Thursday, August 2, 2012

Huffington Post gives up on charging for its tablet magazine, yet to app description

The Huffington Post was not the first web property to launch a companion tablet magazine, but it was certainly was the most anticipated – at by media watchers. Apparently readers were not so impressed.
Today Capital New York reported that Arianna Huffington's namesake tablet magazine, Huffington will no longer charge for issues or subscriptions. Previously the magazine cost readers $0.99 per weekly issue, or $1.99 per month, or $19.99 for an annual subscription.

(Capital New York also says the app is now free, but that has always been the case.)

The nominal price to subscribe was not enough to entice the more than 100,000 iPad owners who downloaded the magazine to subscribe, and so it is on to a free model.

When first released in June, I described the digital magazines as "a conservative digital magazine from a fairly liberal website," because of its repurposed content and portrait only layouts. It just didn't seem like the magazine was the product of an enthusiastic tab publisher.

As of today The Huffington Post has not updated the app description to reflect the new free issue policy – or else the changes have not taken yet in the App Store (it can sometimes take a while for the changes one makes inside Apple's system to be reflected live in iTunes). Nor is there any mention of the change on The Huffington Post website.