Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fairfax Media (Australia) releases attractive news app for The Canberra Times; app resides in Apple's Newsstand but does not currently ask for a paid subscription

Fairfax Media, the Australian media giant, has released a new iPad app for The Canberra Times. The app, The Canberra Times for iPad, is similar in look and navigation design to the apps released for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald which were original released way back in May of last year (see original post here).
It's a bit of a head scratcher as to why it took so long to release a tab edition for its paper in Canberra (the capital city of Australia).

All three of the apps from Fairfax Media are identical, which is a good thing for readers since access to the content is free of charge.

The tablet editions take their content from the paper's websites and so duplicate the function of the web, but in a native tablet design. From a reader's perspective, these are nice apps that work wonderfully. Probably the best feature is the menu that allows readers to download lots of content from the paper's sections and magazines.

From a publisher's perspective, though, the apps make no sense due to the lack of a paid subscription model and the lack of advertising.

The reason for this model, though, is probably to be chalked up to the fact that Fairfax Media plans to construct paywalls on the websites of its newspapers. Once that happens one can assume that readers will be required to sign up for some sort of digital subscription in order to continue to access content on their iPads.

The app description clearly states "free for a limited time," but this warning has been on the apps for The Age and the SMH since they launched last year. It turns out that "a limited time" was from the perspective of the universe, not human beings.


1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Fairfax tablet apps do currently run advertising, albeit subtle.
Sponsorship was limited to a half dozen advertisers only and sold at a premium. Originally this was to subsidise the first 6 months production. All but one advertiser extended their sponsorship.