Peter Kafka

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Steve Jobs: I Can Help Save the Media Business, if It’ll Wise Up and Cut Its Prices

Steve Jobs

Here’s the pitch Steve Jobs is making to media companies: Cut your prices, and I’ll help you move a lot of product.

Speaking at the D8 conference, the Apple CEO said he wants to help save journalism because “I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers myself. I think we need editorial more than ever.” Ahem. Regardless, “what we have to do is figure out a way to get people to start paying for this hard-earned content.”

Okay. So how to do that? “Price it aggressively and go for volume,” he said. When Apple (AAPL) hasn’t done that, he added, “we get attenuated success.”

And if media companies follow his lead, Jobs said, he can help them sell newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc. But they’ll need to “take a more aggressive stance” to pricing than they have to date.

Tough sell, given that many publishers and distributors have expressed no interest in cutting prices, even at Jobs’s urging.

But the Apple CEO argues that this is already happening with digital books as a result of the new pricing arrangements publishers have struck with Apple and Amazon (AMZN).

“The market right now is set up to be far more responsive to consumer demand for what prices need to be than it was six months ago,” Jobs said. “Prices may go up in near future, but if consumers want the prices to be less, they will be far more responsive to those signals then they were six months ago.”

More Coverage on the Steve Jobs D8 Speaker Page »

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