We all know there are applications built to run and perform well on certain devices such as an iPhone or a Blackberry or an iPod. Now Tribune Media Services (yes - that Chicago Tribune) has launched two publications specifically for Amazon’s Kindle device. The first title, Opinionated, is a political publication while the second title focuses on pop culture. Subscriptions sells for $1.49 per month on Amazon.com.

Amazon doesn’t provide sales figures, but it has had trouble keeping its Kindle in stock and available to new customers. It also reported in December that its top selling item was none other than its own Kindle.

I may have underestimated the Kindle…

When I first looked at the spanky new device from Amazon, I was - to say the least - not impressed. With a design that hearkened back to the days of brick-sized Palmpilots and green screens, the Kindle simply didn’t inspire me to go out and buy one or think it was going to gain any traction in the marketplace. Without any real sales figures to look at, I’m still not convinced the Kindle is as popular as Amazon claims. The fact that the Tribune apparently believes in it makes me stop and think “Is this really a viable device that we should continue to watch and see how it could potentially impact Publishers?

I’m not sure how this might affect us yet - only time will tell. But I do know that the cost of paper is going up and up (20% currently), and that fact alone may be the simple indicator of where major media companies are looking to go digital and save some dough. I’m not aware of any other devices like the Kindle, but I wouldn’t doubt that they’re out there. Of course, distribution is the largest challenge, and Amazon had that solved long ago by having companies like the Tribune use Amazon.com for subscription sales.

What’s next? Advertising on the Kindle? Third party software allowing the management of Kindle subscriptions? Third party software managing the distribution of Kindle-enabled content to subscribers?