As many readers here will know, News Corporation has just released their Apple apps to the iPad. So today I went out and looked it over.
There are actually two apps, one is called pressReader that has the Herald-Sun and many other newspaper. The Herald-Sun was free. How long will it be free or many editions, I do not know but I am sure it is only temporary. However if it continues it maybe a big threat to newsagents. Here is what it looks like.
It contains all the newspaper, but is a lot of keystrokes to use. Messy to move around but other than that it is fine.
But this app is not the main one that News Corporation is pushing. For their app here are my thoughts on it which are very mixed.
It is much cheaper than a printed newspaper.
News is available in real time.
I think actually it is terrible app compared to other similar news sites. This is probably as a consequence of a rush to get it out. I expect this will soon be fixed.
The price is quite expensive for such an app, $8 a month. I can download several famous newspapers apps for free. There will be as such considerable consumer resistance to pay that much although a typical newsagent's client would find it quite cheap. So ironically the people best placed to sell this app cannot.
Furthermore, it does not contain much of what is in the printed newspaper, or even what is now on online.
It is also full of advertisements, almost a third of the newspaper. As a consumer, if I have to pay for it, I do not think it is right that I get bombed with so many advertisements.
Overall: I doubt many people in the near future will rush to this app as is as it still has much work to be done. Clearly it is based on Rupert Murdoch philosophy that the public will pay for online news. Something I doubt. But I suppose for my clients that is good news that he has such a view.
It is not going to be a printed newspaper killer yet.