Kindle newspapers: slower than print
I’m not a great eBook advocate, but the one thing that might tempt me to splash out on the new UK-friendly Kindle is newspapers. If I could download the latest issue before I jumped on my train every morning, saving me the dirty look from my newsagent when I try and pay for The Times with a £20 note (why do I never have change in the mornings?) then all power to Amazon’s elbow.
So when Amazon opened the doors on its UK Kindle Store earlier today, the first section I headed for was the newspapers.
The choice isn’t fantastic: my two favourite newspapers, The Times and The Guardian, aren’t available, but I could happily compromise on the Financial Times or The Independent.
The pricing doesn’t seem too outrageous, either. £14 a month for The Independent and £18 for the Financial Times represents a healthy discount on the £1 and £2 per day cover price. Admittedly, you only get the plain text – no pictures, graphics or any of the fluff such as the crosswords, but I could live with that.
But just as I was preparing to unleash the credit card, I started reading the newspaper description pages. The Independent’s page says: “For your convenience, issues are automatically delivered wirelessly to your Kindle starting at 7:15am London local time.” Ditto The Daily Telegraph. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, won’t start arriving until 8:30am (although it’s best not to read that before the pubs open, anyway). Only the FT gets out of bed at a reasonable hour, with its deliveries starting at 5am.
Why are the Kindle editions of the newspapers so tardy? I’m starting my commute by 7am most mornings. If The Independent and The Daily Mail can manage to write, sub, produce, print and distribute the physical newspapers to my local newsagent by 7am every morning, why on Earth can’t they strip out the text and send it to the Kindle by that hour?