Montreal-based La Presse has invested $40-million to launch a free tablet edition of the French daily on April 18.
While other newspapers have gone behind paywalls in an effort to make up revenue shortfall, La Presse publisher and president Guy Crevievr said "we are pleased to announce that a subscription to La Presse+ will be free of charge." In an article posted on the newspaper's website, he said more than 100 people were devoted full-time to the La Press + tablet design.
"Making the news available free is now a well-entrenched practice in the digital universe and indeed, we believe, an irreversible phenomenon," he said. "That is why we have chosen this model."
Crevier says the tablet edition will include all the usual columns and articles. Additional exclusive content will be announced at the launch in mid-April.
La Presse has a daily readership of more 820,000 readers, while the website averages 2.7 million.
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