/ 8 June 2011

SA gets first iPad-only newspaper

Independent news website the Daily Maverick plans to launch what it’s calling South Africa’s first daily newspaper designed specifically for Apple’s iPad tablet computer. It’s a move that could add new spice to the country’s media landscape and put pressure on daily newspapers that appeal to the top end of the market.

“It makes sense that a subscription based, daily iPad newspaper is the next generation of the Daily Maverick,” says publisher and editor Branko Brkic.

The iPad daily, which will be called iMaverick, will cost R395 per month, but will come bundled with an iPad 2 in return for readers taking up a 24-month subscription. The first edition will be published on 15 August. No pricing is available yet for people who don’t want an iPad as part of the deal.

“The revolution in the tablet space has enabled us to come up with a new product for delivering daily information. We’re going to do our best to make the space our own,” says Brkic, who founded the now defunct Maverick print magazine.

He says the Daily Maverick will continue to publish its website as a free-to-air offering but expects sign up between 20 000 and 25 000 subscribers to its iPad version within the first 12 months of launch.

“You can think of the Daily Maverick‘s relationship to iMaverick as being M-Net Open Time to M-Net paid time in terms of size and content,” Brkic says. ‘We will extend our editorial team to include some big-name journalists to deliver the daily iPad edition.

iMaverick will extend the beats we traditionally cover, and will combine long- and short-form writing so readers can see all the important news at a glance, but also delve deep into the issues they care about.

iMaverick will have ‘on average’ five times as much content as the website, with between 40 and 50 articles in each edition. It will cover politics, sports, lifestyle and other content areas typically found in print newspapers. ‘The beauty of this platform is there is no set number of pages to fill, so the number of pages in each issue will depend on the length of the stories.”

Brkic, who says iMaverick will also be available on Android and BlackBerry tablets soon after launch, says the publication will be available for download by 7.30am. “That makes it half a day fresher than a normal newspaper,” he says in a clear dig at his print media rivals. — TechCentral