One of the biggest problems with getting magazines and other content on your iPad is the fact that everybody wants a subscription. Really, guys? On a machine that can access billions of blogs, video news sites, and podcasts, you expect users to clutter up their desktop with your back issues, which come out monthly in some cases? Apparently that answer was “yes”, because publishing executives still aren’t sure about this whole “Internet” thing catching on.

At least until now.

In light of the New York Times trying, yet again, to keep the Internet from reading its articles with a paywall, the Wall Street Journal has actually paid attention to the writing on the wall and is offering iPad versions of its papers at $2.

It’s interesting to see the different approaches. The Times’ paywall is doomed to fail, just like it failed the first and second times they tried it. People will just give away their usernames and passwords like they always do, and the Times will see no significant increase in income. The Journal, however, seems to be starting to admit that subscriptions, while profitable, aren’t the way of the future. I’m a lot more likely to drop two bucks in an airport for a newspaper than I am to subscribe to them, and I think the Journal is hoping my attitude is common.

More on this as it develops, especially when the Times gives up again.