Bloomberg Businessweek has launched their iPad app called Bloomberg Businessweek+, and it is the first app from a major publisher to use Apple’s in-app purchases for subscriptions. In addition to Businessweek’s respected content, I think what Bloomberg is charging for subscriptions makes it one of the more attractive of the magazine offerrings on the iPad. People who subscribe to the print edition can get the digital versions for free, while non-print subscribers pay $2.99 for a monthly subscription that gets you four digital issues of the magazine.
Bloomberg provided me with a complimentary trial subscription, and I downloaded the Businessweek+ app to my iPad to check it out. You see in the screenshot the basical layout of the digital edition. The main page contains a video introduction to the issue, along with the lead article for each of the magazine’s sections, which you see as tabs along the top of the screen.
Articles in the digital edition appear to have the same layout as you would see in the print edition. Of course, because this is a digital version, you can do things like change the font size that you cannot do with print. Businessweek+ provides the ability to share articles via email, Twitter, and Facebook. Sharing contains a link to the article on Businessweek’s web site, along with an ad for the Businessweek+ iPad app.
Another feature of articles in Businessweek+ is that it has a Related tab that provides current information about companies mentioned in articles, including their current stock price and recent news articles. If you tap on a news article the full content of that article appears in a window that pops out from the right.
I already mentioned how Businessweek+ takes advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the iPad by including a video overview on the opening page of an issue. The digitial editions also include embedded audio, such as with Tom Keene’s EconoChat. Another benefit is the ability to clip articles to save them for later reading or reference, and you also have the ability to search within an entire issue for terms or company names.
Businessweek+ does include ads, for example, whenever you tap the Technology tab in the April 11 issue you see an ad that displays for about 30 seconds. Fortunately the ad includes a close button. While annoying, the inclusion of ads is no different than with print editions.
Overall, I think Bloomberg has done a good job with creating the iPad version of Businessweek. One can debate the general merits of weekly and monthly magazines in light of Internet. Obviously, if you subscribe to the print version of Businessweek you already have a preference for the weekly magazine and therefore will enjoy the iPad version. If you don’t subscribe to the print edition, you can decide for yourself whether the iPad version is worth it’s $.75 per issue price.