Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dennis Publishing's The Week US iPad edition climbs to the top of the charts in Apple's App Store

Back in December Dennis Publishing released its first iPad app in support of The Week. TNM praised that app, The Week UK, for its simple design and approach to introducing a tablet edition into the App Store.

Two weeks ago, a new app for the U.S. market hit the App Store, The Week Magazine US. The app takes the same winning approach by offering free issues inside its library in order to entice readers to eventually subscribe.
The issues in the US version of the app are free thanks to a single sponsor approach; in this case the sponsor is Rolex. Since all the issues are free, the issue of price really isn't important, at least for now. But the only price listed is $4.99 for single issues, no subscription price is listed. I assume that after April 30, when the free trial period ends, a subscription price within the app might be introduced.

The Week UK is still available inside the App Store, as well. That app has just switched over the paid model and individual issues can be bought for $3.99. When the UK app was originally released, and the issues were available for free, the price for individual issues was listed as $2.99 – so you see that the publisher may change their prices when the free trial period comes to an end.

The subscription price inside the UK app is $28.99 for three months (£19.99 in the UK App Store). This doesn't represent much, if any, discount over the print price. It will be interesting to see if the digital edition is eventually discounted or whether the publisher feels they can maintain this price level.

But the tablet edition is definitely the way to go if you are an iPad owner. The layouts are simple, but effective, and the navigation is excellent.

Because the app was only released on the 9th, there are only a few reviews** to be found inside the App Store (all positive), but the UK app has been out since December (and was updated in January). Inside the UK App Store the reviews have been very positive. One reader did mention the lack of interactive content, but producing a weekly tablet edition doesn't leave much time to add in interactivity. But over time, as the production team gets used to producing the digital issues I wouldn't be surprised to see the creatives stretch out, so to speak.


**Update: As I was writing this post, and switching back and forth between the US and UK App Stores, I noticed that a lot of new reviews had been posted by users. 100 five-star reviews are now to be found, and only a handful of negative ones – a great start for The Week US.