When Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced that he was purchasing The Washington Post last year, one of the big questions was whether he'd put the marketing weight of Amazon behind the paper. Today the answer comes in the form of a free six-month subscription to The Post for anyone who's bought a Kindle Fire tablet in the last few years, access the paper eventually plans to charge for. What's more, Amazon is pushing the app out to existing Kindle owners inside a software update, though the company says people will be able to delete it if they don't want it.
The new Post app takes a page from print publications (though not literally) with both a morning edition and a late edition delivered 12 hours apart, something newsreaders like Yahoo News Digest have adopted. Notably, it doesn't contain a local news page, opting to show a selection of hand-picked stories instead. Details of the app's production, dubbed internally as "Project Rainbow" were reported by Bloomberg Businessweek last month.
Monthly access still doesn't have a price
After the free trial is up, The Post says it plans to charge an additional $1 for another six months. After that, access to stories will cost somewhere between $3 and $5 a month, with a final price having yet to be determined. As a point of comparison, digital access to The New York Times tablet app (which also includes access to its website) runs $5 a week, and The Wall Street Journal charges $28.99 a month for access on tablets, smartphones, and its site.
The app isn't available to owners of Amazon's E Ink Kindles like the Paperwhite and the Voyage, only the HD and HDX models of the Kindle Fire. Amazon told The Post that the app should be available for other Android tablets and the iPad early next year.