Vanishing are the days of free cosmetic cases and tote bags with your newspaper or magazine subscription: In an aggressive effort to boost circulation numbers leading into 2013, the Financial Times is offering Google Nexus 7 tablets free with a one-year subscription in the U.S.
The five-month-old Nexus 7, which retails for $199, is widely considered to be the best Android tablet on the market. A digital-only subscription to the FT begins at $447 per year. Annual access to the print and digital editions costs $597. The offer runs until Dec. 17.
This isn't the first time a publication has bundled a tablet with a media subscription: Earlier this year, Barnes & Noble knocked $99 off its $99 Nook Simple Touch E-Ink e-reader and its $199 Nook Color tablet with a one-year digital subscription to the New York Times. Discounts were also offered in conjunction with a digital subscription to People magazine. The promotion, however, occured after the holidays a time when B&N was looking to clear its inventory of e-reading devices. Indeed, the bookseller noted in its fiscal 2013 first quarter earnings report that post-holiday returns of its e-readers were exceptionally high and that it was forced to buy back stock from several third-party retailers.
The FT's offer is perhaps less motivated by a need to clear Google's tablet inventory than a desire on the FT's part to promote its mobile readership. In fact, the paper boasted in a statement about the offer that mobile devices now account for a quarter of all traffic to FT.com.
A spokesperson for the FT said that the paper "worked with Google on supplying the tablets," but did not confirm if they were secured at a discount.