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USA Today looks to iPad as 'real positive' for struggling newspaper industry

post #1 of 15
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As the USA Today staff have had to cut costs and jobs to stay competitive, the success of the newspaper's iPad app has been a "real positive" for the company, executives said Monday.

While undergoing a radical restructuring, which included the cutting of 130 staff in the process, last August, USA Today committed to focusing more of its resources on the iPad.

It appears the focus has started to pay off. "The iPad has been a real positive for USA Today," the Telegraph UK reported Gracia Martore, Chief Operating Officer at USA Today parent company Gannett as saying,. "We expect this will translate into a much more significant improvement" in revenue, she added.

Though the paper has yet to reclaim the title of most-read national paper in the US from The Wall Street Journal, it has seen 1.4 million downloads of its app since it launched in April.

USA Today relies on advertising to fund its iPad app, but Gannett CEO Craig Dubow admitted that the company is "looking across the board" at charging for content.

According to a report last year, USA Today's iPad ads command up to five times more than web ads. Newspaper ads, however, still reign, as they cost up to twice as much as iPad ads.

"In iPad applications such as USA Today's, there is a finite amount of space and no ad networks are in the mix," the report said. "And the app gives advertisers new possibilities. A reader can click on Courtyard by Marriott's USA Today ad and then with a flick of a finger scroll through images of the hotels' updated lobby design. Another tap and a high-definition video appears, full of happy hotel guests."

USA Today's "positive" news comes at a time when some publishers have struggled to maintain downloads of their iPad issues. Magazine purchases for the iPad have been in sharp decline as initial interest has cooled.

News Corp hopes to be the one to turn things around. After several setbacks, Rupert Murdoch and his media conglomerate are ready to launch an iPad-exclusive publication called The Daily on Wednesday, February 2nd at the Guggenheim Museum. Apple vice president Eddy Cue will be in attendance.



Apple is also expected to reveal a subscription feature for digital newspapers and other periodicals, though it is not clear whether the iPad maker will unveil the feature at this week's event.

According to a recent report, publishers have become frustrated with Apple's current pay-per issue approach. People familiar with the matter claim that News Corp is as yet the only publisher to have struck a subscription deal with Apple.
post #2 of 15
Well that is good to hear.
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post #3 of 15
The newspaper industry needs to quit dreaming about charging iPad and other tablet readers. Make it free and ad supported. I don't like ads but I understand they've got bills to pay too.
post #4 of 15
USA Today is dreaming if they think they can switch from free to paid without alienating their readers. They should have been paid-only right from the begining. Once you go free you can't go back.

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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

USA Today is dreaming if they think they can switch from free to paid without alienating their readers. They should have been paid-only right from the begining. Once you go free you can't go back.

They could always release additional USA Today branded apps with different, "for pay" features.

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post #6 of 15
Expand their presence... USA today should create an app for the Galaxy Tab tablet. It might help with sales... for the Tab that is...

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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to a recent report, publishers have become frustrated with Apple's current pay-per issue approach. People familiar with the matter claim that News Corp is as yet the only publisher to have struck a subscription deal with Apple.

As I understand it, Apple has been for subscriptions all along. It's just that the publishers don't want Apple collecting the credit card data. I'm not saying it's the publishers fault because they do have a legitimate reason for wanting that. But the article makes it sound like Apple is resisting a subscription model, and they're not. But they want it to be their model. That's legitimate too.
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post #8 of 15
Great. Now let's see how long it takes for Gannett to sell out their American content creators for cheap Indian labor, while their executives continue to draw fat salaries and full benefits.

Oh wait - they've already done that. It's all about the profit margins, baby!

http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2007/0...tsourcing.html
post #9 of 15
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

USA Today targets an 8th-grade Gunning-Fog index. It's not designed for you.

Then again, how many people with an 8th-grade reading level have the disposable income to afford subscriptions like that?

Interesting times....

Maybe USA today could embrace the same model as Qwiki.com and read the news to its customers on the iPad. Whenever staying in hotels that supply USA to the door I have noticed it takes about as long to read cover to cover as the marmalade labels.
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Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #11 of 15
Apple needs to get their act together with "eMagazine" subscriptions. I for one, would not buy them per issue. There is some media I'm willing to, and prefer to purchase outright, and that includes music and movies, but magazines are something that I want to subscribe to. Publishers should hold out on "ePublications" for iPad until Apple gets a clue.

One reason is not having to remember when & what issues are coming up. A subscription would automatically deliver the content to me. Another reason is that not all issues are created equally. An annual subscription has a value x, whereas an issue by issue value is questionable. If I pay $20 for a year of magazine y, then the value is spread over all the issues, so I'm not terribly disappointed if I find one issue boring or lame.
post #12 of 15
For it to work i think it needs...

Subscription Service just like print/yr
Auto Updates
Ad supported (Free)
Ad Free (Paid)

And potentially one option in between Free & Paid.
post #13 of 15
Does the lack of subscription only affect Americans? I've been subscribed to The Times newspaper on my iPad since June last year, more importantly I now pay for my subscription with them online instead of through the iPad/iTunes Eco system as it's cheaper and I can access all of their other online content that way.

A friend subscribes to the Sun through his iPad, so I don't actually see the issue, at least not in the UK.
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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

Apple needs to get their act together with "eMagazine" subscriptions. I for one, would not buy them per issue. There is some media I'm willing to, and prefer to purchase outright, and that includes music and movies, but magazines are something that I want to subscribe to. Publishers should hold out on "ePublications" for iPad until Apple gets a clue.

Apple is most likely announcing their subscription solution tomorrow in conjunction The Daily.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Expand their presence... USA today should create an app for the Galaxy Tab tablet. It might help with sales... for the Tab that is...

Maybe not. The 'Tab' is pretty much DOA... much like every other wannabe iPad.

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