For all the talk of Apple saving newspaper and magazine publishers with the iPad, Amazon may be the one to actually give the struggling print media industry a lift.
Late Monday, Amazon announced a new revenue split for publishers as long as they make their periodicals available on the e-commerce giant's apps. The revenue split---70 percent for publishers---is a nice increase from the previous terms, which varied but were roughly 30 percent or so.
That 70 percent carrot is available to publishers if customers can read a periodical on all Kindle devices and apps. And customers can read a title in all geographies where the publisher has rights.
Add it up and you have a nice carrot to entice publishers to put their titles on Kindle's cloud. In addition, Amazon launched a new publishing tool that makes it easier to add newspapers and magazines to the Kindle Store.
So why is this a big deal? Amazon's Kindle effort isn't about the device. It's about the store, the selection and the portability of content.
Amazon's format may be proprietary, but the key point is that the Kindle is across multiple devices. With the new revenue split, a newspaper, say the New York Times, can sell its content on the Kindle store online and then make it available via Amazon's app on Android devices, the iPad, the BlackBerry and a Windows Phone 7 smartphone.
For publishers, Amazon's Kindle split may be a nice excuse to get off the app merry-go-round. Amazon gets selection for sure, but publishers may have a nice way to write once and push content out everywhere. There are plenty of folks who buy from the Kindle store, but don't actually have the e-reading device. Reaching that audience in a streamlined way can be a boon to publishers.