The Economist is launching apps for the iPhone and iPad today, in it’s first attempt to capture mobile subscriptions, with hopes of reach 1 million digital users within three years.
The announcement comes the day after the Financial Times announced that they would be refunding any of their employees who purchase a tablet PC, and clearly demonstrates the publishing industries commitment to the new medium and digital forms of distribution.
The Economist app will run on a subscription model similar to that used by the Financial Times. One of the reasons that the FT has been so successful is due to the fact that many can write off the subscription cost as a work expense. In our opinion the Economist app will likely be successful for the same reasons.
Oscar Grut, the Economist’s managing director of digital editions, explained their move into mobile subscriptions stating: “With the growing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, like the iPhone and the iPad, which offer an immersive reading experience, we are seeing strong demand and as a result a big opportunity for a publication like ours is emerging.”
Existing subscribers to the title, will be able to download the apps for free. An annual subscription to the magazine costs up to £120, while a single print issue costs £4. Access to the website costs £99 a year, or £24.99 per quarter; a digital version of a single issue costs £3.49.