Friday, October 15, 2010

NY Times Upgrades iPad Subscription App, NY Post Begins iPad Subscriptions

By Tom Dulaney
Oct. 15—Two famous New York newspapers made headlines this week with new subscription apps in the iStore. The New York Times replaced its previous app in the Apple store today, and yesterday the New York Post began hawking its subscription for iPad delivery of the news.

The New York Times offers a lot more content as of today with this free app: NY Times for iPad.   It replaces the Editor's Choice app. 

The app and subscription includes all content, reports around the net said. It's still free in the iStore for now, but will cost readers starting 2011. Weekly and monthly subscriptions are contemplated, and no prices have been announced yet.

The new Times app boosts available content: 25 sections of the Times, more video and photos, and breaking news. Insiders say section and article navigation has been improved.

All readers with iPads can peek at four sections without a subscription: Top news, business news, most-emailed items, and video. Other sections open immediately to those subscribing. The app lets readers share Times stories with friends by way of email, Facebook and Twitter.

Meanwhile, The New York Post launched its app for the iPad yesterday, Oct. 14. The app offers a 30-day trial, included in the $1.99 download. Then prices are said to be $6.99 a month, $39.99 for 6 months and $74.99 annually. That's about half the cost of delivery of the printed paper.

This week's moves into a greater presence on the iPad are the latest wrinkles in the long struggle of American newspapers to survive. Newspapers have been shrinking in both numbers of readers and numbers of newspapers since the 1960s and 1970s.

Changing demographics as more Americans moved to the suburbs and away from big-city newspapers and the impact of TV hit the papers in the early stages. Now, of course, the printed newspaper has suffered at the hands of the internet.

The newspaper industry has been fighting back even while cutting back, laying off reporters, editors and employees, and struggling to define their role in the digital world. Rupert Murdoch and his media and newspaper empire, News Corp.,  are leading the charge for paid news content of late.

Americans have gotten a bit spoiled by the news-drenched internet, where you can find out what is happening free of charge. The newspapers, themselves, moved into offering free content on the web as they worked toward a new business model that would support the costs of news gathering and dissemination.

Now Murdoch and many in the news business want to get back to business, pushing hard for readers to pay up for their digitally delivered news.

The price you pay for a newspaper, the good old fashioned kind that covers two laps when you try to spread it in the subway and that leaves black printer's ink on your thumbs, never put much of a dent in the actual cost of creating, printing and distributing the paper. Advertising picked up the largest chunk of the tab, with payments large enough to allow publishers a profit.

Somebody has to pay the cost of gathering the news, the technology needed to cover and report on the nation and world, the price to pay reporters, editors, support staff.  Increasingly, newspaper publishers are pushing hard to stop giving the news “milk” away on the net.

It's time, they say, to start financially supporting the cow.

No comments:

Post a Comment