The so-called “millennial” generation – those aged between 14 and 34 – have never really developed the habit of reading newspapers, so how do publishers go about capturing their attention and getting them to read their content?
One way is to focus on building app-based news services in recognition of the fact majority of this generation spend the majority of their consumption time on their phones.
At least that’s what News Corp is working on, according to the Financial Times, which reports “the service would blend original reporting with repurposed content from News Corp properties such as the Wall Street Journal.”
The project is being headed up by News Corp’s vp of product, Kareem Amin, but it’s not the first attempt News Corp has made in trying to attract younger readers.
The Daily was the world’s first iPad-only news app, launched in the US and Australia by News Corp in February 2011 with 100 journalists on its roster. 17 months later in July 2012, The Daily was put “on watch” due to poor results and an estimated $30 million annual loss, despite pulling in over 100,000 paying subscribers.
By December 2012 The Daily project was cancelled, with Murdoch saying the app “could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.”
An emerging trend
The New York Times has also tried to draw a younger audience with the release of its NYT Now app, which offers a more truncated version of Times content for more mobile-native audiences that don’t want either a full-subscription or the paper.
And on this side of the pond, legacy publishers including Trinity Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, and The Independent have also gone down the split-off road, with side-projects UsVsTh3m, Ampp3d, Project Babb, and i100 representing attempts to pull in audiences from a generation much younger than their newspapers are used to seeing, even if the content is more original and not as repackaged as the content coming out of NYT Now and the supposedly upcoming News Corp app.
News Corp has evidently taken a step back following The Daily’s failure, and with new acquisitions including the $25 million purchase of user generated content verification company, Storyful, now has some impressive technology to its name to make a better stab at it second time around.
And it’s clear to see a trend emerging amongst traditional publishers, who in the quest to gain the attention of younger audiences realise they are going to have to meet them where they are if they are.
But will it be enough to repurpose content that already isn’t being read by that generation in paper, for mobile? And if that’s the case, does that mean it’s all about the delivery method?