A man plays with the Apple iPad during an Apple Special Event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif.
A man plays with the Apple iPad during an Apple Special Event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. - 
Listen To The Story


Kai Ryssdal: Digital, as you know, has not been kind to magazines and newspapers. Ad revenues are down. Circulation numbers as well. Now comes a new new-media gadget that might actually give old media a boost. Apple's iPad goes on sale next week.

And Marketplace's Stacey Vanek-Smith reports tht if they play their cards right, newspapers and magazines might finally be getting in on something that's good for their future.

STACEY VANEK-SMITH: When the iPad hits store shelves on April 3rd, you'll be able to read many newspapers and magazines on it. Special iPad versions of them with special iPad ads. Publications like The Wall Street Journal and Men's Health are already getting premium prices for those ads.

KEN DOCTOR: They're quite satisfied and surprised that there's quick uptake.

Industry analyst Ken Doctor advises newspapers and magazines on the iPad. He says the new device offers old media an opportunity to do something it's struggled with for years: make money online.

DOCTOR: Essentially, it's a do-over. With a new platform and a new way of thinking about it. Can you charge advertisers in a different way and can you say to readers, we're going to need you to pay for it?

So far, advertisers are on board. Many magazines have sold out their debut iPad issues. Chase's Sapphire Card bought out the iPad ad space for The New York Times.

Joe Lozito with digital advertising firm Digitas.

JOE LOZITO: It's already white hot right now, and I can see it continuing.

Lozito says iPad ads can be interactive and offer information and entertainment that hadn't been possible.

Sports Illustrated created a mock up ad for Ford's Mustang that worked like a driving game. But Ford isn't buying iPad ads yet.

Scott Kelly is digital marketing manager for Ford.

SCOTT KELLY: We try not to get too distracted by shiny objects. We're going to make sure that it's a platform that can both reach a lot of our consumers and engage them with our content.

Kelly says Ford's waiting to see if publishers can get readers to actually buy iPad subscriptions. Magazine's like Esquire are charging about $3 for a single iPad issue.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

Follow Stacey Vanek Smith at @svaneksmith