The holiday's over. After being available for free for the past 3 months thanks to a sponsorship deal from Channel 4, The Guardian is set to start charging for its iPad app.
Starting this Friday, current users will be asked to pay £9.99 a month for the app. Not everyone will have to pay right away: new users will be given a seven day trial period before they face any fees, and print subscribers will get the app at no extra cost. But even with these offers, the charge is The Guardian's highest fee for any digital product. The paper's mobile app, by comparison, costs £2.99 for six months, £4.99 for a year and is free in the US.
In an article for Paid Content, Robert Andrews speculates that The Guardian could generate significant revenue if it manages to convert the same proportion of free users into paying subscribers on the iPad and it has done on the iPhone. Andrews writes that The Guardian may be able to convert 47,600 of its current 280,000 active monthly users into paying customers, which would produce £475,000 per month, before Apple takes its 30% cut.