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WORLD Magazine for iPad

Technology | Digital subscriptions are now available for new subscribers and print subscribers

UPDATE: The Aug. 13 issue of WORLD, featuring cover story profiles of GOP presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, is available at Apple's App Store for our new digital subscribers (see below for info on how to subscribe) or for single-issue purchase.

Of all the product comments WORLD received since we launched our first version of the iPad magazine, the one consistent request was that we make subscriptions available. At last, the wait is over: Here you go! For print subscribers, a special deal: Here you go.

In short, we're offering a year of WORLD Magazine for iPad for $49.95, but for our print subscribers, we're knocking 60 percent off that price and making it available for just $19.95. Already, I've seen inquiries from iPad owners who want to convert their print subscriptions to digital, and we can certainly do that. But because the process is a bit more involved, you'll need to call customer care at 800-951-6397 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. EDT).

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A few words about conversions: In general, we'll take a look at how many issues you have left in your print subscription-your account balance-and apply that toward a new one-year iPad subscription. I should point out that if you renewed your print subscription more than six months ago, you'd pay less for the iPad subscription as a print-plus-digital subscriber than you would as a digital-only subscriber. One WORLD reader told me he planned to read the magazine on his iPad and keep the print magazine around the house for the rest of his family to enjoy.

Here's another idea, and it's a great solution for those who really want to go paperless but also want to take advantage of the discount: Give a print gift subscription to a friend and we'll honor the $19.95 discount for your iPad subscription. Call customer care at 800-951-6397 and one of our associates will be glad to help.

If you enjoy the app (or even if you don't), please take a moment and give us a rating and, if you have the time, a review at Apple's App Store, where you can also download the app. Or leave a comment here at WORLDmag.com. I read all the comments, reviews, and emails. Reader feedback will play a role in how we decide to add new features, so it's all valuable and appreciated.

Getting to this point in the app development was neither straight nor smooth. Yes, subscriptions were always generally in the plans, but it was only a month ago that Apple loosened the rules so that we could offer preferential pricing to our print subscribers. So when we first began working on this project last summer, we did so knowing Apple had total control over the subscription process-but also believing the company would eventually relent. That's one of the beautiful things about a free market . . . but that's another story for another day.

Today we're just happy we can make flexible subscription offers, and that we are at the point where we can crank out a digital magazine in a timely fashion. For that, I want to thank publicly a couple of colleagues: Matt Steel, who owns the Metagramme design studio in St. Louis, an extraordinarily talented designer who faithfully translated our print magazine look for the digital environment; and Dan Kellem, president of Blue Ridge Solutions in Asheville, N.C., an omnicompetent digital developer who built a solid platform and persevered through numerous technical challenges.

This isn't the end. We plan to add new features and I fully expect the digital magazine is going to make possible all kinds of innovation-from news updates between issues to media-rich content to a whole new publishing schedule. Digital technology (not just the iPad) is forcing us to seriously rethink what it means to be magazine publishers, and to think more broadly about transforming ourselves into a news organization.

Nick Eicher
Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.

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