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Journalism.co.uk is ‘pick of the week’ on Google Currents

April 10th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in About us, Mobile

The team behind Google Currents has selected Journalism.co.uk as ‘pick of the week’. And you can now listen to our podcasts from within the Currents app.

Our weekly podcasts have been available via the Currents app since last month, when Google officially launched the new audio feature.

Google-Currents

If you are not familiar with Currents it is a social magazine app, similar Flipboard and Zite, that lets you read your favourite news sites on your tablet or smartphone.

The app is available for Android, iPad and iPhone. If you do not already follow Journalism.co.uk on Currents, you will see a recommendation to subscribe to us when you open the app. That will show while we are ‘pick of the week’. You can also find a link to Journalism.co.uk on Currents here.

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To find out how to get your news outlet’s content on Google Currents see this link or sign up for next week’s news:rewired journalism conference. Madhav Chinnappa from Google will be talking about Currents in the Google tools masterclass.

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BBC reports ‘new record’ for mobile during US election coverage

November 9th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

The BBC has reported a “record” number of mobile devices being used to access its web content in a day with “nearly 5 million” devices visiting BBC News Online on Wednesday (7 November), as results of the US election continued to be announced.

The broadcaster began measuring access via mobile devices at the beginning of the year. The record of almost 5 million beats a previous record from the week before of 4 million, recorded during Hurricane Sandy.

In a blog post BBC News website editor Steve Herrmann said the broadcaster’s election coverage also “brought the highest traffic to BBC News Online so far this year”.

On Wednesday (7 November) the news website recorded 16.4 million unique browsers.

Herrmann said this “makes it the highest traffic day of 2012 so far and rivals our two biggest previous days during the August riots and the March Tsunami, in 2011. During the England riots, on 9 August 2011 there were there were 18.2 million unique browsers”.

This comes just weeks after BBC News started to roll out as default its new responsive site on mobile phones to improve the experience for its growing mobile audience.

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#AOPsummit: How ZDNet approaches mobile reporting with a responsive design CMS

October 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Events, Mobile

Business technology news website ZDNet not only has a responsive site which adapts to the size of the screen it is viewed on, but has a responsively designed CMS, which scales to fit the screen size with the aim of making it easy for journalists to file stories from a smartphone or tablet.

The responsive CMS, which was developed internally, was introduced in July, Laura Jenner, product manager for CBS Interactive UK, which publishes ZDNet, said at today’s AOP Digital Publishing Summit.

In the session, which focussed on user experience and responsive (or adaptive) design, Jenner argued the case for responsive design, saying it is is “much better for user interaction” than an ‘m.’ mobile site.

And ease of using the site to download a white paper, for example, is key.

Loyal users are key to building audience as they always have been.

There are also business benefits of adaptive design, Jenner said, explaining that both users and search engines prefer using a responsively-designed site.

“Adaptive design is Google’s recommended option,” Jenner added.

And mobile means “you also have access to readers at times you didn’t previously”, she explained. “In the past you would have to wait until 9am on a Monday until people returned to their desks.”

Responsive design may also reduce the need for native apps and therefore reduce overheads, she added.

Asked how to convince advertisers of the advantages, Jenner said:

We are not forcing users onto another platform, they are already there. And we are providing a much better environment for advertising campaigns.

Asked whether journalists need to adapt articles or headlines to fit mobile reading, Jenner said “we don’t tell [journalists] to write a headline that fits on mobile”, adding that she believes people don’t want a shorter version of the story on mobile but want the full article.

In discussing development costs, she explained that responsive design is probably no cheaper as a one-off cost than developing native apps, but that the option is “far easier to iterate” and develop over time.

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#AOPsummit: ‘Big launch’ in responsive design next week for BBC News

October 12th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Mobile

BBC News will see a “big launch” in its move to responsive web design next week when readers accessing the site on a mobile will be redirected to the responsive version of the site rather than the desktop version.

Chris Russell, head of product for BBC News online, talked through the shift to responsive design at today’s AOP Digital Publishing Summit.

Responsive sites automatically scale to fit the screen size they are viewed on and have been adopted by news outlets including Channel 4 News and ITN, plus smaller outlets including student-run site Redbrick.

The BBC News site has been in development for some time with “location and weather modules” recently introduced and video added within the past two weeks, Russell explained.

He illustrated the importance of making the news site a good user experience on a smartphone by explaining that around 10 to 20 per cent of BBC News traffic currently comes from mobile.

He added that BBC News “still wants to be in app stores” so does not see responsive design in replacing native apps entirely.

Asked whether headlines and other content needs to be written with mobile in mind, he explained that BBC News has been doing that for many years, altering headline lengths for Ceefax pages, for example.

