Guardian sees 2.1% of iPad readers pay

Only a sliver of people who have tried out The Guardian’s iPad edition for free end up subscribing after their trial. But does that small percentage matter? Other publishers also see low premium take-up, The Guardian is more interested in selling ads than subs.

Politico doubles down on subscription biz

Political junkie heaven Politico is expanding during this election year — but not to cover the elections. Instead, it’s hiring 20 journalists to beef up Politico Pro in coverage of the economy and military — and 20 more business staffers to make it all pay.

Are publishers waking up from their dream about apps?

Publishers saw the iPad as a chance to turn back the clock and convince consumers to pay for content in a new form. But that dream has collided with reality, and now some content producers — including MIT’s Technology Review — say the standalone content app is dead.

WaPo digital revenue drops in Q1

The Washington Post Co. newspaper division continues to struggle, nearly doubling its operating loss with drops in print circulation and advertising — and digital ad sales aren’t picking up the slack. The company may to reevaluate its no paywall’ stance.

Spotify reportedly launching in Germany by mid-March

Spotify is launching in Germany within the next two weeks, according to German media reports. The streaming service already has an office in Berlin. It also recently hired a PR rep for the country, which in the past has been a difficult market for music services.

Where Netflix wants to go next: India, Korea, Japan?

Netflix will launch in the U.K. and Ireland early next year, but where is it going after that? A recent job offer revealed a number of candidates, including countries like Korea, Germany, Russia and France. Now all Netflix needs is profits to make those plans happen.

Facebook subscriptions let you fine-tune your news feed

On Wednesday, Facebook will announce subscriptions, which will let users decide what they want to see more and less of in their news feeds. Subscriptions build on the idea of more control, which follows Tuesday’s Smart Lists, and enhanced privacy features introduced last month.

Why the New York Times Paywall Will Backfire

The New York Times delivered details regarding its new paywall today, with a tiered pricing plan that begs the question: Considering how well the Times iPhone and iPad apps have done, has the Gray Lady thought hard enough about the app user’s perspective?

Apple Gives Media Companies a Carrot, Tied to a Big Stick

Apple has finally launched its subscription option for publishers with iOS apps, and it offers magazines and newspapers the ability to charge readers easily, as well as some other concessions from Apple — but in order to get those benefits, publishers have to pay a hefty price.

Subscriptions: The Secret to a Sustainable Web Series?

Two years after creating her own web series to continue a storyline from a canceled soap opera, actor Crystal Chappell is one of the rarest sort of web producers — one whose show is completely self-sustained. The secret? A subscription model, and a loyal fanbase.

How In-App iOS Subscriptions Will Work

Apple today introduced in-app subscriptions alongside newspaper app The Daily. No details about subscriptions were revealed at the announcement event for the app, but luckily Apple’s own updated terms of service for the iTunes Store shed some light on what to expect.

Amazon’s New Periodicals Deal: Better Than Apps?

The iPad seems well-designed for magazines, but Apple has had trouble working out a subscription model with publishers that works for all concerned. Might Jeff Bezos have stolen away the revenue potential represented by periodicals with Amazon’s latest move?

Subtract the Swearing and Dave McClure Has a Point

If you can get past the salty language, David “Master of 500 Hats” McClure has a good point to make about how the future of web services is likely subscription and transaction-based, and the fact that this model favors Facebook, Google and Apple.

Grey Lady's Troubles With the P-Word

Is charging users for online content an act of slow-motion seppuku? The New York Times may be about to find out. But the real risk is that it is neither a runaway success nor an abject failure, but rather a slow, steady decline.