Financial Times Offers iPad App Free for Two Months

The Financial Times will allow readers two months’ free access to its iPad app, the paper said Sunday in a broader report on publications’ use of Apple’s forthcoming tablet device:

The FT iPad app will be sponsored at launch by Hublot, the watchmaker, subsidising a two-month free access period, highlighting interest in Apple’s device from advertisers, a constituency as critical as readers to media owners.

paidContent reports that once the Hublot sponsorship expires, the iPad version of the Financial Times will carry a similar subscription model to the iPhone. The initial download is free, and users get 10 free articles, but then have to pay for an online subscription.

The FT has lately been building up pay walls for its Web site, blocking unregistered users from accessing its articles for free, unless they come across articles via search.

Major publications appear divided on how to best maximize value for mobile services. The Wall Street Journal will apparently be charging $17.99 a month for iPad services — more than the current charge for a subscription to both the print and online versions of the Journal. Wired, meanwhile, plans to charge less for its iPad edition than for its print version.