In the two weeks since the iPad was released, The Wall Street Journal got more than 3,200 new subscribers to pay up for their iPad only-subscription, according to a memo sent to us by WSJ managing editor Robert Thomson.The Wall Street Journal iPad edition costs $17.29 a month, or a little over $200 a year. That’s about twice as much as an online-only subscription at about $8 per month.
A subscription to both the print and online versions of the Journal is just $2.29 per week, or about $9 a month.
More than 30,000 existing subscribers downloaded the free iPad app, according to Thomson. They were offered a deal for a limited time to get the iPad content for free. We don’t know how many of the 3,200 folks paid for long-term subscriptions versus trying the app for a month or two.
“We chose to create a newspaper-like experience, in part, because we wanted readers to pay for our splendid content,” Thomson wrote in his memo to staffers.
“Media blogs have a tendency not to be overly magnanimous to the Journal, but there is almost unanimity that the Journal’s app is the most sophisticated of its kind,” he wrote.
Users reviewing the app in the iTunes store note that they are enjoying the app’s content, but some aren’t impressed with the pricing. “Considering the $140 yearly deal for a paper+web subscription, and the occasional $99 offers I get in my postal mail, I think the Journal needs to change its pricing ambitions, like now,” wrote one.
Another: “While I realise a lot of freetards expect all media to be free, the Journal has always been able to command a price for online content.”
Check out a demo of the Journal’s app below the rest of Thomson’s memo:
Hearty congratulations are in order for our tech team and for all in editorial for the somewhat remarkable success of our iPad application. Media blogs have a tendency not to be overly magnanimous to the Journal, but there is almost unanimity that the Journal’s app is the most sophisticated of its kind. We chose to create a newspaper-like experience, in part, because we wanted readers to pay for our splendid content – more than 30,000 existing subscribers have downloaded the app and over 3,200 new subscribers have paid for iPad-only access. These are superb numbers for a new-fangled device and a tribute to the skill of our tech team and to the quality of Journal and Newswires journalism. Robert.
PCMag.com: In many ways, the Wall Street Journal has the most advanced news application.” http://blogs.pcmag.com/miller/2010/04/media_apps_on_the_ipad_very_ni.php
Newsonomics.com: “The Journal’s path may combine the best of two worlds. One world is the paper, its metaphor of reading intact, which still makes more sense to many people than its online version; that’s the same struggle many newspapers have had — coming up with an intuitive web metaphor that worked. Second, the embrace of what the iPad advances in some revolutionarily intuitive ways: video, touch and social sharing.”
Appolicious: “The WSJ is more pleasing to read in tablet form than in any other media.”
PadGadget: The visual elegance for this app is remarkable. All stories are displayed with the classic WSJ columns, and it includes multiple headlines and quick teasers for the major international and financial stories of the day. In addition, the app provides access to every story that is available in the print edition of the paper. When you look at WSJ on your iPad, there is no aesthetic difference between the print and online editions. PadGadget Verdict: Another must-have iPad app. Yes, it requires a weekly subscription, but for all the content you’ll get, the app is fantastic.
Here’s a demo of the app:
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