Fairfax gives iPad apps a second go

ipad smhFairfax Media is to take a second run at a iPad offerings for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, with new apps to launch tomorrow.

The move – which sees the app initially available free to consumers as a sponsorship model – is the second time the SMH has flirted with the iPad.

Last July the newspaper launched what it described as the “smart edition app for the iPad”. It promoted the launch with a four page wraparound of the SMH.

However, it quickly emerged that the creation was in reality little more than a PDF of the print edition.  

Of the 1,938 reviews since given to the app on iTunes, 1,460 have since given the offering just one star out of five.

At the time publisher Lloyd Whish-Wilson – who has since left – said that Fairfax would launch its full iPad offering last September.

An article in today’s SMH says the apps will cost $8.99 per month from December. However, it would appear that they will not contain the full content of the newspaper edition instead promising “many stories from the newspapers, including features, and their websites.”

The Herald quotes Fairfax Metro boss Jack Matthews as describing his rivals’ offerings as looking “like dogs” in comparison.

The Australian’s app is also priced at $8.99 and currently rates two-and-a-half stars out of five from iTunes reviewers.

Richard Freudenstein, CEO of The Australian and News Digital Media is to give the keynote at next week’s Mumbrella360 conference where it is likely he will talk about News Ltd’s paid content plans.

4.25pm update: According to an announcement from Fairfax: “Each edition will include core content sections for the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age plus an Editor’s Choice section which includes a curation of the top stories of the day. Readers will be given the option to download magazines such as the Good Weekend and newspaper including Spectrum, News Review and Good Living amongst others.”


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