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Is Apple’s iTunes a competitor for the local news shop in the UK? Yes, if the “success” of The Guardian’s iPhone application is anything to go by. Priced at £2.39, the app gives readers unlimited (at the moment) access to the Guardian web site with up-to-date news every 15 minutes. Apple takes 30% of all revenue, which as the Guardian has sold 100,000 apps since December is now £72,000 and counting.
While Guardian Media Group (GMG) are giving access of their title to a whole new market (as Apple can distribute worldwide through the App Store), have they gained 100,000 new readers or lost a big percentage of customers that would otherwise have bought a copy from the newsstand? In other words, have GMG taken your customers over to their app and lost themselves revenue in the process?
Another publisher, Dennis, have created a slightly different model for MacUser which is perhaps even more threatening. Their app costs an initial 59p, and a further £1.79 for access to each further issue. This means they get all the benefits of worldwide distribution, without the loss of UK newsstand revenue.
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