The Evening Standard is to launch an iPad app this week, reported MediaWeek. The app, which will feature a range of editorial content including news, sport, business and entertainment, is the first of two: the second will be launched at a later date and will focus on the paper's Friday ES magazine.
The first app will launch this week and will be updated 24 hours a day, offering both content from the print paper and unique features and news, MediaWeek said. It will allow users to share and post on Facebook and Twitter. British Airways is sponsoring the app, and will be the sole advertiser for the first two months.
The London paper is the latest in a string of publications to announce the launch of an app. Yesterday, the Telegraph announced the launch of its free app, with Audi as the launch sponsor. The Telegraph Media Group is also said to be working in collaboration with the New York Times on a new iPhone and iPad app.
The Telegraph's announcement left open the possibility that after the sponsorship deal with Audi is over, the app might become paid. Newspapers have two main options for making money out of mobile apps: either a one-off download fee or a fee per issue. Increasingly publishers are looking at subscription possibilities for the iPad, and the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple itself is trying to persuade publishers to join the company in its upcoming newspaper and magazine subscription offering. Some publishers already offer direct subscriptions via the iPad, but Apple already has successful hubs for selling music, books, and TV and film, and a storefront for periodicals would seem a logical next step. 160 million people already have Apple accounts.
However, publishers might be concerned about the thought of letting Apple take a 30% sales cut, and about the fact that the company doesn't allow publishers easy access to subscriber information, the WSJ said. Apple has spoken to Time Inc, Condé Nast, News Corp and Hearst, according to the WSJ.
Meanwhile, it is anticipated that the iPad is soon to be hit with some competition, as tablets running on both Google's Android OS and by Research In Motion (maker of Blackberry) are expected to launch soon. RIM might unveil a tablet as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reported, with a seven-inch touch screen and one or two built-in cameras, with Bluetooth and broadband connections. Samsung is due to launch the 'Galaxy Tab' which will run on Android and be offered by the four biggest US wireless carriers. It will also have a 7-inch display and video-conferencing features, Bloomberg said. Apple is expected to come out with its own smaller tablet in coming months.
Will the iPad and other tablets have a lasting impact on the way that people read digital news and on their willingness to pay for it?