Sony clinch e-subs of WSJ, New York Post, MarketWatch; gauging consumer interest in multimedia tablet

Chris Davies - Dec 18, 2009

The scrabble to dominate the ebook and digital content space continues, with Sony apparently clinching a deal with The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post for digital subscriptions on their Reader series of ebook devices.  MarketWatch subscriptions will also be available, and Sony expect monthly pricing to be $14.99 for the WSJ, $9.99 for the Post and $10.99 for MarketWatch.  However Sony played down speculation that it plans a tablet-style device, with CEO Howard Stringer suggesting that the company would play a wait-and-see game to see which way consumers jump.

“The consumer will tell us if this format is comfortable and helpful and convenient and all those things before you start plowing on a thousand apps” Howard Stringer, CEO, Sony

Asked whether a “VAIO Reader” was on the cards, Stringer claimed that a single-purpose reading device was potentially more valuable and had broader market appeal.  “I think it will be interesting to see if this is the reader of choice, particularly for older audiences who don’t need a million other applications” he told reporters, “there is a whole generation that may learn to love this. We might as well let them find out.”

Sony declined to reveal specific sales figures for their Reader range, but described numbers as “phenomenal”; they also declined to directly compare their success with the Amazon Kindle.  Instead, they believe “there is plenty of audience to go around”.

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