What does Apple’s just-announced iPad Mini mean for branded content? It’s pretty straightforward: Tablets will quickly become a dominant medium, so you better plan on making content for them.
At its press event today, Apple said it has sold 100 million iPads. The standard iPad features a 9.7-inch screen and costs upwards of $500, and those aspects have limited the iPad’s appeal. Yes — even at 100 million sold, the iPad has been fenced in. The bigger size is great as a work space and makes for excellent video viewing, but the thing is bulky to carry and hard to hold when reading, and the price can be a little much for a big segment of consumers — including much of China and India.
Amazon proved the demand for a cheaper and smaller tablet. The Kindle Fire costs around $200 and has a 7-inch screen — easier for carrying, easier for book reading, easier to afford, and a nice fit between a smart phone and a laptop.
The success of the 7 inchers all but forced Apple to develop the iPad Mini, which comes in at $329 and up . (If you’ll recall, Steve Jobs was adamant that 7-inch tablets were too small and he killed any talk of making one at Apple.)
Here’s the bet on what happens next: the 7-inch tablet market takes off like a rocket, far surpassing the market for bigger tablets. As that happens over the next year, the tablet will become firmly entrenched as a medium. It will hit its tipping point — from ahead-of-the-curve gadget and luxury item to the category of everybody-has-one-and-I-gotta-get-it.
This tablet boom in turn will change media habits. Attention once given to web sites, TV sets, magazines and books will increasingly get sucked into tablets. The younger the audience, the more likely it will consume its media on tablets. But don’t be fooled — older demographics will head there, too.
So if you want to create branded content, put that in your plans.