As digital news grows with the number of smart phone devotees, the “unfit” are rushing to evolve.
Print media companies are transforming their distribution and income strategies to survive. With the availability of the iPad on April 3rd, MediaNews Group frontman William Dean Singleton affirms: “We must seize this opportunity to reinvigorate our business models.”
3.5 million smart phone users appreciated the AP’s free application launch of “AP Mobile,” which lets users customize the categories from which their headlines are drawn.
The not-for-profit cooperative receives its non-advertising income from newspapers, online news providers, and broadcasters. AP never sold news directly to readers. As the media landscape changes, though, so will the AP.
The cooperative’s new division, AP Gateway, will sell digital products (customized news with targeted advertising) directly to readers on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, PalmPre, and Nokia Ovi, to keep the Press among the industry’s fittest after years of struggling to make ends meet.
Increasing popularity of free online news lessened print news industry income from hard-copy advertising and subscriptions, but the next generation of digital media - like the iPad - may instigate the press industry’s renaissance. Says AP Chief Executive Tom Curley, "By opening the AP Gateway, our industry can get into position now to take advantage of what promises to be a remarkable period."
Some AP apps will solicit income through advertising, while others may charge a subscription fee. The idea is that consumers will pay - as they did ten years ago - to hold the news in their hand.
Virginia Rubey is a New Orleans-based researcher and writer for AV Technology Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College.