Engadget reports that "people familiar with the matter" have stated The Wall Street Journal will be available on the iPad for a $17.99 a month subscription fee. The source comes from the Journal itself, so it's a pretty good bet this is accurate info. Engadget notes that the iPad subscription price is about $11 a month less than the subscription fee for the paper version of the Journal, but the iPad version of the Journal will still be ad-supported via advertisers like Coca-Cola and FedEx.
A few other magazines are leaking pricing info, as well. Esquire plans to offer an ad-free, downloadable format of its April issue for $2.99, $2 less than the paper version's price. Interestingly, the magazine will also be including five free music videos with the issue.
Although the electronic version of the Journal is well below the price of the newspaper version, $18 a month still seems pretty steep to me. Then again, I've spent the past ten years getting almost all of my news for free online, so I'm probably not their target demographic anyway.
At least The Wall Street Journal has a better pricing scheme for its electronic content than some other content providers; Men's Health is reportedly going to charge the same $4.99 price for an iPad issue as they charge for the print version. If Men's Health offered the iPad version of their issues ad-free for the same price that would be one thing, but its iPad version is both ad-supported and the same price as newsstand issues. This seems like a pretty boneheaded move on their part, but sadly, it's one that I predict many other publishers will make over the coming months until they notice how dismal their sales are.