Inquirer adds iPad, Android tablets

"The Philadelphia Inquirer and its sibling Philadelphia Daily News are making what may be the boldest tablet push yet," writes Ad Age here.

"On July 11, the two papers plan to announce a pilot program under which they will sell Android tablets with their content already built in at a discount. Icons on the tablets' home screen will take users to digital replicas of both newspapers as well as a separate Inquirer app and, the papers’ online hub."

In a note to managers this morning, editor Stan Wischnowski said both Android and iPad tablets "will be tied to a big circulation initiative... a bold step at a time when we really need to be innovative." Wischnowski added this is just one of a number of platforms the Inquirer and Daily News are rolling out. 

Publisher Greg Osberg will join Mayor Nutter at Drexel University's Academy of Natural Science to talk more about the initiative in a presentation this afternoon.

For further reading on the tablet future of journalism, Wischnowski recommended:

From Ad Age: "The idea of giving away or selling devices has been widely discussed in the publishing industry, but the Philadelphia experiment seems to be the most aggressive push in that direction thus far.

"Greg Osberg, CEO and publisher of the Philadelphia Media Network, the entity that includes the papers and, believes the company is making history with the program, the cost for which he estimated will come in somewhere in six figures.

"The deal lets the Philadelphia papers keep all the revenue and the consumer data, though, which will give it a read on how people consume newspaper content on a tablet...

"The idea is for the tablet and newspaper content combined to be half off their full retail price. (Right now, the papers’ digital editions each cost $2.99 a week.)... It’s slated to kick off with 2,000 tablets in the second half of August, with a fuller launch set for later in the year. The tablets also will sell advertising e-commerce units on the home screen... Later this fall, will introduce paid, premium content on the site, and a hyperlocal news channel."