Two major newspapers in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, are planning to sell Android tablets preloaded with their content. This programme is to shore up readership and finances after the publications emerged from bankruptcy about one year ago, The Associated Press reported.
The pilot project is scheduled for launch in late August, and will distribute about 2,000 tablets to customers who buy subscriptions to the two newspapers, said Mark Block, spokesman for Philadelphia Media Network, according to The Washington Post
The tablets will each have four preloaded news apps, including two offering replicas for print versions of both publications, one for additional Inquirer content, and the other for philly.com.
According to Philadelphia Media Network CEO Greg Osberg, this project will cost six figures. However, he believe it will help the two papers keep all the revenue and the consumer data, which will give them a read on how people consume newspaper content on a tablet, AdWeek reported
“No one in the U.S. has bundled the device with content,” Osberg added. “We want to gain significant market share in this area, and we want to learn about consumer behaviour. Our goal is to be the most innovative media company in the United States.”
“If it catches on both with the users and the advertisers, there might be quite a lot more to come. He has said from the start he wants to have some bold plays in the digital and mobile sphere,” said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school.
According to John Morton, an industry analyst and president of Morton Research Inc., the initiative will “bring probably incremental gains, not wholesale gains. If newspapers are dying by a thousand cuts, they’re going to be restored by a thousand incremental advances. This is probably going to be one of them,” The Washington Post reported.