Sky News iPad app has premium plans

Sky News boss John Ryley has confirmed that the new Sky News iPad app wouldn't remain free for non Sky customers forever, and that a monthly fee would be introduced at "some point" this year.

Speaking at the Millbank Tower in Central London at the launch of the new app, the head of Sky News said: "Like our HD channel, this is a premium product - we will be charging for it. Sky customers will be able to enjoy the app for free as part of their subscription package.

"Everyone else will have to pay a monthly fee to access it. We think it's worth it, and we think you will too."

Ryley defended the premium stance when questioned by the event's host, Sky News' anchor Dermot Murnaghan, insisting that people were prepared to pay for news, and used the Sky News HD channel as an example.

"You've got to remember that Sky is a pay TV operator and we believe in the news world, with Sky News, there should be a value attached to our journalism," he said, treading the Murdoch line as well as he could.

He talked of a "significant take-up" for the HD channel, which launched last year, and insisted that Sky News was "already in the pay TV market".

Murnaghan was quick to point out though that most people who would be watching Sky News HD would have only been doing so because it comes packed in with the overall HD package.

"To be fair, they are paying for the HD channels...the HD sports and the HD films," he said.

Ryley stuck to his guns though, and stated that we're entering a new era with media tablet apps and said that "the tablet will change the way that people consume media".

Whether Ryley's confidence pays off, and Sky can make any additional revenue from the app remains to be seen, although the success of the app itself isn't really in doubt - after all, there are 10.1 million Sky subscribers who will have access to it for free.

Sky wouldn't confirm when the app will go behind a pay-wall, or how much monthly access would cost, but we'll let you know as soon as we hear anything.

Sky News for iPad hands-on



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