I heard recently that the Guardian newspaper has finally caught up with the Android revolution and launched a Google app. What is more, it is free.
The newspaper group had previously published an application for the iPhone some time ago, but anyone wanting it had to pay a subscription fee. Whether or not this will change now that the company is offering the same thing for free on another platform will be interesting to see.
On the other hand the iPhone app may remain subscription based since the Android version has advertising incorporated in it, which probably pays for the cost. Some cynics though have criticised this dual position by the Guardian newspaper.
Countering this, a spokesperson for the Guardian told paidcontent.org “We feel that having a free, ad-funded Android app is the right business model for this marketplace and platform at this point in time.”
The spokesperson added “We have no plans to change our iPhone pricing model as it stands, though we are always reviewing and watching the market very closely.”
Interestingly, the iPhone version of the app is available for free in the USA. The Guardian says they have done this because they want to build a new audience in that country. Consequently offering the Google app for free there makes marketing sense.
The newspaper may well have a point. Statistics show that the Guardian app has been downloaded 52,915 times so far.
In the UK it is also estimated that between January and June this year some 67,258 people had subscribed.