Why the WSJ’s iPhone app gets bad reviews
Jakob Nielsen of UseIt.com has a great explanation of why The Wall Street Journal‘s app for iPhone’s is upsetting some readers — they are being charged for information they have already paid for.
Nielsen writes, “Does it matter that existing website subscribers give up on the mobile app? After all, the company already has their money from the website subscription.
“Also, the design works reasonably well for new subscribers — who are the only ones generating incremental revenue. So why not just focus on new subscribers and ignore old customers and their horrible user experience?
- Existing subscribers feel so insulted by having to pay twice that their negative ratings dominate the App Store feedback. Thus, many potential new subscribers will see the 2-star rating and immediately abandon the application download. With 500,000 alternatives, people don’t have time for junk apps.
- People who’ve paid for website access are the newspaper’s most loyal fans. Paying for Web content is fairly rare; customers willing to do so should be treasured, not treated like garbage.
“Newspapers have two strategic imperatives for surviving in the Internet age:
- Retain credibility: they must be more highly respected than the random sites users dredge up on Google.
- Deepen relationships with loyal users, so that they turn to the paper first instead of using one of the many aggregators that commoditize content.
“Credibility and relationships both take a dive when customers are mistreated, particularly when they feel unfairly wronged.”
Read more here.