Starting today, the Philadelphia Media Network–which owns The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com–is offering a discounted tablet to the first 5,000 subscribers to its new Android apps. In a news conference on Monday, PMN CEO and publisher Greg Osberg (ambitiously) described the initiative as “the most ambitious paid-content initiative ever introduced in the United States.”
The tablets are Arnova 10 G2 Android tablets, made by French company Archos. As described at Phillytablet.com, the Arnova comes preloaded with the Inquirer app, Inquirer Digital Edition, and Daily News Digital Edition. Subscriptions to those apps normally cost $13 per month. Here’s how the bundled subscription offer works, according to the Inquirer:
Customers who sign up for a two-year subscription to the package of apps for $10 per month will pay $99 for the tablet, for a total price of about $339, a 65 percent discount. Customers who agree to a one-year subscription will pay $129 for the tablet plus $13 per month, for a total price of $285, a 53 percent discount.
Adweek interviewed Osberg and has more details, reporting that the tablet is launching with sponsorship by Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), Wells Fargo and regional hospital network Main Line Health.
Adweek says Archos was a good partner for the Philadelphia Media Network because “it was willing to customize the home screen of the tablet and let the papers keep the subscription revenue and consumer data, which will enable it to study usership.”