Why I won’t be subscribing to the SMH tablet app


Because I’m not a chump.

From July 2, the Fairfax websites – the smh.com.au and theage.com.au – will provide free access to the first 30 articles users view each month. After that users will need to subscribe or delete their cookies.

The tablet apps of both ‘newspapers’ will adopt a freemium model leaving some sections free while others will require you to subscribe at $22 a month.

That’s only around 73 cents a day!

Yeah I know. Thanks for the clarification ‘italic conscience Pete’.

So it’s not worth a meagre 73 cents?

I currently use the SMH iPad app most days. I skim the front page (already know most of the headlines from twitter), skip through World News (because I’m Gen Y and only care about myself), check out the syndicated Technology articles (50% of today’s articles are from other publications), tweet any good ones that I’m not across (rare) and finish up with a scan to see if there are any AFL articles in the Sport section (who won the Premiership last year?).

I despise how the app replicates stories throughout the sections as if to ‘pad it out’. Occasionally the wrong image displays for an article. If it’s amusing I’ll spend a few minutes taking and editing a screen grab of it, trying to think of a witty tag line only to fail and quit.

What about the interactive articles

Often the interaction just involves viewing multiple shitty infographic style visualisations that would be better served as a traditional infographic without any fancy navigation.

What about additional benefits like the new Zoom research tool for popular news topics such as Bob Hawke or the Melbourne Cup and interactive short books (such as AFL Footy Guide 2013)?

You’re starting to sound desperate conscience Pete. I’m not a researcher or uni student – the Zoom stuff has no relevance. I want curated news stories – not every news story about a topic during the history of time with info graphic pie charts and timelines. As for the AFL Footy Guide – it’s Round 13 and a Footy Guide that predicts West Coast will finish at the top of the ladder expired a few minutes after it was ‘published’.

People pay for stuff all the time that isn’t perfect. 

Yes – like Spotify which I love. I guess I just don’t value the content. Most of the stuff I read on the app isn’t unique and can be found easily for free in other content aggregators like Zite or Flipboard.

What about the journalists. They have to make a living.

Where does the money from all the advertising go? Take a bigger piece of that pie.

While we’re at it please send me a 10 cent micropayment via paypal. Yeah, I want to get paid for my writing too. I wrote a cracking piece on what type of Creative Director Kevin Rudd would be that got thousands of hits. Guess how much I got paid?

I think we will agree to disagree.

No – poo you Conscience ‘You should pay for Game of Thrones’ Pete – I was thinking about subscribing and then I read The Age’s editorial asking for the Prime Minister to resign. The Age should have to pay readers so they can endure that bullshit.

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2 thoughts on “Why I won’t be subscribing to the SMH tablet app

  1. James says:

    I would pay $1, maybe $1.5 an issue for the weekend edition on a pay as you go basis, but $25 a month for news ‘lite’ no thanks. Also, I love how they offer the choice of $25 app and newspapers or $25 app and newspaper and weekend delivery… Hmmmm good work guys.


  2. foodfitwell says:

    I’m with you Pete! No way am I paying – I’ll get my news somewhere else (The Guardian)


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