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FT web app has been used 1m times

November 21st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Traffic

The Financial Times is reporting that its web app has clocked up one million hits since it was launched in June.

Around 45 per cent of users have bookmarked the FT web app to a iPhone or iPad, replicating a native app experience by providing an app icon on the device’s home screen.

The app, which is free to download but through which content is limited due to a cross-platform part paywall, saw 150,000 uses in the first 10 days; five months on it has achieved one million clicks on the app.ft.com url.

The web app, built with HTML5 technology, has two advantages for the FT over its previous native iPhone and iPad apps: it avoids the FT paying Apple a 30 per cent cut, the charge for any music, app or book publisher selling through its store, and the FT gets to access and own its audience data.

In a post on its blog the FT said the web app has “significantly boosted mobile and tablet traffic”.

FT.com now sees 20 per cent of total page views and 15 per cent of new B2C subscriptions each week coming directly from mobile and tablet devices. These readers are also more engaged, with FT.com users who register on mobiles and tablets 2.5 times more likely to subscribe, as well as being more active in giving feedback.

The FT has also produced an infographic.

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Apple’s Newsstand results in 2m downloads for Future Publishing

October 18th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Magazines

  

Apple’s new Newsstand app resulted in two million digital downloads of Future Publishing titles in the first four days, resulting in consumer spending well in excess of normal monthly revenues, the magazine publisher has said in a release.

Newsstand, which provides iPhone and iPad users who have updated their devices to iOS 5, released last week (12 October), with a dedicated portal to download magazines from the App Store, “creates an amazing opportunity for publishers”, Future UK’s CEO Mark Wood said.

Future Publishing, which has titles including .net, Procycling and Digital Camera, released 55 digital magazines to Newsstand on the day of launch. It has since released more and now has 65 UK and US digital magazines available, some free and some paid-for.

Wood added:

We plan to include more sampler issues in every magazine container in coming weeks, as well as uploading high price-point bookazines and premium one-shot titles.

 

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Guardian to launch ‘reflective’ iPad app at £9.99 per month

After taking its time in development the Guardian has finally announced an iPad app, which is coming “any day now” apparently. According to editor Alan Rusbridger, the app will not focus on breaking news but be a “more reflective” read.

We’re not going to be scrambling to update it every minute or every hour. We will do that on the browser, the browser is a place to go for liveblogging and to go searching for material, but this is going to be a different kind of read, it’s going to be more reflective.

It seems like the thinking behind the app will take it away from the web browser experience and closer to what Guardian has in mind for its print edition. Although producing a static, print-like app may seem a little strange for a “digital-first” news organisation (especially one that creates a promo video for its app criticising the idea of “recreating the newspaper on the iPad”), it’s a move that makes sense in many ways. It looks at the tablet as more of a lean-back device for evenings, which research by Bit.ly and others has shown is a popular time for iPad use, something to supplement breaking news on Guardian.co.uk and via the iPhone app.

The app will be free for the first three months after launch thanks to a sponsorship deal with Channel 4, after which it will cost £9.99 per month. Six- and seven-day print subscribers will get access to the app bundled with their deal, although the app won’t include content from the Observer.

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What journalists and publishers need to know about the iPhone 4S and iOS 5

October 5th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

There are a three of posts worth reading if you want to work out which features unveiled in yesterday’s Apple announcements are relevant to journalists and the industry.

Poynter has a five things journalists need to know about the new iPhone 4S and iOS 5.

Jeff Sonderman states the five benefits of the iPhone 4S and iOS5 are:

1. A price drop for older models of iPhone;

2. An 8 megapixel camera;

3. Safari reading mode, enabling single-column reading and a ‘save for later’ Instapaper-style feature;

4. NewsStand, a development of interest to newspaper and magazine publishers. The Guardian explains what NewsStand means for publishers in this article written when the feature was announced in June;

5. Twitter integration.

The Next Web last night (Tuesday, October 4) published details of Apple’s US publisher partners for NewsStand. The New York Times, GQ, Wired, National Geographic are all on board, according to this post.

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paidContent: Apple drops Financial Times apps from store

August 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Apple has pulled the Financial Times’ native iPad and iPhone apps from the iTunes App Store after updating its terms which state in-app subscriptions must be paid through the store, reports paidContent.

The FT launched a web-based app in June which allows the publisher to avoid paying Apple a 30 per cent cut of it’s app revenue and to gather its own audience data.

This article on paidContent states:

It is a blow to the FT, whose apps had processed subscription transactions independently. Last year, 10 percent of its new digital subscriptions were taken out on iPads. But the publisher says its model is premised on owning data about customers that goes through along with transactions. This was more important to it than Apple’s 30 percent take, CEO John Ridding told [Robert Andrews] recently.

The FT’s web app, which was described as a ‘wake-up call’ to publishers, saw 150,000 uses in the first 10 days before the part-paywall went up, in line with the FT’s other digital platforms.

 

 

 

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Reuters: Yudu launches service to help publishers evade Apple subscription cut

May 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Reuters reported this week that digital publishing company Yudu has launched a service which means magazine publishers can evade the 30 per cent cut which Apple takes when subscriptions are charged through the App Store.

Yudu, whose online publishing tools help companies tailor their content for tablet computers, smartphones and ereaders such as the Amazon Kindle, said Apple had recognized its new service as compliant with its terms and conditions.

… The new dual-subscriptions system from Yudu, whose customers include Reader’s Digest and Haymarket, allows users to download publications onto their Apple device through the App Store, even when the purchase is made directly from the publisher.

