The New York Times is hoping that other publishers will want to replicate the success the Grey Lady has had on the iPhone and iPad and the company will launch an app platform in the fourth quarter.
The platform is called the Press Engine and it lets publishers pump out apps without having to invest thousands of dollars in developers. Licensed publications will have the ability to offer content in an Apple iPhone or iPad app which can be read partially offline. The Apple iPhone app will also be able to utilize audio and video, incorporate sharing features, device-standard advertising and vertical and horizontal reading.
“Publishers will receive feature-rich applications based on The Times’s experience developing and designing mobile technology and apps,” said Michael Greenspon, general manager, The New York Times, said in a prepared statement. “We are providing our expertise in news reader applications to allow publishers of all sizes to offer their readers elegant applications for iPhone and iPad device”
Publishers who use the Press Engine Apple iPhone app platform will have to pay a one-time license fee and monthly maintenance fees, but the company hasn’t disclosed how much this will be. Publishers will be able to control and own the advertising and subscription fees on the app. Let’s hope that many publishers don’t try and follow the Wall Street Journal’s approach of charging nearly $20 a month for a digital subscription.
It’s an interesting move by the Grey Lady, as it is desperately trying to adjust its business model for a wide-open digital future. The New York Times still does some great journalistic work but it has really expensive overhead and no longer has the near-monopoly over the printed news.
The move to become the de facto template for Apple iPhone and iPad apps could be an ingenious one by the New York Times, as Apple now has over 100 million iOS users with no signs of stopping. I don’t know if this iPhone app platform business model can replace the revenues that the company used to enjoy in a non-Internet savvy world.
[Via NY Times]