The Atlantic to pursue premium mobile app strategy

The Atlantic magazine is planning a paid premium content app that, according to Staci Kramer, will provide access to "a daily bundle of everything the magazine produces online for a monthly access fee."

Kramer writes that the premium app is the third phase of The Atlantic's mobile strategy, which currently includes two free iPhone apps and a single-edition paid iPad app. The company plans to develop the single-edition app into a digital newsstand that would provide access to a library of past purchased editions.

M. Scott Havens, the Atlantic's vice president of digital strategy and operations, told Kramer that the launch of the Atlantic premium app will impact the amount of content available in the free offerings, but that the exact content mix and price have not yet been determined.

Havens also said that the Atlantic's plans include offering digital-only and hybrid print-digital subscriptions, an option that continues to prove technologically challenging for publishers:

"Once the newsstand update and Atlantic Premium are underway, Havens said they will start to look at subscriptions. 'Either [app developer] Urban Airship or Steve Jobs will make it possible,' he said, adding that he's optimistic Apple will provide a solution but that 'we’re not in talks as a small publisher.' He's also interested in opening access to print subs. 'We watched what People is now doing allowing people who have print to access it for free. That’s something we definitely would consider. It's a good retention tool.' "


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