Cary Sherburne:  Hi, Cary Sherburne and Senior Editor at and it’s my great pleasure to be here with my colleague, Dr. Joe Webb, who’s director of our Economics and Research Center.  And we’re going to talk a little bit more about research than economics in this one.  We’re going to talk about why digital media is not just for kids any more.

Dr. Joe Webb:  Well, a good start is watching this video online, of course.  But over the years, I’ve been asking printers whether or not they have an iPhone, lately I’ve been asking if they have an iPad or if they’ve purchased a Kindle.  And I’m still amazed at how many of them have not.  Many of them will have Blackberry’s, but we used to make fun of that as, you know, that’s an iPhone for adults.  But the iPhone was really a pivotal device in terms of the market, for changing the way people interact with media.  And the iPad is a very, very strong extension of that.  People have tried to make tablet PC’s before, but this one actually works.  And you can use it like a regular computer for many applications.

And then in Amazon Kindle, all these devices are very early, but when you look at who uses an Amazon Kindle and why they use it and what circumstance, all these platforms open up terrific opportunities for better and quicker distribution of content. 

And printers should be buying these kinds of things for themselves, it’s not like they’re undermining their business or anything, they should be looking at them as how can we help our clients get their content into these areas and what do they need in order to do that?

The number of different media formats has changed so radically, you may be working with a client and using the same images in 20 or 30 different circumstances, so that it’s not until you actually experience the use of some of these devices that you can start to appreciate why so many people, especially heavy media users, have quickly adapted to them and like them so much.

So when you buy them, and you should use them, of course, for the fun of it, but you should be thinking about, how can I create something for my client that allows them to do something very interesting with their clients?  An example that just came to light recently was a restaurant in Atlanta that was using iPads for their wine lists.  And they found that after using that, that their wine sales went up, because it allowed their customers to get information about 20,000 different varieties of wine that they had, this really extensive list, and they could just by touching a particular wine, they could more and deeper information, they could even see reviews about it before they actually told their waiter that they wanted it.

Cary:  And, by the way, they could make the type larger so they wouldn’t have to put their glasses on.

Dr. Joe:  Yes, exactly, so if you’re always forgetting your glasses, like I am, that kind of thing is a perfect situation.

Cary:  Now, so they invested some $15,000 in buying these.

Dr. Joe:  Right.  They bought 30 iPads.  I don’t know how they keep their customers from walking out with them, but they feel it’s been an extremely worthwhile, they’ve expanded it to another restaurant and other restaurants are starting to pick that up.

So it’s not always that digital media is cheaper than print and that’s why people go to it, you have to look at all of the capabilities that it brings to a particular situation.  Now, in this particular case, sure, they spent $15,000 on these iPads now, but over the next year and a half, the prices of those iPads or similarly equipped devices will drop by half and even more and more companies are going to start looking at them for those kinds of situations.

Cary:  And they stay up to date when there’s a new wine in, they don’t have to reprint their wine list.

Dr. Joe:  Exactly, exactly.

Cary:  Now, so the printer could possibly even be the one that actually formats the content for them.

Dr. Joe:  Right, create the format of the content for them.

Cary:  And the database of the wines.

Dr. Joe:  Does the display of it.  Create the initial database, and create the process for constantly updating that.  So, since so many printers have been hiring programmers, there’s another way to get something out of that.

Cary:  That’s great, thank you.

Dr. Joe:  Thank you very much.