Read the full story here…

Yesterday the Telegraph announced the launch of a new iPad app which appeared to follow Apple’s new rules, which state that while publishers are allowed to make a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer must also be made available inside the app, through which Apple will take a 30 per cent cut.

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Media release: Telegraph launches new subscription iPad app

May 5th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

The Telegraph today announced the launch of its new iPad app, which offers content from the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.

The app can be purchased through the App Store, either individual, daily editions or an auto-renewable monthly subscription, both through In-App Purchase.

Print subscribers have free access using their existing customer credentials, the release adds.

This appears to follow Apple’s new rules regarding publisher apps, which state that while publishers are allowed to make a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer must also be made available inside the app, through which Apple will take a 30 per cent cut.

The new Telegraph app is free to download with individual, daily editions priced at £1.19 or a monthly subscription of £9.99.

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Reuters: FT resisting Apple’s efforts to channel subs through App Store

April 4th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

Reuters reports today that the Financial Times is “resisting Apple’s efforts” to channel subscribers through the App Store.

Last month Apple launched a new subscription service which ruled that publishers will still be allowed to sell app subscriptions through their own websites but will also have to offer subscriptions through Apple from within the app for the same price or less. This will then give Apple an opportunity to take away a 30 per cent cut of the subscription charge.

As part of the new service it is understood that customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with details such as their name and email address when they subscribe, while publishers can also seek additional information from App Store customers “provided those customers are given a clear choice”, a release said at the time.

But in an interview with Reuters, the FT said it wants to continue to sell subscriptions for its digital news directly, rather than “surrender control of new customers”.

Apple’s hit tablet computer, the iPad, has become a major driver of new subscriptions to FT.com, thanks to its large and crisp display, possibilities for interactive features and affluent customer base.

But the FT values direct relations with its customers which allow it to tailor advertising and products to its audience, and is resisting Apple’s efforts to channel them through the App Store.

News publishers across Europe have raised concerns with the new service, such as the loss of 30 per cent of the subscription revenue, which the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA) said would mean news publishers will not be able to invest in new technology, products and services.

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MediaGuardian: The Daily to launch in the UK within months

March 17th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

The Media Guardian reports that News Corporation’s iPad newspaper the Daily will be available in the UK within months, following comments by News Corporation’s chief digital officer Jon Miller at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

The arrival of the Daily in the UK will depend on when Apple’s new online subscription model becomes available in this country, the report adds.

The chief digital officer of Murdoch’s News Corporation, Jon Miller, told the Abu Dhabi Media Summit that the Daily would be available in western Europe “not too long from now”. When asked if that would be in the first half of this year, he answered yes.

Full story on Media Guardian at this link.

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Publishing Expo: Tablets, smartphones and strategies

March 2nd, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Mobile, Online Journalism, Traffic

Talk at this year’s Publishing Expo is rapidly taking on a back-to-basics theme, with some big names at this morning’s keynote session suggesting the industry took its eye off the ball and forgot about content.

With BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas in the chair, Neil Thackray from the Media Briefing, consultant Dominic Jacquesson and designer Jeremy Leslie from Magculture.com attempted to thrash out where the industry is going, and whether it’s in the right direction.

Jacquesson opened up with a summary of a report he’s just compiled for the Media Briefing.

“This shows that most of your readers will own a smartphone or tablet by 2015,” he told the crowd crammed into the session. Mobile apps, he said, were here to stay, with app downloads set to hit the 24 billion mark by 2013.

What’s also vital, Jacquesson said, is “the simple pay environment” that Apple has created.

Facebook was also a major feature of the discussion. It’s set to be a predominantly mobile app-based service by 2012 and, with the average user spending one-and-a-half hours a day on it, “it is your major competitor said Jacquesson. He takes the view that circulations of print publications will halve in five years, with time spent on mobile devices eating into media consumption time.

Neil Thackray followed up by warning that it was wrong “to be seduced by the beauty and wonder of the iPad“. He said consumers would “get used to it” and so “we shouldn’t just spit out a magazine as an iPad app.” He urged the industry to “go back to first principles and ask ‘what can we produce that readers find interesting or useful. Then provide them with a suite of applications to enable them to engage with what you produce.”

Jeremy Leslie agreed. “Don’t forget to ask ‘why?’,” he said. “What is your audience? What do you want to give them? What is the best way of doing it?” he also took issue with Jacquesson’s view that time spent on social media eats in to traditional media consumption, using the example of his 15-year-old son who “organises his life on Facebook and watches TV at the same time”.

There was some discussion of the Daily when Thackray chipped in with the comment that “we need to do things that are simple, not complicated.” The Daily was “bloody complicated” he said. Leslie added that it was “too generic. You need a tone of voice in what you say and in your design.”

Thackray asked “Why do we think we can do what we did in traditional media on new devices?” His advice was to “go out and find out about all the different things that can be done with a smartphone or tablet app.” Jacquesson agred, saying: “If the print circulation is going down, the right solution cannot be to build an app version of the print product.”

But he also said: “Successful apps have been a continuation of a strategy already in place.” He used the example of Autotrader, which developed an app on top of its existing offer which used location services to put buyers in touch with dealers and offer them the chance to contact them in return for a slice of the completed deal.

Leslie closed on an optimistic note, talking of “natural readjustment” in a industry “where too many mags were chasing too few readers”.

“Even if the number of mags does fall 50 per cent, there are still 25 per cent more mags than there were 20 years ago.”

This may seem blasé, but Leslie’s point was echoed by the panel. Future success will be in innovation and quality content, rather than in simply embracing whatever technology comes along.

Image by curious lee on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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