The Huffington Post's new weekly iPad magazine -- originally priced at 99 cents / $1.99 a month / $19.99 a year -- is dropping its price to zero after five issues, Joe Pompeo reports. AOL claims about 115,000 downloads of the app, Pompeo writes, but it wasn't clear how many of those ever paid for an issue (the first month came free).
The moves comes shortly after The Daily, News Corp.'s iPad-only newsmagazine, laid off 50 staffers and scaled back content.
Mathew Ingram's analysis is that single-source apps "don’t fit the way content works anymore":
Whether media companies like it or not (and they mostly don’t), much of the news and other content we consume now comes via links shared through Twitter and Facebook and other networks, or through old-fashioned aggregators — such as Yahoo News or Google News — and newer ones like Flipboard and Zite and Prismatic that are tailored to mobile devices and a socially-driven news experience. Compared to that kind of model, a dedicated app from a magazine or a newspaper looks much less interesting, since by design it contains content from only a single outlet, and it usually doesn’t contain helpful things like links.(more...)