Thursday, November 18, 2010

Morning Brief: Murdoch's Herald Sun launches paid iPad app; as expected, Android ad requests catch up to iOS

While we are waiting for the appearance of Rupert Murdoch's pure play -- his iPad-only daily tablet newspaper -- his other papers continues to launch their own tablet efforts. The latest is for the Melbourne, Australia based Herald Sun.
The morning tabloid is the usual Murdoch fare: sports, crime and celebrities, and I suppose because of this the newspaper enjoys the highest circulation in Australia.
The app is one of the more expensive I've seen: $5.99. But that price is the equivalent of a 31 day subscription, the app details warning customers that after that amount of time they will be prompted to re-subscribe. No freebies for Rupert Murdoch and company.

As this newspaper is not my cup of tea I did not buy the app, but the details listed in iTunes are short on iPad-native features, instead it touts the iPad-only content to be found like videos and exclusive articles, which I have to assume are actually coming from the web.

There is much hand wringing this morning concerning Millenium Media's latest report showing ad requests from Android based mobile devices has caught up with ad requests coming from Apple devices.

Why this should surprise anyone is beyond me. Google has built its mobile platform to have the widest possible adoption so that it could expand its ad network. Apple's goal in creating its iOS devices was profit. Both are winning at their game: Google's Android platform will inevitably become the number one mobile ad platform, and Apple, while not the largest mobile device manufacturer, will continue to lead the industry in profits.

What next? Well, I'm still waiting for a mobile network to reach the tablet format, and I assume Google is on top of that. The ads I've seem coming in from networks on the iPad have been pathetic little ads ported over from the phone version.

But more importantly for media, we still seem to be a ways away from seeing the first good Android based tablet with a display size larger than seven inches. These small tablets from Samsung and RIM may prove successful but they probably won't entice newspapers and magazines to create new products for them due to their smaller size. As they say, we'll see.