A Quarter of Americans Get News on Cell Phones
ABC News has a website and an Apple (AAPL) iPhone app, but advertising through these outlets isn't enough to support the cost of traditional newsrooms. Many magazines are preparing products for the new Apple iPad tablet computer, but it's not clear that the iPad will sell well, or how publishers will charge advertisers on the new platform.
The rise in accessing news through cell phones is another reason that some large media companies like News Corp. (NWS) want to erect pay walls around their most-expensive-to-produce content. The Wall Street Journal won't be free online, on cell phones or in its traditional paper form. That leaves open the issue of how much the Journal will be hurt by the availability of free financial content on wireless handsets.
The earliest enemy of traditional paid or ad-supported content was the PC-based Internet. Now premium-content companies have to battle people's wireless handset habits as well.