One of the big highlights now are e-readers. More than forty companies now have e-readers all promising competition to the Amazon Kindle and the Sony e-reader. Clearly a flood of e-readers is on the way to Australia. Going by past experience Australian being rapid absorbers will take them much quicker than the US.
Much of the interest in the e-reader is because many newspaper and magazine companies are looking to the e-reader like the Messiah that is going to save them from the internet. Once their readers get e-reader, these readers will take out subscriptions then they will have revenue without the expense of publishing and the cost the intermediary (the newsagent).
I do not think it will happen. The real competitor to an e-reader is a computer. Essentially an e-reader is a limited computer with an improved screen for reading. As these improved screens get generally released, almost every computer will be an e-reader. These computers will be able to access free material just like now.
So I believe the problem of ebooks is much bigger and more immediate then most.