As The Daily prepares to flip the switch to charging a fee, the paid magazine from Richard Branson’s company Virgin is going free. The fourth issue of the iPad magazine The Project is free through the Apple store “for a limited period only” due to an American Express sponsorship,
As PaidContent points out, one nice thing about a paid corporate sponsorship is that the company doesn’t have to pony up 30% of its revenue to Apple. It also means a lot more people are likely to read it, which means advertisers are more likely to have interest in signing up. And it’s not the only iPad magazine to benefit from a sponsorship—the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune also used that method to make some issues available for free.
It will be interesting to see if more magazines start going the paid-sponsorship route, especially in light of Apple’s subscription revenue policies.