The Guardian has launched its Kindle edition of the Guardian and Observer, which is said to carry content from the day’s newspaper and will be available to download seven days a week in the UK, US and more than 100 other countries.
In a post outlining the launch the Guardian says the edition is available to download from Amazon for a 14-day free trial, after which it will be priced at £9.99 a month in the UK, or £0.99 per issue.
The post also outlines two launches on the horizon for iPad and Android.
We’ve been working on iPad over the past few months and we’re currently testing it with some of our readers. Our objective has been to produce the most accessible, elegant interpretation of the Guardian newspaper for iPad and we hope we’re close to achieving that aim.
The app will deliver a single daily edition of content, specifically curated for iPad. Like Kindle, it will be a subscription product, though we will be releasing it with a free trial period from launch.
The Guardian’s first Android app is due to launch in autumn and a new product for the HP TouchPad called Guardian Zeitgeist is also in the pipeline.
Apple’s iPad has created a new appetite among readers for fresh news content in the evening, according to AFP’s head of editorial research and development.
Speaking at the WAN-IFRA summer university in Paris, Denis Teyssou quoted research from comScore which found the iPad was changing the game regarding news consumption towards the end of the day.
While computers are the dominant device for news during the working day, and smartphone use is relatively constant throughout the day, tablets overtook both of them to become the number one device in the evening.
However, Teyssou said some existing news products tailored for the iPad – notably Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily – did not necessarily cater for this evening boost in audience.
Teyssou is the head of editorial for AFP’s research and development division, Medialab, which is responsible for developing iPhone and iPad apps, user-generated content, data tools and mash-ups.
He presented an overview of how the tablet publishing market is developing, one year after Apple launched its iPad.
Before the launch, analysts were cautious about how many units would ship. ABI Research had estimated four million sales in 2010. The actual figure was four times the size.
The figure is now expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. Infinite Research expects that 147.2 million tablet computers will ship in 2015.
Analysis from Gartner, also for 2015, estimates Apple will have achieved total cumulative tablet sales of 138 million worldwide by then. Another 113 million tablets will have shipped that use Android as the operating system.
Out of the apps in Apple’s iPad Hall of Fame, news apps are the second biggest category, behind games. Traditional players dominate, with CNN, NPR and the Wall Street Journal occupying the top three positions.
News organisations can now have a better understanding of their audience by analysing stats on visitor numbers by mobile device, including iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android and BlackBerry, and see photos of handsets they are less familiar with.
Google Analytics has added a new mobile section to provide audience data by operating system, service provider, connection speed and browser type; sites can see which country, town or city their mobile readers are in, plus they can look up traffic sources, landing pages and other information familiar to Google Analytics users.
SoundCloud has clocked up an impressive five million users, with four million of those joining within the past year.
Although born out of the founders’ love of music and created to visualise and reference sound, it is seeing a growth in popularity among journalists.
There are no statistics available to document how many SoundCloud recordings are categorised as ‘news’, but speaking via Skype from his base in Berlin, Alexander Ljung, CEO and founder of SoundCloud, told Journalism.co.uk the number of spoken word recordings is increasing.
It’s a big trend at the moment in that we are seeing non-music content growing very fast.
What is SoundCloud?
SoundCloud allows users to upload audio or record directly from the SoundCloud website, or from its desktop, iPhone or Android app. The really powerful thing about it is the ability to add comments at particular points on the audio waveform and allow others to share their views, too.
For example, I can add a comment to the waveform below at the point where Ljung starts talking about major news organisations using SoundCloud. I can also include a link within the comment to take listeners straight to the app and you can also add comments using your Twitter or Facebook account.
SoundCloud has been around since 2008, after Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss came up with the idea in response to their need to discuss their own music and sound files, Ljung said.
I was previously a sound designer for film and tv. I was always working a lot with sound effects, voiceovers, things like that, and Eric’s music is also very detailed.
Eric and I felt it’s very difficult to talk about sound through email because it’s a non-visual thing and therefore it’s hard to reference it. We wanted to first visualise the sound and then put comments in to make it easier to collaborate.
Although SoundCloud started with music in mind, it was hoped it would go beyond, and it has done so, both in terms of music-related spoken content and journalism.
Since the launch of the apps, we’ve seen a lot of bands posting interviews from their tours and almost using it like Twitter and just sharing audio with the world.
We’re also starting to see more and more traditional news organisations like France 24 or 77WABC Radio putting up programming. There has also been some stuff by ESPN on the sports side.
Ljung told Journalism.co.uk that he also a big fan of the Next Web’s Daily Dose, a round-up of the tech news from the previous day.
They came up with this really nice format. I get that in my dashboard once a day it’s been really successful.
It is perhaps not surprising that Ljung favours the SoundCloud experience to listening to podcasts, a format he called “broken” in a recent interview in the Telegraph.
Podcasting is alive and great but the system for it at the moment is a bit broken. If you think about how we consume content today, like YouTube videos, we want to have them streamed, on demand, embeddable.
