UK’s Mail Online Tinkering With Mobile Pricepoints

News pricing structures are clearly still being figured out on mobile, just as much as they are on websites.

Mail Online, the UK’s most-visited newspaper website, whose iPhone app had required a paid subscription, is updating it to add a free option as well, NMA noticed

In the previous model, which we detailed here, new readers could read in-app stories free for 60 days before having to pay either £4.99 for four months or £8.99 for 12 months. But, in a wordy March 5 update, publisher Associated tells users…

Enjoy the Mail Online app for free INDEFINITELY!

“The main difference with this version is what happens at the end of your 60-day free trial period.

“We will then be offering you a choice between purchasing a subscription for the ad-free Mail Online app or enjoying it for free for the lifetime of the app by accepting ads served within its content.

“The editorial content is exactly the same in both. The free version has adverts and the paid for (subscription) version has no adverts – it’s that simple!

“We are still giving you your first 60 days free. And NO ads will be shown to you during that period.

“At the end of the free period, you will be presented with a message asking you to choose between buying a subscription or accepting ads.

“If you select the free version, ads will be served within the content henceforth. If, however, you would like to enjoy our app without adverts, then all you need to do is press the subscribe button.

“If you choose the free version, you may still remove the ads at any time simply by going to the settings section and purchasing a subscription.”

Does the free addition suggest subscription sales haven’t gone too well? Does it just indicate growing confidence in ad sales? Or is the Mail merely testing out the differing models by consumers the option? The addition, of course, comes after Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) announced it would take 30 percent of all subscription-related transactions processed inside apps.

“The scale of daily use made ad funded an option,” Mail Online MD James Bromley tells paidContent:UK.

On the web, the Mail has vowed to remain free with ad being sold at scale to a growing audience it’s courting in the U.S..