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Wall Street Journal starts selling single issues through its iPad app

Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal has started selling single issues via its iPad app today, allowing even those who don't subscribe to the publication to get the full digital edition of each day's newspaper. The WSJ iPad app offers some content for free, but full access to each WSJ issue has so far been restricted to subscribers only. This changes today.

For $1.99, you'll get the digital equivalent of one WSJ newspaper. You won't, however, get any updates to the stories throughout the day. It's as if your iPad has become just another medium for delivering the newspaper, without in any way taking advantage of the strengths of Internet connectivity. You're now also able to buy issues from the past seven days, again for $1.99 each. Of course, if you're going to read more than one issue in a week, you might as well go to the Journal's site and get yourself a digital subscription for a week, which costs $3.99 and includes full access to WSJ.com, as well as its iOS, Android, and BlackBerry apps.

An interesting fact is that Apple will be taking 30% of the $1.99 you'll be paying for each single issue of the WSJ you purchase, as per its new policy regarding in-app sales. However, if you get a digital subscription, all your money goes towards keeping journalism alive, as Apple doesn't get any cut from such subscriptions since they're not purchased within an iOS app.

WSJ officials say that selling single issues will help drive subscriptions up, since people normally like to 'sample' a product before they choose to commit. Whether that's true, or whether people more often equate 'sampling' with 'free,' remains to be seen of course.

Download the WSJ for iPad app for free from the iTunes App Store

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