The Australian newspaper looks set to launch a subscription-based iPad edition alongside the device’s local release, marking News Ltd’s first local foray into paid content.
Publishers have been talking up the iPad as a savour for digital publishing, and now one of them – Rupert Murdoch, no less – is making a move into putting paid content onto Apple’s touchscreen tablet in time for its Aussie debut.
in today’s issue of The Australian
confirms that the paper will be available through a dedicated app “to coincide with the launch of the device, or as near as we can do it, in Australia” according to Grant Holloway, managing editor online for The Australian
The paper’s deputy chief executive Nick Leeder had said the app would probably be charged as a monthly subscription, noting that “we are very likely to charge and will choose to carry advertising”.
News Ltd’s Wall Street Journal
already offers an iPad edition which is free to download but requires a monthly subscription of US$17.30 (A$18.55)
Rupert Murdoch was among the first publishers to be wooed by Steve Jobs in the period leading up to the iPad’s launch and he sees the iPad as a cornerstone of online publishing in the post-Web era, moving away from the concept that content must be free and embracing paywalls and other cost-recovery models.
While Apple has not announced the iPad’s local release date, Saturday April 24th has been tipped by several sources.