16% of The Guardian’s 400,000 app downloads converted to premium

I got this news in from The Guardian newspaper team — since January they’ve recorded a massive 400,000 downloads of their all new, highly funky iPhone application.

My favourite feature of the app, by the way, is the ability to use offline mode, so I can sync everything I want on WiFi then get on a plane and enjoy the read.

I wanted to draw your attention to the stats — particularly the premium elements. This information may well be useful for business plans.

Here’s a quote from their announcement on Friday:

The Guardian’s iPhone app has been downloaded more than 400,000 times since its launch in January, while the newspaper’s separate mobile website now accounts for more than 10% of total digital traffic.

Guardian News & Media, publisher of the Guardian, the Observer and the website network – which includes – revealed the first usage figures for the iPhone app on Friday.

The Guardian app, which debuted in the Apple’s App Store on 19 January, has been downloaded 403,388 times to date.

The app offers limited access to some Guardian content for free, while users can pay £2.99 for six months, or £3.99 for an annual subscription giving full access. The figures show that 67,258 users have opted for a paid-for subscription.

That bit in bold (my bold, I should point out) is the money shot. It means that in the first six months, The Guardian has generated (67,258 x £2.99) £201,101.42 in gross revenue or about £140k after Apple takes their share. Or close to £300k if you extrapolate those figures out across 12 months. (I also haven’t accounted for users, like me, who opted for the £3.99 annual subscription).

I dare say you couldn’t depend on the iPhone app revenues to cover the newspaper’s internet connection costs for the year, however it’s at least a contribution. One would assume that the 16% who subscribed are likely to do so again next year too.

On a related point, I wonder how Apple’s digital news distribution plans will change things? If The Guardian and The Telegraph both become available on that, I may well swap to using that, provided it’s a reasonable cost.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

3 replies on “16% of The Guardian’s 400,000 app downloads converted to premium”

Ewan, any word on the number of unique users to their mobile website?  I remember a stat soon after the release of both where they had some 230,000 downloads of the iPhone application, yet 2.3 million unique users to their mobile website.  Now that The Guardian has 400,000 downloads, where are they on unique users to their mobile website?
Thx, Giff

Reading this article spurred me to check for a version on my N8. And there it is! And it seems to be free. As in every last bit is free. I’ve even managed to download sections. And I live a long way from the UK. Now I’m wondering if I am going to be hit up for a subscription fee at some point in the future. Even if I am, I would pay £4 for a years worth of access! What a great application! Now we need the Independent to get in on the act as well!

Hi nice information.This information may well be useful for business plans.The iPhone app revenues to cover the newspaper’s internet connection costs for the year, however it’s at least a contribution.Keep sharing.

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