New York Times lures in iPad readers with free app

It looks like the New York Times was worried about sustaining itself with a paid iPad app, so it’ll offer the downloadable newspaper for free, but with ads.

The New York Times Company has released NYTimes for iPad version 2.0 today. With the app, users can read every article that’s in the newspaper as well as premium online content – including news articles, videos, and photos.

It’s a new approach for print media companies to get their content on digital devices. Other magazine and newspaper outlets are offering digital version of their publications, but still require users to pay a subscription fee that’s equal to – or even more – than the standard print version.

For The New York Times, it’s just a limited test. The content will reportedly only be free through early 2011. After that, it may go the subscription route. But if advertisers are happy enough with click-through numbers on the app, it’ll probably continue to be free.

If there’s one thing that the new world of media has taught everyone, it’s that people love getting stuff for free, even if it means sitting through full-screen unskippable ads.

Users need only to create an username and password and download the free NYTimes for iPad app.