The Daily Mirror stole a march on the rest of the UK national titles yesterday by announcing it was allowing access to its publication (M-F) free via an iPad App. The Saturday and Sunday editions are only available in a Print version and they feel that they are good enough value to have it in print only. They also have an international version which is available for £4.99 a month - a slightly different version of the free version.  

They say that the iPad version will be an ‘exact digital reproduction’ of the newspaper with additional features such as video reports, extra articles and interactive advertisements.

There will be ten regional versions of the paper – honing in on stories relative to where people live. Given that they have a large enough presence in the Republic, I was curious to see if one of the regions covered the “Three Green Fields”. A very prompt email reply came from my enquiry to Trinity Mirror with “We're in the process of making an edition for the R of I and we're hoping to launch it in the New Year” – so that will be a “no” (at the moment) then.

It’s a big step for Trinity especially giving away the app with no subscription. All the other players have an iPad offering and all at very different rates as you can see for the table below. The Mirror will be relying solely on the generosity of Advertisers for the duration of this project.

Let’s clarify a few points first: in the table below, an app is anything that can run on an iPad or Android device. It’s not something that is downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. The ft.com application for example bypassed the apps store as it is a HTML5 application and doesn’t need the app store.

Secondly, the figures below have a variety of different ‘bundles’ attached to them and are not simply for the iPad application. In many cases it’s impossible to isolate the iPad portion as it is an integral part of a ‘whole package’. So we provided the price of a digital subscription to some of the more popular Newspapers.    

Mirror-iPadThe Mirror’s decision to opt for iPad as its launch application is probably, at the moment, correct as YouGov suggest that 10m people in the UK have a tablet and 67% of that share goes to Apple. I’d suggest that there might be a mini explosion in tablet ownership over the ‘Ho Ho Ho’ and, in these days of penury and after the budget turning to mendicity, the price advantage of the Android devices might just see them etch out some more market share in the New Year.

When it comes to newspaper choices – each to their own. You can peruse the table below and see for yourself the prices charged for the various subscriptions and make up your own mind as to whether you think them to be good value or not.

As an aside, Publishers here lobbied for years against the punishing rates of VAT applied to newspapers. They won concessions and the VAT rate on papers now stands at the lower rate of 9%. The current rate of VAT on ‘apps’ is 23%!

More lobbying in the pipeline?   

Publication Single Ed Weekly Monthly Annual
Daily Mirror Free Free Free Free
Irish Times €1.90 €160.00
Sunday/Irish Independent €1.90 €40.00 €250.00
Examiner €1.50 €20.00 €160.00
Sunday World €2.35 €9.00 €90.00
Sun Business Post (p/w) €2.69 €7.99 €69.99
Daily Star £1.49 £4.99 £49.99
Daily/Sunday Express £2.49 £6.99 £64.99
FT.com (p/w) €33.00 €299.00
FT.com (premium) €7.99 €415.50
Mail Online £9.99 £94.99
The Independent  £4.00 £9.99 119.88
Times/Sunday Times (p/w) £2 £8  £104
Times/Sunday Times (p/w) £4 £16  £208
The Guardian/Observer  £9.99 119.88
The Sun/Sunday (p/w Aug) £4.99
Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph (p/w April) 0.69 £1.99 £20.00
Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph (Tablet) £9.99 £99.00

Last updated April 2013