Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Telegraph uses NYT as a model for its free iPad app; 'best of' approach limits content, mimics newspaper look

The UK newspaper The Telegraph has released its initial iPad news app last night. The free download gives readers access to a limited amount of content from that day's newspaper, mirroring the approach used by the New York Times for its Editor's Choice application.
The Telegraph for iPad is both free to download, and does not require a subscription to access the content. And like the NYT iPad app, the Telegraph app creates a pseudo-newspaper look when opened, then flows stories into tablet-native layouts when the reader touches a headline.

The tablet's layouts are in both portrait and landscape -- accomplished by simplifying the front page layout.

Navigation is extremely easy and logical, and articles are flowed into simply layouts that make them easy to read. The app, however, does not offer its readers either pinch-to-zoom or the ability to change fonts. In this regard, the app has duplicated the NYT approach in almost almost every way.
The one area where the paper took a somewhat different approach is advertising. The Time's app reserves a front page leaderboard position for an ad, and incorporates a fractional ad on the secondary pages of articles. The Telegraph however is limited to full page ads that pop-up over the articles and contain a "close" button in the upper right hand corner of the ad. →

"This development demonstrates Telegraph Media Group’s dedication to making its content accessible to the widest possible audience on all key platforms,” said Edward Roussel, Digital Editor of Telegraph Media Group in a post on the newspaper's website.

According the newspaper, Apple has sold one million iPad's in the UK since the tablet's launch in late May, already creating a viable market for British newspaper companies.

Left: Readers must register with the paper before accessing content; Middle: more registration; Right: drop down menu shows the reader the other stories available in that section of the tablet publication.

This limited content approach is but one of the trends newspapers are following when attempting to figure out tablet publishing. This approach allows the reader to download that morning's edition by 5 AM for offline reading while commuting or at the breakfast table. If desired, the editors can update content, though there was no mention of this for the Telegraph app.

The problem long term is the limited real estate for advertising within the free app. Additionally, readers may find, as they have with the NYT app, that they prefer to read the newspaper's website as its content is constantly updated. But as a commute product, there is no doubt that this approach has its advantages,