Just a week after online news website The Daily Maverick announced its intention to launch an iPad newspaper, SA daily Business Day has unveiled plans to launch an iPad edition of the paper. The application, available from next month, will be free to download and free to use — at least for now.
William Smith, product manager at BDFM, the company that publishes Business Day, says the digital product strategy is to “keep our digital platforms in line. If the website has a pay wall the corresponding apps will. At this stage www.businessday.co.za doesn’t have paywall in place, so the app won’t either.”
Smith doesn’t want to predict uptake by consumers, but says interest so far suggests the app could expect five-figure readership within a year.
Business Day editor Peter Bruce tells TechCentral that the publication’s editorial team has been “waiting for [an app] for a long time”. “It’s been galling to watch other media outlets come out with apps and having to wait so long for ours.”
Bruce says the app will replicate what’s available in the print edition, but says the plan eventually is to offer content that is unique to the tablet platform. “Shortly after launch we should be able to provide value-adds regularly, but I don’t want to speculate about that yet. Ultimately, we’re looking to become a digital company with a newspaper.”
An iPhone app will follow soon after the launch of the iPad edition. An app for Android-based devices should come later, though there’s no launch date set yet.
Smith says the iPad edition has been in planning for about six months and the decision to launch the app has nothing to do with The Daily Maverick’s plan to launch iMaverick on iPad in mid-August. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
- See also: SA gets first iPad-only newspaper