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#PPAdigital: Lean back, lean forward at The Economist

September 26th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile, Online Journalism

The Economist divides its digital products into those that involve two reading behaviours: “lean-back 2.0″, which is the print-like digital experience of tablets, and “lean-forward 2.0″, a website experience.

At today’s PPA Digital Publishing Conference, Neelay Patel, vice president, commercial strategy, The Economist, said the title therefore offers three product types: lean-back in print, lean-forward on the web, and lean-back in digital.

And the new platforms are expanding the reach of the 160-year-old title, Patel explained.

Our potential audience is now much broader with digital.

Lean back

“Lean-back 2.0″ is an “immersive, reflexive, browsable, ritualistic, finishable” experience, Patel explained.

Lean-back readers like long-form journalism. “42 per cent of tablet news readers regularly read in-depth articles,” Patel said, based on a study the title did with the Pew Research Center. “And another 40 per cent sometimes do this.”

The Economist has taken this research and used the information when thinking about its “lean-back 2.0″ strategy.

And digital solves distribution problems. Patel explained that with print it could take six days, until the Wednesday after being published on a Thursday, to get an edition to Latin America or Australia. “With digital it’s instant.”

Lean forward

“Lean-forward 2.0″ is about the web experience. The online readership is very social, with articles spread via social media. In response to a question from a conference delegate, Patel said that social is one factor that helps The Economist address a potential hurdle – that those unfamiliar with the content think it is all about economics.

The discoverability of the content on the web (or lean-forward 2.0) and the social elements helps market the content. By coming across articles online “you then find out that it’s about far more than economics”, Patel explained.

Spreading the word

So The Economist aims to introduce its content to audiences that “do not know our brand” and has to get the marketing message across to jump the hurdle of the name ‘The Economist’, Patel said.

One of its challenges is to get that and other marketing messages in the “tiny little squares” offered by banners, buttons and icons of digital, Patel added.

In closing he said:

We’ve been very successful in print – and now we are successful in digital. But we must continually challenge ourselves.

 

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#PPAdigital: 27% of Wired UK subscribers have downloaded iPad app

September 26th, 2012 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

Conde Nast has sold nearly 500,000 apps of Wired UK, GQ and Vanity Fair combined, Rupert Turnbull, publisher of Wired UK told today’s PPA Digital Publishing Conference.

At first numbers were modest but as tablets have grown in popularity, app sales have increased, he explained.

The publisher has sold 474,825 tablet editions of Wired UK, GQ and Vanity Fair. The number of downloads by print subscribers who read the app is not included in that figure. Turnbull said that 27 per cent of print subscribers have downloaded an iPad app edition, which is bundled into the print subscription.

Turnbull said he expected the magazine not to work on a smartphone, adding that he thought “there’s no way” they could publish a “full magazine on a three-inch screen”.

“But consumers are much more savvy than that,” he said. “They read it, but read it differently.”

Research shows most users of the Wired UK iPad read in linear form.

He also revealed some good news for advertising. When asked “are you more likely to skip past ads on the iPad edition?” 82 per cent of Wired app users disagreed.

He also said that 59 per cent of Wired UK’s app users agreed that ads with good interactive content are just as enjoyable as editorial.

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#mms12: Apple Newsstand advice from Future Publishing and Dennis Publishing

September 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

It is almost a year since the launch of Apple’s Newsstand. After success stories for Future Publishing, which reported 6 million downloads in the first six weeks, and talk of it “revolutionising” the publishing industry, the question Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief, digital editions at Future Publishing, now gets asked is “how do I get on the Apple carousel?”

After Future’s success in regularly being featured in the carousel, publishers are keen to find out from Goldsmith how they too get in the ‘featured app list. Goldsmith shared his advice with delegates of today’s Mobile Media Strategies conference.

Another conference case study came from The Week, Dennis Publishing’s title which launched in 1995 and had an average monthly circulation of more than 190,000 in the first six months of 2012, according to recent Audit Bureau of Circulation results.

The Week’s iPad app has also been positioned by Apple in the ‘featured’ slot, and Alex Watson, head of apps at Dennis Publishing, also talked through lessons from the title which he said is reporting that digital subscriptions are growing by 10 per cent per month.

Lessons from Future Publishing

Mike Goldsmith’s main piece of advice is to “publish a good product”.

“Make something amazing,” he said. “This is the factor that will get your magazine featured in Apple’s carousel”. He pointed out that the ‘featured apps’ slot is not the reserve of large brands and smaller publishers can take the slots.

He also advised publishers to “get your support sorted out before launch”, explaining that they could expect to receive thousands of emails from readers so to put systems in place to respond to the customers who will contact them.

He also urged publishers to “know your customers” and study the analytics. And “remember you are selling a product”, he said, and therefore work on the cover of your app.

Goldsmith also advocated “telling manufacturers about your app”. He advised building a relationship with Apple (and Amazon and Google).

