Conde Naste is set to offer its May iPad edition of Wired free for 30 days, thanks to a sponsorship with Adobe. The free edition is also being used as a way to promote the app’s new sharing and shopping features in a hope to attract, and bring back, subscribers who have fallen of the Wired iPad edition bandwagon.
The new sharing features, somewhat overdue, allow readers to share links to articles on Facebook and Twitter, including those that are not yet up on the Wired website or won’t ever be. However for articles that aren’t available on the Wired website, the link will lead to a web page that encourages others to download the relevant issue of the Wired magazine. As for those shopping features, Wired readers will be able to click a “buy now” button that opens an in-app browser (sponsored by MasterCard) displaying the relevant Amazon page for a product featured in an article, and any purchases will give Conde Naste a referral payment.
Wired’s monthly subscriber base for the iPad edition has apparently settled into the 20,000 to 30,000 range, which is considerably lower than the first issue which managed to hit over 100,000 downloads. Yet Wired is by no means ditching the subscription model, apparently determined to grow their business through user subscriptions, and ad revenue, which complements subscriptions.
However, Wired VP-publisher Howard Mittman, said that they felt it was time to show users how the Wired app has improved and making it free was a prominent way to do so. Mittman also admits that the social elements need to be enhanced, noting that “’social’ is real interactive, comment-able experiences, so that user feedback and feedback from our community creates a two-way or three-way conversation between the users and between the users and us.”