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A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

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The Telegraph on Apple News

The Telegraph is seeing substantial reader growth – from Apple News:

For The Telegraph, Apple News has become the most effective third-party platform at driving readers to its own sites and app — where it can eventually turn them into subscribers.

(Note the contrast here to Facebook, which is doing everything it can to keep you in the Instant Articles walled garden.)

Two anecdotes that seem to bear this out:

  1. I’m getting about an extra day’s worth of traffic a week from Apple News (you can sub to One Man & His Blog there, should you wish.)
  2. My wife – a Facebook refusenik – now uses Apple News as her major news-reading interface.

Something’s happening here.

The Need for Notifications

Another interesting point in the piece:

“The main growth has been driven by the iOS10 update and a combination of our new strategy,” said Bridge. Several publishers recorded traffic increases since the iOS10 update last year, partly because of the introduction of notifications. “In the modern age, people look to consume content through notifications. That doesn’t mean they will always open them and click through.”

For breaking news – you need to have a notification strategy, but one that doesn’t get your notifications switched off.

Stealing the punchline from Peter Yeung’s interview with Malcolm Coles of The Telegraph:

There’s no way I’d have predicted the end of 2015 at the beginning of the year, so I’ve no bloody idea what’s going to happen in 2025. But I’m sure cat GIFs will still be important.

Not the most profound insight from an interview full of them – but certainly the most amusing.

(This year’s Interhacktives have really hit the ground running with the site this year – check it out.)

Slightly baffling post on Guido today:

The Telegraph has suffered an exodus of seasoned reporters yet there is good news on the horizon: the paper is hiring no fewer than five new “social media and search engine optimisation” staff. They will be working with “Director of Digital Media” Malcolm Coles to produce more of the Telegraph’s recent tepid Buzzfeed-style “trending news” content

So it does:

Now, why on earth would The Telegraph want social and search experts?

Traffic share to publisher sites

Oh, yeah. Well, why would a website want experts in the things that drive 70% of traffic to publisher sites? What possible use could they be?

In fact the whole piece is just plain curious. It has so many buried assumptions – that search and social expertise can’t be used on “serious” journalism (which they clearly can, to boost its audience greatly), and that “fluff” content and investigative journalism can’t co-exist – that it looks like Mr Wickham may have an axe to grind. At the very least, he’s become a mouthpiece for someone with some deep issues with the current Telegraph setup.

Take note, for example, of the off-hand assertion that the “Buzzfeed lite” content is low traffic – and its lack of proof. That would be, I suspect, because that almost certainly isn’t the case.

It’s deeply ironic that Media Guido – a blog – is slowly devolving into 2008’s Press Gazette, telling us that all digital is bad and dumbing down journalism.

[Full Disclosure: The Telegraph is an occasional client – I provide training to their “furious to the point of mutiny” hacks, who have always been quite lovely, in my experience]

I don’t really have much to add to the story about the sudden departure of The Telegraph‘s editor Tony Gallagher. Roy Greenslade has the fullest account of Gallagher’s firing – from a very Greensladian perspective… Given that there’s an announcement of digital changes to the paper scheduled for today, this story looks set to run for a while yet.

I’m tracking the story as it develops, though, collecting an annotating pages in a new tool called Roojoom (of which, more in the next couple of days).

You can see the stories and my commentary by clicking below…

The Sunday Times on the iPadIt’s Sunday, and I’m on holiday – or as on holiday as an under-employed freelance consultant can be – and so my thoughts turn to those most vital components of a relaxing Sunday: coffee and the newspapers.

I’m largely a tablet newspaper chap these days, because of the lack of clutter, the reduced price and the speed of delivery. But I try to restrict myself to two newspaper rolling subs. And I’m about to make a change to those:

The Constant

The Times – Whatever your feelings about the politics around News International these days, they’ve done a fine, fine job with their tablet apps. The £9.99 I’m coughing up each month for my online package is a tenner well spent, in my book. (Or on my tablet… 😉 ) In particular the fact that the Sunday edition contains all the material from the glossy supplements endears it to me. I download it all on Sunday, and browse my way through the sections during the week. But it’s not just a paper replica – there are videos and other multimedia content. It’s the concept of the paper rethought for the tablet. It’s a good value package, and the apps keep improving. And there’s some pretty fine journalism in there, too.

The Rejected

The Telegraph – I’ve been a subscribed to this app since they launched a pay package, but the current month is the last for the time being. The app feels like it’s falling behind the curve right now. None of the main supplements from the weekend editions make it in, which is irritating, and lack of little iOS touches  – like being app to zoom the photos to full screen – make it a curiously unsatisfying experience. It feels – right now – like a simplistic repackaging of the main newspaper content, and that’s not enough to stay competitive. Departing from my iPad at the end of the current subscription month, until there’s a significant overhaul of the app.

The Trial

The Guardian – I’ve not spent enough time with this app. I downloaded it, played with it for a while in the free trial, and then abandoned it for no good reason. So, the £9.99 that used to go to The Telegraph is going towards this for a while. Things I like: the haring buttons on the content, the design and the fact you can set it to only keep that day’s issue (useful, as space on iPads gets more cramped) and it supports Apple’s Newsstand. Things I don’t: elements of the navigation. We’ll see how I feel a couple of months in.

Well now, this is interesting:

Free website, £9.99 a month for the iPad app. So the question here is: 

Will people pay for a convenient package and experience?
I have my doubts, but it’s certainly a question worth asking.
Other things to note:
  • They’re using the iTunes subs model
  • It’s free for existing Telegraph subscribers
  • The future of the existing iPad “Best of” app is unclear. It’s still working in its current form, but the new version is an update. So, to try out the new paid service, I say goodbye to the old free one. Clearly, there will be no new users of the old app, as it’s been replaced in the app store, but will they cut off access to those who choose not to update? UPDATE: Yes, access to content via the old app will be “winding down” in the next few days, a helpful tweet from the Telegraph folks informs me.
Downloading the new version now…

I couldn’t help but chuckle, as two stories came to my attention in a very short period of time:

So, which way are you going? Towards more sharable content or less?
(And yes, I’ve added the LinkedIn Share button already)