USA Today may be the next major brand in the daily news business to make the transition to paid premium content.
According to a new report published Friday, USA Today’s mobile applications for smartphones and tablet computers may abandon the free-content model. That suggestion comes straight from Lawrence Kramer, the venerable newspaper’s president and publisher.
To date, Gannett – which owns and operates USA Today – has already switched half of its 82 newspapers to a paid model. Consequently, the company has enjoyed a 13 percent spike in digital revenue over the last quarter.
“There is not going to be just one business model anymore,” Kramer tells Bloomberg. “If people want it on their cell phone, they may have to pay for it on their cell phone, because there’s a cost to delivering it that way. If they want it on their iPad, we may charge them for an iPad app. Yes, I definitely think in many ways they will be paying for it, and that’s OK.”
As of June, page views for USA Today have more than doubling from a year ago.
Bloomberg confirms that USA Today now has more than 14.5 million downloads of its apps for smartphones and tablets.