“iPad Strategy”: incredibly limiting or a useful frame?


I recently tweeted to announce The Insight Exchange’s iPad Strategy Workshop, which will be held as part of the Newspaper Publisher’s Assocation Future Forum in Sydney on August 27.

I was a bit surprised by the response, firstly from @trib who said:

@rossdawson seriously, Ross, *iPad strategy*? Isn’t that incredibly limiting and the sign of some bandwagon-induced narrow thinking?

with @renailemay supporting @trib and @abroadabroadeh separately writing:

@rossdawson cmon Ross – ” iPad strategy” ? Please! It’s a tool it should be part of a strategy – talk about shiny object syndrome

…followed by a bit of to-and-fro between us all on how iPad is only one element of media distribution.

It’s a fair point. As a media organization, anything you do on the iPad has to be considered within the complete context.

As it happens I am also giving the closing keynote on the conference day of the Future Forum preceding the workshop, speaking on Creating the Future of Media. I will specifically talk about the emerging Mediascape which encompasses every facet of media, and how to choose where to play in that space.

The iPad Strategy Workshop will zoom in from that big picture to look at strategy within the single slice of iPads and tablets. I considered naming the workshop ‘iPad and Tablet Strategy’, but the name starts to get unwieldy, and even though we will look at distribution on other tablets such as Kindle in the workshop, the reality is that today the vast bulk of the interest and opportunity lies on the iPad.

Since newspapers and other media organizations are looking at the iPad as a specific opportunity and working out what to do with it, I absolutely believe that “iPad Strategy” is a useful and valuable frame. In that specific space, companies need to look at pricing, production, design, positioning relative to other platforms, and a host of other issues.

Certainly iPad strategy needs to be considered and executed within the broader framework of all distribution and value-add, but it is a valid and important slice to take in developing media strategy, which we expect to do a lot more work on.

That’s what I think, anyway. What do you think – am I deluded?