Arianna Huffington Steers Her Ship Away From Rupert Murdoch’s Iceberg, Offers iPad App For Free
3:00 pm, August 2nd | by Laura Donovan
It looks as if iPad-exclusive content isn’t so marketable after all, and Huffington Post powerhouse Arianna Huffington seemed to keep this in mind when she started offering weekly iPad magazine, Huffington free of charge.
During the June launch of the iPad publication, executive editor Tim O’Brien said they went with paid content because “it’s a premium product and it deserves to carry a price with it in order to access all the value we’re giving people.” This is a much different answer than what HuffPost spokesperson Rhoades Alderson gave to Capital New York nearly two months later. With regards to the recent switch, Alderson said, “In the end, we felt that asking people to pay for the magazine was inconsistent with The Huffington Post itself, which has never charged for content.”
And requiring a fee just didn’t seem to work on iPad users. Since the mag’s debut, there have only been around 115,000 downloads of the app. Given Rupert Murdoch’s struggling iPad-only newspaper, which comes at a cost, Huffington was wise to change gears and provide no-fee content. To anyone else who wants to start an iPad pub with a pricetag on it, don’t.