As far as moneymaking schemes go, the New York Post‘s attempt to up sales of its iPad app seems like a great idea… in theory.
Similarly to other newspapers and magazines, trying to access the Post‘s website using the Safari web browser on an iPad brings up an interstitial ad suggesting that users try the official NYPost App, instead of the website. So far so good, right…? Except that there’s no way for users to get past the interstitial and on to the website itself.
Well, that’s not exactly true; users can read the Post’s website on an iPad if they use a different browser. PaidContent notes that both Skyfire and Opera Mini have no problem, with Staci Kramer adding that the Safari block is “one of the most poorly conceived paywall efforts I’ve come across — and I’ve seen more than a few.”
But Safari users are stuck with an advertisement for an app that costs $1.99 to download and then charges a monthly $6.99 subscription fee (deals are available for six months at $39.99 or 12 months at $74.99).
Compare that with fellow News Corp. digital paper The Daily (free to download, and then 99 cents per week or $39.99 for 12 months) or reading the Post through the official site (free), and suddenly, the problems become apparent.
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the Post reverses this change. After all, the paper’s mix of tabloid journalism and pop sensationalism is freely available elsewhere, so I can’t see this doing anything other than generating ill will and losing the brand’s readers. Then again, there’s a reason I don’t work in the publishing decisions business.