The internet has not been kind to traditional newspapers. But the NY Post’s decision to block access to their site through the iPad’s browser is myopic and damaging.
Users who tried to access NY Post articles through the iPad this morning were served this message, asking them to download the official app instead. This means shelling out $1.99 to buy the app, which comes with a 30 day free trial. After that its $6.99 a month to keep reading.
Betabeat is all in favor of paywalls, but a surprise attack is not the way to launch one. Readers should have been given the chance to sign up for at least a week in advance, and anyone with a regular subscription should get the iPad access for free. Similarly, anyone who buys the app should be able to sign in from the web if they so choose.
“Okay this is bad. This is breaking the web. If no one used the iPad it wouldn’t matter. But lots of people use it,” wrote ur-blogger and visiting NYU scholar Dave Winer. “I wonder how Apple feels about this? I can’t imagine they like it. I can see the ads now. ‘Get an Android tablet to read the web.’”
If readers trashy lowbrow gossip in an iPad only format, they would already have paid for The Daily.