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PressReader on the iPad: Amazing!

Today I checked out the new PressReader app on the iPad, and I was totally sold on it! It is so cool, this app *might* be the future of media and just having this app justifies buying an iPad for me.

Downloading on the iPad goes very fast

PressReader is a website with an app that lets you read 1500 newspapers and magazines worldwide on your computer, your iPhone or your iPad. You pay USD 0.99 per newspaper, or you can have a 1-month subscription for USD 9.99 that allows you to download 31 newspapers (you can download whatever your want, so you’re not stuck with a subscription to just one newspaper, you can download a different newspaper every day if you’d like or download several ones on one day), or a USD 29.99 one-month unlimited download. Compare this price to what you pay for printed newspapers!

Overview of all sections of newspaper

How does it work? Very simple, you register online or on your iPad (I already registered online a few years ago when I first found the website, and then just signed in on my iPad). Set up your favorite newspapers and download the ones you want to buy. If you are a new member you can download the first 7 papers for free (I think, I had to pay for my papers because I’m not a new member). You can also read the front page of every newspaper for free if you go online.

Click on title for one column view

Downloading is quick and easy, within a minute you have the paper you want on your iPad. You can see the whole page, but in order to read the article you have to either zoom in (by pinching) or you double click the article and a pop-up appears. Not in the mood for reading? Click the audio button and the iPad reads it for you. That not only works for English, but also for Dutch (and therefore likely for most other languages). You can swipe from page to page, or you click on the menu button to get an overview of all sections of the newspaper. It’s so easy that everybody will understand it without needing a manual.

Pinch to zoom in or out on part of the article

I am totally sold on this application, but there is still one downside: PressReader does not have all newspapers. For example I did not find the New York Times (yet?). However, other papers that were in there are for example the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Also a large number of local US newspapers were in the selection of 178 US papers and magazines. For Holland my favorite paper NRC Handelsblad was in there (I already have a subscription for that on my iLiad) and furthermore the Volkskrant. You can find papers from almost any country in the world, most have at least 2 or 3 local papers and some have a lot more (New Zealand has 92 papers, Australia 168 and Canada is the winner with 277 papers).

# of newspapers per country

If I would run PressReader I would probably go one step further, and also sell articles per piece. I believe that may eventually be the real future of “print” media: being able to pay a very small amount for the articles that you want to read (say USD 0.05 or 0.10 per article), and -important!- you should not have to go through a payment process but just press an “ok” button.

I am very happy that I found this app and I think I will spend quite some money on PressReader in the future. It works great, it looks great and the price per paper is less that a dollar. Why did TechCrunch not write about this yet? Spread the word!

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  1. It’s just like you said earlier — if someone can wrangle down those micropayments, there’s no telling where this might go. It’s time for me to pick up that iPad…

  2. @Pepijn PressDisplay and PressReader are the same company. forwards automatically to, but their iPad app is called PressReader. You can also access the site through the iPad, but downloading the paper is a much better user experience.

  3. Once these papers realize their pricing is not on par with their other digital offerings (WSJ) for example … the game will be up.

    I predict a number of key publishers will pull their content or negotiate new pricing which will only upset te reader.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like this model. But I guarantee publishers are not ready for PressDisplay to be their iTunes music store.

  4. @JaySpear I hope you are wrong but it is likely that some might pull off their content. However, I think that most will realize that this is additional income for them. If I download a paper I normally would have not bought the paper version, it’s the convenience of having it available instantly on your iPad. Someone has to take the lead, and it has to be a player that has a lot of papers signed up. It seems PressReader/PressDisplay managed to do that and that’s something not many other companies can say (if there are any others at all).

    Now it’s all about the implementation. I didn’t do any research about the company, but I hope some experienced media professionals are behind it who know how to pull this off. In my opinion they should try to grow this virally by giving away credits for papers to get people to try it. After that they should add pre-paid credits (so pay USD 10 in and use that as you go along, just like Skype). The next step should be to go away from the traditional model of selling a complete paper to selling by article as well. If that works they should make perma URLs for these articles that can be shared with others (who need to sign up for PressReader to read them on any device) and you have a viral winning model. Would love to do it myself actually 🙂

  5. hey marc, indeed now it’s time to buy an ipad. i am still stuck with a herald tribune subscription which costs a few USD a day when you live in china. does pressreader offer magazines as well? economist and the like, XS

  6. @Xander The Herald Tribune is available on the iPad, so you’ll have it the moment it comes out and it’s a lot cheaper as well. I did not see the Economist on PressReader yet, right now it’s mainly newspapers. However, you can subscribe to the Economist through the iPad Kindle app and I read that the magazine will soon launch its own iPad app as well.

  7. @ marcvanderchijs, you wrote “However, you can subscribe to the Economist through the iPad Kindle app”

    …only that is not true. Magazine subscriptions are not available through the Kindle for iPad app. Only purchased books are.

    “Periodicals such as newspapers, magazines, and blogs, and personal documents can only be delivered to and read on Kindle devices and cannot be viewed on Kindle for iPad/iPhone or other Kindle applications. ”

  8. Thanks Josh, I was not aware of that, soo far I only read books on the Kindle app. This is actually good news for PressReader, hope they can manage to sign up some good magazines like the Economist as well.

  9. Awesome post.

    Keep up the Awesome work.

    Only 6 more days until the iPad gets released in Australia ( not that Im counting )

  10. Hi! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!