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WSJ on iPad for $17.99 a month, magazines to be at or near newsstand prices?

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The Wall Street Journal is running a piece that focuses on ad sales for the iPad. Pretty boring stuff except for a few nuggets related to the actual content we crave. Rupert Murdoch already confirmed that his monument to main stream media was coming to the iPad. Hell, they've even been treated to a rare, in-house device to assist with the development of the iPad version of the Wall Street Journal. Now it's quoting "a person familiar with the matter" (wink) who says that The Journal plans to charge subscribers $17.99 per month for iPad subscriptions -- for comparison, the print version of the WSJ costs $349 for 52 weeks or about $29 per month. Not bad, but you can't roll up an iPad to swat the dog.

Conversely, magazines appear set to offer weekly or monthly editions out of the gate, not annual subscriptions. Sources told the WSJ that the April issue of Hearst's Esquire magazine (no stranger to new media) will arrive in downloadable format without advertisements for $2.99, $2 less than the newsstand price, and will include five music videos (each containing the phrase "somewhere in Mississippi," oddly enough) to take advantage of the device's multimedia capabilities. On the other hand, a full iPad issue of Men's Health with match the glossy's $4.99 price. Of course, as we heard earlier, publishers will be experimenting with advertising and pricing models to see what works so expect things to be fluid for quite some time after the April 3rd launch.

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