When The Guardian newspaper introduced its paid-for iPhone app to rave reviews, we questioned how long its upkeep could be sustained by a one-off payment. Although, in once sense, any income derived from a dedicated app can be viewed as additional since The Guardian’s content is already being produced for its daily newspaper, online is eating away at those revenues, so it’s logical that overtime money needs to come from elsewhere.
And so it’s no surprise that today we learn that The Guardian will indeed introduce a recurring charge for a new version of its iPhone app.
Due in December, paidContent reports that the new app will come with two subscription pricepoints – £2.99 for six months’ access, and £3.99 per year – although interestingly, an ad-supported version of the app will remain free in the U.S. where uptake hasn’t been nearly as high. In other words, across the pond the strategy is to extend reach and brand awareness, while at home we’re at the monetization stage, which makes sense.
News of a new iPhone app also comes on the same day that The Guardian re-launches its browser-based mobile version of the newspaper, which remains free and ad-supported. The new site claims an enhanced design, faster updates and a range of new features, including:
* Live football scores on the home page
* New look and feel, including redesigned article and gallery pages
* Faster updates and enhanced live coverage
* Bookmarking to provide quick links to favourite sections
* More comprehensive content, mirroring guardian.co.uk
* More optimisation for smartphones, including expandable navigation links
* Searchable article and gallery archive
* Scroll through entire articles (pagination removed)
* Keyword pages gathering the latest coverage on topics in the news
* Options to increase or decrease font size
It was designed “in-house”, while development was outsourced to Mobile IQ.