties, such as Classified Ventures’ Cars.com and Apartments.com. Both are “on the go” media sites that allow users to get information on a 24/7 basis, but more importantly, while they are out and about shopping for their category.

Other newspaper niche sites, like The Envelope from The Los Angeles Times , bring newspapers into an entirely new domain with the addition of online App games based on news and entertainment. These might ultimately play a role in the transformation of newspapers.

For now, I’m not counting on significant advertising or circulation revenue to develop for newspapers directly because of their investments in tablet devices, or mobile generally.

Two Apartment Sites Tie Up for Broader Reach

The old maxim says that when new cars are down, used cars are up. And when house sales are down, apartments are up. We’ve heard from some publishers that they are seeing more apartment advertising. But prices have been hurt by “shadow rentals” for houses and condos that don’t move, and boomerang kids moving in with their parents instead of getting their own place. According to Reis, Inc., rents stayed flat or declined in 59 of the 79 markets tracked last quarter.

Meanwhile, the apartment portals are making their moves. Classified Ventures’ Apartments.com announced this week that it is buying Austin-based Apartment Home Living, a lifestyle brand. The two sites will maintain separate identities, but will combine their reach.

Apartment Home Living gets 525,000 unique visitors a month, and might be seen as a site for more freewheeling renters than apartments.com — although they really offer the same types of features. The site says it provides a “live for fun” community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching, and 4,100 local living guides and 1,100 local videos to help renters find “their perfect place to live.”

The site also provide “MyMedia”–a product that helps apartment managers increase their closing and retention rates via personalized emails, forms, flyers and videos. A version of “MyMedia” will be available to Apartments.com customers this spring.