Monday, March 7, 2011

Morning Brief: FT chief exec stresses need for customer data; Murdoch at 80; Economist issues minor app update

Stressing their growing understanding of their customer base, Financial Times chief executive John Ridding told the New York Times that his company is consideringh joining Google's new One Pass subscription system because of its more liberal customer data sharing.
Ridding told the NYT's Eric Pfanner that Apple is threatening the inroads it has made in electronic publishing through its in-app subscription policies, saying that if the FT decides to pull out of Apple's ecosystem “it would be a shame, not just for us, but for the broader ecosystem that has developed in recent years around these devices."

The NYT story tells of the Financial Times' succes at generating reader revenue through its 207,000 digital subscribers, a growth of 50 percent in one year.

Roy Greenslade of The Guardian takes a trip down memory lane this morning with Rupert Murdoch. Greenslade has a little history with News Corp, having been an assistant editor at the Sun for five years.

Greenslade recaps the history of Murdoch and the UK media world and comes to the conclusion that BSkyB is his greatest accomplishment. "He took the gamble. He made it work. And he will go on reaping the rewards. He came, he saw, he conquered," Greenslade writes.

Rupert Murdoch turns 80 on Friday.

The Economist issued a minor update to its iPad app this morning that fixes some programming bugs. Otherwise things are pretty quiet on the app front as publishers and developers await the release of the latest update to Apple's mobile operating system.

The update will arrive on Friday, the same day people starting ordering the iPad 2 on the Apple website, or can waiting in line at an Apple retail store, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.

The new update will bring AirPlay streaming to all media apps, allowing publishers to have their in-app videos streamed to televisions. This will be especially important for those publishers who have built native apps that already have embedded video content, such as the New York Times. Other apps that use systems such as the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite or WoodWing tools will be at an advantage, as well, assuming they are embedding video or audio content.

For replica edition makers, however, this will only further make those editions appear outdated.
For consumers, one of the added features in iOS 4.3 is mobile streaming of content through iTunes Home Sharing. This allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users to access the music and other content found in their computer's iTunes folders to be played on their mobile devices, assuming they are on the same WiFi network.

Apple issued the iOS 4.3 Golden Master on Thursday to those with Apple developer accounts (my notification above). This is the final pre-release version sent to developers so they can get to work on app updates. One can assume that over the next few weeks we will start to see plenty of media apps being updated to include some of the new features to be found in the latest iOS.