Hot on the heels of the recent UK Sun newspaper website paywall debate, any argument about Rupert-Murdoch-owned News International’s plans for mobile have received some clarification this week.
The Sun newspaper has now finally launched its Android app, hitting Android Market for an introductory price of £0.69 a month, rising to its permanent subscription price of £4.99 after the first month.
The Sun has the highest circulation of all UK print newspapers, and it launched its first native app for iPad way back in June 2010, which also costs £4.99 a month, offering what is essentially a scanned version of the print newspaper, with no real interactivity to speak of.
A dedicated iPhone app is in the pipeline and should be hitting the App Store “soon”, presumably it will adopt the same approach as the Android app which is at least tailored for a mobile app platform.
The ‘will he, won’t he’ debate surrounding Ruper Murdoch’s intentions to take The Sun’s website behind a paywall was recently reignited after it was revealed a new archive website had been set up which charges for access to previously published articles from The Sun and News of the World.
News International, The Sun’s publishers, had previously done this for its now-defunct Sunday tabloid newspaper News of the World which adopted a paid model in October 2010. However, as we reported last May, News International has hinted that it had shelved plans to introduce a paywall for the Sun, and this was reiterated in our October report too.
It will be interesting to see how its foray into charged content works on Android, but on a platform that has typically been difficult to get users paying for apps, I’m not convinced it will see too many people pay the £4.99 monthly subscription.