On Eve of iPad Official Launch, Few Newspapers Offering Apps

By: Mark Fitzgerald

If the iPad is the newspaper industry’s lifeboat, as some seem to think, few papers are clamoring to get on board right away. Friday, on the eve of the launch of Apple’s much-anticipated tablet, only a handful of newspapers were available in the company’s app store.

Apple’s store is a jumble of apps, so it’s possible more newspapers formatted for the iPad are lurking there. But Friday morning, it appeared that among U.S. newspapers, only the big three national dailies — USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times — launched apps in time for the iPad’s official release.

There were just a handful of international newspapers apparent as well. Among the apps that turned up were offerings from Le Monde, Il Messaggero, China Daily, Hindustan Times and the Congleton Chronicle.

Digital Print is offering a virtual newspaper app, and fwix has a Local News for iPad offering.

The USA Today’s App for iPad will be available with the official device launch Saturday, and will free until July 4 under a sponsorship arrangement with Courtyard by Marriott. “After the initial launch period the App will be available via a fee-based subscription,” the newspaper said in its announcement Thursday.

“We are so pleased to be available for iPad on day one. This is a product we knew we wanted to be a part of from the moment it was announced,” USA Today President and Publisher David L. Hunke said in a statement.

He noted that the Marriott involvement was the paper’s first digital extension of its hotel newspaper program.

The USA Today app was designed and developed in cooperation with Mercury Intermedia of Brentwood, Tenn.

The Wall Street Journal app for iPad launched Friday with advertisers including Buick, Capital One, Coca-Cola, iShares, FedEx and Oracle.

The app is free to download, but a $3.99 per week subscription is required for full access to its features and content. Current Journal subscribers will receive full access free for a limited time, the paper said.

The New York Times launched The New York Times Editors’ Choice app Wednesday with exclusive sponsorship by Chase Sapphire, a credit card that targets an affluent demographic.

“This app provides a great opportunity for advertisers to use the latest digital technologies to reach The New York Times’s affluent and loyal readers,” Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group and general manager, NYTimes.com, said in a statement. “The Editors’ Choice app launches with a full-page vertical and horizontal interstitial ad that provides a large interactive canvas for our advertisers.”
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Clarification: This story has been changed from an earlier version that reported The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper of the University of Pennsylviania, had launched an iPad app. The newspaper’s executive editor, Rachel Baye, said that the app was launched for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and that while it will work on an iPad it was not developed for that device.



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