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New Sun app comes top in iTunes paid-for news chart

February 16th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Online Journalism

A new iPhone application from the Sun has become the most downloaded paid-for news app on the iTunes store this week – in its first week on the market.

The Sun app is currently sitting at number 10 in the overall league table of paid-for applications and is number one in the news category, with the Daily Mash in second.

Downloaders are being lured with an introductory price of 69p for the first month. The price of a monthly subscription rises to £4.99 after the first month.

The app automatically updates throughout the day with breaking news, and also includes live sports results, horoscopes, picture galleries and location-based weather updates.

It is the latest in a range of applications being launched by News International for its daily national titles. The Sun launched an Android application last month and the Times unveiled a web app earlier this week.

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ABC News iPad app offering video books

April 18th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

LostRemote reports that ABC News has rolled out a new iPad app which offers users video books “that combine text, photos and video from the network’s archives”.

The ABC Video Bookstore app (iTunes), which is free, launched with two $7.99 books for sale: A Modern Fairy Tale (previewing the royal wedding) and The Amanda Knox Story.

The app which launched last week can be found here.

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UK publishers dominate top grossing iPhone news apps list

December 30th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Traffic

British news publishers are leading the way in the iPhone app download charts, according to rankings displayed in Apple’s iTunes store.

The Guardian (version 1) tops the list, followed by MailOnline in third place. The top five grossing UK news apps are:

  1. The Guardian (version 1)
  2. MailOnline
  3. The Economist
  4. The Sun: Bizarre
  5. The Scotsman

iTunes also lists the top free iPhone news apps but apparently uses an algorithm based on the last four days of sales/downloads. So, bearing in mind this is more of a snapshot (which may also be a bit  skewed because we are currently in holiday season), the top five free UK news apps are currently:

  1. BBC News
  2. Sky News
  3. MailOnline
  4. FT Mobile
  5. The Economist

At the time of writing, they also appeared in the same ranking for worldwide news apps.

The top five paid-for UK news apps are currently:

  1. The Guardian (version 1)
  2. This is Bristol
  3. The Scotsman
  4. Macworld UK
  5. MacUser Magazine

Journalism.co.uk’s own free news app, which features this blog, our main news, editorial job listings and press releases, is currently ranked 72.

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Nieman Journalism lab launches iPhone, iPad app

The Nieman Journalism Lab has launched its own app, available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The app offers the latest stories and videos from the site itself, as well as pulling in updates from its Twitter feed, updated link lists from Hourly Press and other third-party content recommended by the lab.

The app is free to download from the iTunes store.

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Journalism.co.uk forays into podcasting: follow here

August 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Multimedia

Journalism.co.uk has made its first few steps into the world of podcasting in recent weeks and wants to know how we can use audio in the best way for you.

As well as filing radio features and interviews from events we attend, Journalism.co.uk will also bring you a weekly news-round up of the top stories we think you should know about – our latest one can be found here.

You can already sign up to receive all Journalism.co.uk podcasts by RSS feed or subscribe to our iTunes podcast account.

Feel free to leave comments below on what audio activity you want to see from us in the future or email multimedia reporter Rachel [rachel@journalism.co.uk] with your comments.

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Zinio and Rolling Stone launch first iTunes-integrated iPad app

Zinio, a leading digital publishing company, has teamed up with Rolling Stone magazine to offer iPad an iTunes-integrated feature.

For Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Songs Of All Time’ issue, users of the Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader App on their iPads will be able to listen to samples and buy the tracks on iTunes through the application as they read about them in the magazine.

Rolling Stone executive editor Jason Fine said: These are all the songs you need to have on your iPad. With Zinio, you can listen to the songs while you read, giving our audience an exciting way to experience the list.”

The interactive edition will be available on other platforms, and can be sampled on your PC here.

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Why the iPad isn’t the saviour of journalism as we know it

The hype surrounding Apple’s new touch-screen mini-computer, predictably, is huge. Just like film studios, book and textbook publishers, news producers are hoping the iPad can boost the online, mobile content marketplace.

Here’s a “source”, who purports to have worked with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, telling the Wall Street Journal exactly what it wants to hear:

Mr. Jobs is “supportive of the old guard, and [he] looks to help them by giving them new forms of distribution”.

One publishing CEO was even moved to write poetry about it (via Moconews.net) and Apple fanboys and news executives will no doubt be glued to their screens when Jobs takes the stage at around 6pm (GMT) tonight to announce the details.

But when the hype dies down, will the journalism business really be in better shape? These people have taken a welcome dose of reality juice:

  • Craig McGill, a former journalist now plying his trade at digital PR firm Contentlymanaged, quite reasonably asks who is going to create all the content for new organisations’ multiplatform mobile packages given all the job cuts in news publishing in the past year.
  • Forrester analysts Charles Golvin and James McQuivey consider that maybe the iPad won’t be all it’s cracked up to be: “It is flawed in meaningful ways: It’s a computer without a keyboard, it’s a digital reader with poor battery life and a high price tag, and it’s a portable media player that can’t fit in a pocket.” (via paidContent.org)
  • I couldn’t put it better than David Campbell, a professor of cultural and political geography, did this morning: “Information and distribution are separate. Journalism is information, tablet distribution. Can help journalism circulate but can’t ‘save’ it.”

Much is made of iTunes and its successful monetisation of mobile applications and music – the Financial Times is even planning to imitate (via PCUK) its “pay-per-view” micropayments model, although FT.com told Journalism.co.uk last week that paid-for day passes would come first.

The model is attractive: there are more than 100 million iTunes accounts with users’ credit cards pre-loaded and ready to go. A new shiny, powerful device – somewhere between an e-reader and a netbook – could just persuade people to buy the news subscriptions the New York Times and Rupert Murdoch so desperately want to sell them.

But Apple’s new device is just another distribution platform for words, pictures, videos and data, just like PCs, mobiles and print. Recreating a print experience on another device is not going to solve the economic crisis news finds itself in: Google will still be more efficient at selling advertising and will still point readers to free content.

The future of news is about distributing content as widely as possible and monetising not just content but relationships. Devices will be a big part of that, but they’re not the answer.

Photo credit: Mike McCaffery, from Flickr, via a Creative Commons licence.

UPDATE: This post was amended to reflect the announcement of the name of the device, iPad.

Patrick Smith is a freelance journalist and event organiser, and formerly a correspondent for paidContent:UK and Press Gazette. He blogs at psmithjournalist.com and is @psmith on twitter.

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