Lesson from The Week

Building relationships is something Dennis Publishing did when designing and building The Week’s app, showing Apple the product and listening to feedback, Alex Watson explained.

Watson said that they decided not to opt for a PDF-type replica of the magazine.

The app is “native in terms of way the user gets it” from the App Store, Watson explained, and uses HTML5 technologies to help focus on the user experience.

The technology keeps the file size of the app down to just 15 to 20Mb, giving the user experience of a fast download speed.

The Week also built in another feature, as the publisher knew its readers would opt for iPad app bedtime reading, which was a “night-mode” option with the bright back lighting dulled.

For more from Watson listen to the following interview:

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#mms12: Lessons for consumer publishers from Immediate Media

September 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

At today’s Mobile Media Strategies conference, Rebekah Billingsley, mobile publisher, Immediate Media, explained how the publisher, which was formed in November 2011 after a merger of BBC Worldwide magazines, Origin Publishing and Magicalia, has become the “second largest publisher of digital magazines”, based on Immediate’s own tally, with more than 1.3 million downloads to date and 16 apps downloaded every second.

Immediate Media launched its first magazine app in 2010 when it released Focus, later following with Good Food, which is now the “highest rated magazine app in Newsstand”.

When Apple’s Newsstand launched in October 2011 “sales quadrupled overnight”, Billingsley said. The same month as Newsstand launched, Immediate Media launched its History Magazine to Kindle.

And the previous year it started releasing ‘bookazines’, single editions with a long shelf-life. Two years on and the publisher aims to launch three bookezines a month and “every month they are making more and more money”, Billingsley told delegates.

Today 48 per cent of Immediate’s revenue from Apple comes from outside the UK and monthly PDF revenues have grown 500 per cent since launch.

“Be prepared to be surprised,” Billingsley urged delegates.

She had thought consumers would only opt for “enhanced, fully interactive models”. But recent ABC figures show “four out of the top 10 sellers are PDF replicas”.

Billingsley was also surprised by the numbers reading magazines on their phones, with 10 per cent of magazines bought via Zinio read on phones.

“Launching our titles gave us access to data in lots of countries,” Billingsley said, explaining they are now planning the roadmap based on actual data.

Billingsley warned:

Don’t just assume on behalf of your consumers. It’s new to them as well.

One thing Immediate did in order to convince advertisers of the value of the new app products was to hire 20 iPads and send them to media planners and also equipped sales teams with the devices.

And Billingsley’s advice for consumer publishers considering apps?

As long as you are using cost-effective technology and testing you can try new things.

She also encouraged the repackaging of existing content.

Her final words of advice were to “watch your competitors, better still take them to lunch”.

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#mms12: Eight facts on mobile for publishers from Enders Analysis

September 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile
Image by liewcf on Flickr

Image by liewcf on Flickr. Creative commons licence. Some rights reserved

The Mobile Media Strategies conference is underway in London today where Benedict Evans from Enders Analysis delivered the keynote presentation. Here are eight facts from his talk.

1. Half of the UK population has a smartphone.

2. Android and iOS mobile device sales combined are on target to hit 1 billion by end of this year.

3. More than half of Facebook’s user base is using mobile.

4. iOS users by five apps per month, per device.

5. Fifteen per cent of UK adults say they have a tablet. It is not reducing PC sales but the home computer gets switched on less and less.

6. Between Apple and Amazon they have a product at “pretty much all price points”, meaning they can be bought in the supermarket “without the need for a family conversation” about whether to make the purchase.

7. Android has about one third of the global tablet market and 10 per cent of the UK tablet market. But that could change.

8. Twelve per cent of tablet magazine and newspaper readers in April didn’t read print version previously, 20 per cent now read magazines and newspapers less.

In summary, Evans said:

If you are going to invest in developing for three mobile platforms – make them iOS, Android and Facebook.

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Release: Guardian adds Observer to relaunched 7-day iPad edition

September 13th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Newspapers

The Guardian announced today that it is re-launching its iPad edition to include the Observer, with the first iPad issue of the Sunday newspaper to be released on Sunday 16 September.

In a release the publisher said the Observer iPad issue will feature “the main news section of The Observer, the New Review, the sport section and the Observer Magazine”. Editor of the Observer John Mulholland was quoted as saying:

As the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, we’re thrilled to be able to bring our journalism, ideas and debate to a new digital platform in a fresh way, enabling our unique content to be made available to both loyal readers and new audiences around the world. The look and feel of The Observer in the app is very much in line with that of the newspaper and we look forward to hearing our readers’ feedback.

The first two issues of the Observer iPad edition will be free, but subscriptions will then apply of £11.99 a month for the Guardian and Observer edition. Alternatively users can select just the Guardian edition for the current price of £9.99 a month or £6.99 a month for The Observer only.

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