What: The Wall Street Journal is rolling out “What’s News,”its first mobile-only product , a paid news app.The projects is aimed to support subscribers migrating to digital platforms.
Why it matters: Digital platforms are becoming popular among publishers who want to reach readers on mobile devices.Just like the WSJ, the New York Times is also turning to digital to counterpart print revenues downward trends. Not only for advertising but also for paid subscriptions. According to a recent WAN-IFRA report circulation revenues (print and digital) topped advertising revenues for the first time for newspapers worldwide in 2014.
The Wall Street Journal is rolling out its first mobile-only product, a paid, digest-style news app that consolidates digital and reconfigures its newsroom through staff buyouts.
The app, called “What’s News“, will be produced by a team of journalists and offered as an add-on for subscribers.
The new app is aimed to support its almost 2.2 million subscribers’ loyalty, out of which at least 700,000 are digital-only subscribers,as the Journal marches toward a goal of 3 million paying customers by 2017.The Apphas been described as a scan of the day’s most important news stories broken down for readers on the go. They also said it’s being talked up internally as a key component of the Journal’s digital strategy.
The new app is aimed to support its almost 2.2 million subscribers’ loyalty, out of which at least 700,000 are digital-only subscribers
Digital is becoming popular among publishers who want to reach readers on mobile devices, where there’s a race to monetize audiences that access headlines thorugh their smartphones.
Apple has also released a new mobile news app to give users a mix of stories from different publications. The New York Times already has “NYT Now,”a news app that it is trying to scale as an advertiser-supported product after the app failed as a paid offering. Yahoo’s News Digest has gained popularity as a twice-daily blast of stories as a morning and evening newspaper.
News Corp.,WSJ parent company, expects the new digital projects to help diminished print revenues, which have suffered an industry-wide downward trend as readers and advertisers are turning to digital platforms. Journal advertising revenues were down 11 percent in the third quarter of 2015, which included a 9-percent decline in the news and information segment that encompasses the Journal.
WSJ is expected to pump more newsroom resources into mobile initiatives like What’s News in the coming fiscal year, which begins in July.
Timothy Martell, executive director of the Indepenent Association of Publishers’ Employees, a union that represents 477 U.S.-based members of the roughly 1,800-person combined global newsroom of the Journal and Dow Jones’ Newswires, noted that there have lately been several dozen involuntary cuts outside of the newsroom. Layoffs are possible within the newsroom if the buyouts do not achieve management’s desired cost efficiency.
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