This looks like an example of “Digital First” in action: today, the Guardian announced that it has launched a Kindle app, its first for the Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) device, as it looks to extend its footprint to more wireless devices — a platform that already brings in 10 percent of all of the Guardian’s digital traffic. The app, arriving nearly four years after the reading device was first debuted by Amazon, comes as the Guardian prepares to stop printing international editions this October.
The news comes as figures show that Amazon’s Kindle may be falling to Barnes & Noble’s Nook in market share over a lack of a color screen; it will be worth seeing whether a content boost can help lift those sales.
The Kindle app, which the Guardian says will be available in the UK, U.S. and 100 other countries, will feature all content, including supplements, from both the Guardian and its sister Sunday newspaper, the Observer — for now, all in black-and-white.
The app is available for an initial 14-day free trial, and thereafter reverts to a subscription model, similar to the Guardian’s existing iPhone app. The prices will be $9.99 per month or $0.75 per issue; while in the UK it will be slightly pricier: £9.99 per month or £0.99 per issue. Prices for the rest of the world will be $17.99 per month or $1.99 per issue.
The Guardian has also given an update on apps for other digital platforms:
iPad app: The long-awaited iPad app looks like it might finally be here (although it is not, yet). The Guardian says that it is testing it now with readers. While the Kindle is offering what appears to be a faithful reproduction of the print product (save for the color), the Guardian notes that this app for the iPad will feature specially “curated” content that is updated daily. For now, iPad users have to settle for the iPad Eyewitness app, which the Guardian says has been downloaded more then 500,000 times.
Android: And also some news finally about Android (but again no app, yet). This is also coming soon, writes Subhajit Banerjee, the editor of the Guardian’s mobile site, and will be populated with “truly Android-native” content (which potentially means more functionality integrating with other Android features?).
At the end of June, the Guardian also announced that it is planning to release a new app for the new HP (NYSE: HPQ) tablet, the TouchPad. That will be called Guardian Zeitgeist. The TouchPad launched at the beginning of the month in the U.S. and will debut in the UK later this week.
Last month, the Guardian revealed that its iPhone app had been downloaded 403,388 times since the January revision. After the free trial, 67,258 people went on to subscribe – in the UK, 72 percent of them for one year (£3.99), and 28 percent for six months (£2.99).
Given the difference in prices between the UK and US for the content, that means that the Guardian has made anywhere between £201,101 (six-month) and £268,359 (12-month) in iOS subscriptions on the app, which still works out to less than two percent of the total it would have made if those users had bought the print edition.
This October, The Guardian plans to stop printing its international edition, which had been published in New York, Frankfurt, Madrid, Malta and Cyprus.
Disclosure: Our publisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.