If you have a widget like [YouTube or SoundCloud] it lends itself to a lot of social interaction. When you look at the traditional podcasting system it’s all about subscribing to a feed, downloading, syncing, and there is no social interaction around it.
Even though the system is broken, there’s a huge demand for that kind of stuff out there that people are willing to jump though hoops to experience it.
I think [SoundCloud] has a chance to really bring back podcasting and that kind of publishing back into the spotlight again.”
His argument is that choosing SoundCloud over traditional podcasting methods makes audio “so much more accessible to people in the way that they want to consume it”.
But one problem with SoundCloud is it relies on Flash-based widgets, both for recording and for consuming audio, and Apple products such as the iPhone and the iPad do not support Flash (so apologies for those reading this story in the Journalism.co.uk iPhone app as you cannot see the embedded SoundCloud wave file above).
Although our website is built in HTML5, our widgets are currently Flash only as we haven’t felt the technology is ready for it. As soon as we can do it in a different way, we will.
SoundCloud developers have been working on a non-Flash option for viewing SoundCloud widgets for some time. “It probably won’t be that long before that works,” he said, but was unable to commit to a timescale beyond that a solution would be available “quite soon”.
However, there is an option for developers to build their own SoundCloud apps using the developers toolset or to make sites suitable for devices that do not support Flash, such as the iPad.
And developers have been making the most of the open API. SoundCloud Labs showcases various third-party apps and experiments.
One that has potential uses for journalists is SoundCloud Importer which allows you to record and display a phone interview on SoundCloud. At the time of writing the UK telephone number does not work, however. The options of importing audio via email and converting audio already online to SoundCloud do work and offer further possibilities.
Even if there are still obstacles in displaying SoundCloud widgets on Apple devices – and this may discourage you to embed SoundCloud files – remember there is a five million-strong community to engage with and it is not a bad idea for journalists to be adding audio to SoundCloud as a matter of course.
paidContent reports that Nomad Editions, a US company which aims to produce magazines for tablet subscriptions, has more than half a dozen titles “in the pipeline”
In an interview with paidContent, Nomad Editions’ CEO Mark Edmiston, former president of Newsweek, claims 50 per cent of those taking subscriptions for existing titles are taking out a whole year.
Nomad is trying to prove that tablets can be platforms for new as well as existing brands. Rather than convert existing titles to tablet, it taps journalists to devise new titles along with it, with an interesting new model – for pay, each editor takes five percent of subscription income, whilst writers split 30 percent between them.
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.
Flipboard, a “social magazine” for the iPad that pulls in content from the web, has announced partnerships with the Guardian and the Telegraph.
Announcements from the company about the Guardian – “the central liberal voice in the British media” – and the Telegraph – “one of the most circulated broadsheets in the UK” – have been timed to coincide with the upcoming royal nuptials.
We’re launching the Guardian and the Telegraph at this precise moment so you can feel like you’re right there in Westminster Abbey witnessing the union and following events from the eyes of Londoners.
The US app has also added OK Magazine and Brides Magazine in advance of the wedding.
Flipboard was launched in July last year to offer its users a magazine-like collection of news, features, videos and images circulating within their social networks. In December it announced that eight US news outlets including ABC News and the Washington Post Magazine were testing the app as a distribution platform.
Writing on his blog, SEO expert Malcolm Coles claims the disparity in price between the Guardian’s digital services and print product is a problem for the company’s revenue.
Responding to a comment piece by former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie, which predicts the Guardian’s print edition will be dead in a decade, Coles asks the paper: “Please, let me give you more money”.
A newspaper buyer until he got an iPad, Coles now pays £3.99 a year instead of £230 to read the Guardian everyday in print.
The collapse in what I pay is because I read most of the news for the next day’s newspaper on the Guardian website on my iPad the evening before. And I read anything new on my iPhone on the way to and from work. The newspaper has nothing in that I need.
A total of 79,000 people have subscribed to read the Times and Sunday Times online, on the iPad and on the Kindle, according to figures released by owner News International yesterday. The number represents an increase of 29,000 over the previous five months.
News International claims that overall readership of digital and print editions for the newspapers have risen by 20,000, despite a sharp decrease in the circulation of the print edition of the Times, which has fallen 12.1 per cent within the last year, and the Sunday Times, which has fallen by 6.9 per cent.
News International has not released a breakdown of digital subscribers into those reading online, via the iPad or via the Kindle, but reported that total sales of digital products stood at 222,000 at the end of February, up from 105,000 on 31 October.
Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International said that the figures represent that “ever larger numbers of people are willing to pay for quality journalism across a variety of digital formats”.
She added: “Our industry is being redefined by technology and we will no longer measure the sales and success of our newspapers in print circulation terms alone.”
An online subscription to the Times and the Sunday Times costs £2; an iPad subscription costs £9.99 a month or £1 for one-day’s access to the Times and £1.79 for the Sunday Times.