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Murdoch: iPad subs more profitable than on the Kindle

updated 05:50 pm EDT, Tue May 4, 2010

News Corp CEO says iPad better for WSJ than Kindle

The iPad has already been very successful for the Wall Street Journal as an e-reader, News Corp's chief Rupert Murdoch said during a call discussing his company's latest results. About 64,000 are subscribing to the newspaper in just the first month; it's also significantly more profitable than the same subscription on the Kindle, he said. Unlike Amazon's insistence on a revenue split, the WSJ keeps all of the nearly $18 it costs for a month of reading.

The number didn't explicitly track those who have passed their free trial periods and are paying for the subscription, although the adoption rate is 20 times higher than just 3,200 in the first week.

Murdoch has been one of the staunchest supporters of the iPad as a means of transitioning from print to digital and during the call said it would "lead a revolution" in how users access all kinds of content, not just text.

Both the WSJ app and magazines like Popular Science have drawn criticism from early iPad owners as their subscription rates are often higher than for the print versions, which carry considerably higher manufacturing costs due to printing presses and distribution. A web-only subscription to the paper costs under $9 per month. However, publishers like Bonnier have admitted that they're partly testing the waters and also see the opportunity to use tablets for handheld features that aren't possible in print, such as video or live Internet components.

Amazon has been the dominant e-reader platform for books and magazines in the US but has seen its influence wane as publishers rebel on pricing and complain about the absence of color or video on the Kindle's e-paper display.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bauhaus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    -3

    Incorrect on so much

    There is a revenue split (Apple's standard percentage policy.)

    Murdoch is full of sh*t. Those numbers are highly inflated trial (read "free subscribers" numbers.) He's desperate to convince the market that the "pay wall" system is working but the paying-subscribers' numbers aren't really showing that as being true. He pulled this with the online paid subscribers numbers (for web access) and it was proven that his numbers were minuscule for attracting new customers or retaining old customers who had let paper subscriptions lapse.

  1. OkieDoc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +7

    No...not incorrect

    Apple gets a revenue split on download of the application, I know, but does it get a cut of in-app subscriptions? Not that I know of.

    The WSJ app is a free download. But you have to activate a subscription from within it as far as I know.

    (as opposed to something like the Time Magazine app. Which for now is a separate purchase per issue.

  1. facebook_Modern

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010

    +3

    Absurd...

    I'd rather not pay $600 just for the option to buy a subscription to a damn newspaper which, on top of all that, still gets to make money off me with adds. No wonder Murdoch is getting tingles down his leg. If peolpe are dumb enough to pay, he'll be making oodles and boodles of money.

  1. facebook_Dennis

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010

    +3

    Murdoch

    Murdoch is one of those super rich people who think they own people. He'll monetize breathing if we let him. We don't need his garbage. There are plenty of better sources for information.

    So he proposes to get people to pay to be fed his spin? No thanks.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    +6

    Good, if true

    Murdoch wants this to be true....And the iPad is a batter platform for a hybrid new media rag... But it's too early to say, how things will play out.

  1. bauhaus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    +6

    subscription

    yes, they do take a cut of subscription. (in app purchase, subscription, and app purchase all take the same percentage)

  1. soqueesh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010

    +1

    greedy owners, stupid consumers

    Murdoch and his ilk are a greedy lot. Charging more for their pay walls than their print editions-and scooping up the cash from e-ads as well. Common sense dictates that this kind of model should fail. Very few people in my middle class world can afford to shell out $600 for a glorified I-Phone, and then pay a steep monthly for access on top of all their other monthly "network" fees (Outrageous cable package fees for channels you don't want, cell phone network plans, home internet access, digital radio subs...) and then pay ON TOP OF THAT for access to various and sundry "pay walls" for every thing you click on-line. It all just costs too much. All of it. Already in my house, we've had to ditch cable TV. The money has to be used for other things.
    I'm no Luddite, I enjoy the technological advantages of computer use for getting information, and with the advent of email, one pretty much has to have internet to stay connected for their work and social life communications. But the monetization of the internet is on the verge of rendering this technology useless to my crowd. I don't have the money for it, needing my money for stupid things like food, college funds, car insurance, and REAL life. If pay walls become common, I'll be forced to move to the cheapest e-book available, with the cheapest access--and use it only for the bare necessities of checking email. And I wouldn't use it for anything else.

    If consumer's are foolhardy enough to pay and pay and pay--then the model will work--despite the illogic of it all. The acceptance of ridiculously costly cell phone plans has proved P.T. Barnum right yet again, so I don't expect common sense to prevail on this manner either.

  1. Cperson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010

    -3

    Murdoch

    I think Murdoch is nice.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. mynwworld5

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010

    -10

    ipad

    Today apple is one most leading company IT industries. I rally enjoy the technological advantages of apple instruments for getting information, and with the advent of email. Murdoch wants this to be true.
    Apple iPad is really very nice product.
    m3 carte

  1. mynwworld5

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010

    -8

    m3 carte

    Today apple is one most leading company IT industries. I rally enjoy the technological advantages of apple instruments for getting information, and with the advent of email. Murdoch wants this to be true.
    Apple iPad is really very nice product.
    m3 carte

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