Custom Readers: The Future of Newspapers?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Custom Readers: The Future of Newspapers?

While the internet news revolution continues to move along, I have recently become fascinated with proprietary readers. For example The New York Times offers a reader which requires a paid download for nonsubscribers and runs on Microsoft based operating systems.
 
Then there is Amazon’s Kindle, a wireless book/RSS reader about the size of a small paperback. I wondered what sorts of content people read on the Kindle and a quick check of the Amazon Kindle site shows some of their most popular downloads are the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Le Monde.
 
Perhaps spurred on by the notion of providing news on the go, the Wall Street Journal has been pushing the fact that their news is mobile friendly. In addition, the company is dipping its toes in the mobile reader market with the beta offering of a mobile reader for Windows Mobile devices.
 
I downloaded the software by entering my carrier and phone number on this web page and a few moments later I received an SMS message with a web link which I clicked on.
 
Within about 90 seconds the program was downloaded and running.
 
The software interface was quite attractive and you are able to see news of various types from a variety of countries. In addition, you are able to see videos which are streamed to the device’s media player.
 
The downside to these custom applications is that they are specific to individual news sources and devices -- but for ultra-loyal customers this isn’t a huge deterrent.
 
I suppose the biggest reason for the dissemination of custom readers by newspapers is to ensure people get more of their news from them. Indeed, software like the Google reader is extremely easy to use and mobile-friendly making customer readers less necessary.
 
It is tough to see where custom readers will be more than a niche but still they are a great way to keep diehard loyalists faithful to your news site. What’s your opinion? Do you use custom readers?


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