The Telegraph is one of the UK’s longest-standing newspaper and has remarkably been involved with delivering daily news online since 1994. The publisher has three apps in all, for iPad, iPhone and Android, with Horner telling TabTimes today that it will 'look' at' creating a tablet-optimized Android app, should demand for such a demand arise in future.
The Telegraph currently offers the iPad version for £9.99 (approximately $15.85) a month and the iPhone and Android phone editions for £1.99 ($3.15) a month. The phone editions can be used for free as part of a one month trial, and a similar trial with the iPad costs 99p ($1.57).
Horner said that The Telegraph has made some significant changes to its iPad app of late, even if he admits that the app has still not been optimized for the high-resolution 2048 x 1536 display of the new iPad. The new changes were introduced in the last weeks, and see The Telegraph now promising to bundle the aforementioned iPhone and Android mobile apps, as well as membership to The Telegraph’s Loyalty Club, to those subscribing to the iPad edition. The iPad edition is also free to those who buy the print edition, and Horner is adamant that the decision makes a lot of sense.
“This kind of package can give a son, husband or a whole family access to The Telegraph. So as long as someone in that family has a subscription, we’re happy. We want to showcase The Telegraph to a new audience, and it's important that these users see the breadth of our content."
The Telegraph marketing director said that there has been ‘huge demand’ for puzzles, crosswords and Sudoku on the iPad, but did admit that publishers, like The Telegraph, are ‘having to become technology companies’ in order to keep up with the rise of tablets, such is the secretive nature of Apple and what the company is doing with the iPad.
Horner added that publishers have now settled on offering 'good content' for around £9.99 a month, and reckons that tablets have changed the print reading experience, but not to the extent where print is going to go away anytime soon.
“You might sit down with the iPad app to get in-depth information, and turn to your iPhone for breaking news, but you'll read the newspaper for the definitive report. The iPad also can’t replace that sharing print experience, where you have various family members reading the newspaper or the different supplements.”
Horner does however seem realistic about the future of print, even if he does believe that tablets like the iPad act as ‘complimentary’ reading devices. “We’re realistic about print. As a publisher, you have to have digital options, although we know that print is very hard to sustain long-term."