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Mail Online Picks Web, Not Paper, Brand For Subscription iPad App

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Two weeks later than expected, A&N Media has launched Mail Newspapers’ iPad edition.

Some publishers, seeing tablet as analogous to print, have launched iPad editions bearing their print title’s name – but this app, “Mail Online”, is in every way a version of the gossip-laden website of the same name, not the conservative Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) newspaper. The news agenda mirrors that of the website, not the newspaper.

The edition operates on subscription…

  • 30 days for £2.39 ($3.95)
  • 90 days for £6.49 ($10.73)
  • 183 days for £10.99 ($18.19)
  • or a year for £19.99 ($33.08)

That effectively makes the website pay-for in iPad form. But the first 90 days are free.

And this mirrors the smartphone pricepoint the Mail operated until this month, when it also introduced a solely ad-supported option on top of the subscription model. It’s notable that, unlike smartphone, there is no full-time free option promised for iPad.

I saw no advertising in the app, but the publisher tells NMA big names have signed on for three-month deals: “It has already generated six-figure revenue for Mail Online.”

Mail Online is now the second-most-visited “newspaper” website globally after NYTimes.com (NYSE: NYT), according to comScore.

Features-wise, the app includes several utilitarian reader tools, like GPS-derived weather forecast, personalised news categories and personalised Premier League team reports.

Primary navigation is via a web-style homepage but, alternately, readers can pick a thumbnail-centric, swipeable carousel of all sections, which works rather well.

Photo-heavy just like its web counterpart, the app’s pictures work really well on the iPad’s big full screen. And story commenting features straight from the website bring an engaging feel to proceedings.

Certain section indices look brilliant, full of colourful character, but syncing stories is time-consuming and article presentation is plain and content from the print supplements has nothing of those supplement’s distinct character.