Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 10:30 PM
"The San Francisco Chronicle's app is out today for the iPad. It joins the roster of major newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today that have all added iPad editions in the last several months. Of that group, only the USA Today app does not charge non-subscribers (of the print editions) for access."
Another major daily newspaper jumps into the fray. The online version is free for existing 'dead tree' subscribers, otherwise it's $59.99 annually. One complaint that I saw in the comments is that readers don't like the fact that this particular app updates automatically, with older stories "rolling off" to some electronic news archive somewhere, possibly never to be seen again. This points out the need for high quality search tools, to track down these missing nuggets of information.
Interestingly enough, this paid version contains modern advertising, aggravating some purchasers/subscribers. I find it somewhat funny that readers complain about advertising in e-papers, but don't complain (at least that I've seen) about the pages and pages of ads in the print versions. I recently had a chance to look at some old Chicago Tribune editions from the 1950s, and was struck by how "dense" the news was on the pages, compared to today's editions that seem like they are 80% advertising. Of course, there weren't many options then for getting news, besides the other competing newspapers. Hopefully these publishers can find a business model that sustains the news industry...