Upon the iPad’s release earlier this month, it was apparent that little time would pass before major news and media outlets flocked to the Apple device as a new platform for distributing content.
This week, the world learned that USA Today – which has provided one of the most popular free applications on the iPad in its short life thus far – has big plans for the iPad this summer. Beginning July 4th, USA Today will implement a new subscription model. While exact pricing and other details have not yet been confirmed or announced, the folks at USA Today are working feverishly on the new offering that will roll out in two months time.
USA Today’s parent company, Gannett Inc., currently supports a free, ad-supported iPad application that is sponsored by Courtyard Marriott. Incredibly popular, the USA Today iPad app has been downloaded approximately 175,000 times. Obviously, the powers that be at Gannett Inc. do not want to miss out on the potentially substantial revenue stream that a subscription based model would provide.
It was only one short year ago that publishing executives at USA Today publicly admitted that it was potentially an error in judgment to have released the USA Today iPhone free of charge. Given that admission, the announcement of a paid iPad subscription model has surprised very few loyal readers.