NEW YORK (Reuters) - CNN introduced a free application for Apple Inc’s iPad and eliminated its fee for its mobile application.
The Time Warner Inc-owned news channel’s decision to charge nothing for its apps comes when other large news organizations, such as the New York Times, are working on plans to charge for their apps on smartphones and tablet devices.
“CNN is a brand of scale and at its best when it’s in the hands of as many people as possible,” said KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com. “Making it free will unleash a whole new audience.”
About 2 million people downloaded CNN’s mobile apps for as much as $1.99 in the United States since October 2009. Three months ago, CNN lowered the price to 99 cents in a promotional bid to get a larger audience.
A price tag on apps makes it more exclusive, said Estenson.
CNN’s iPad app highlights news, photos and videos. The app also prominently features comments that run alongside the news.
It is building tablet apps for other platforms including Google’s Android and Research in Motion Blackberry
Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Derek Caney