Monday, January 23, 2012

Price break! Newsweek updates its iPad edition, lowers its subscription rates to $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year

Struggling news weekly Newsweek has updated its iPad app, bringing the news weekly into Newsstand, lowering its subscription prices, and upgrading its digital design.
Whether this Newsweek can ever entice readers to return to the new weekly format it an open question, but the team at Newsweek now has one of the best tablet editions out there, so no one can say they have fallen down in that regard.

The Newsweek app was updated last night and brings the news weekly into Apple's Newsstand. It also lowers its subscription prices to $1.99 per month, or $19.99 for a year.

In November of 2010 Newsweek began offering subscriptions at $9.99 for a three month subscription, or $14.99 for six months. When first released (see original post on its launch here) in May of 2010 the app simply charged $2.99 per issue without any subscription offer.

While the lower subscription prices will be well received by readers, it is the native tablet design that will wow readers (I'll leave content out of the equation for now). The updated Newsweek app works in both portrait and landscape, but despite this the latest issue weighs in at under 140 MB. It does this by not stressing multimedia so much as good tablet layouts, with articles that scroll, and with embedded text boxes on some articles that do the same.

Although the update has only been available for a short while, readers are already commenting in the App Store, with the majority of reviews very positive. Some readers, however, are having trouble accessing their issues through the log-in mechanism for print subscribers – this accounts for the half-dozen or so negative reviews.

"Fantastic," wrote one reviewer. "Such an easy to use and beautiful app. Definitely a must have. Thank you Newsweek." (spelling corrected)

Left: the subscription and issue download page; Right: Table of Contents.