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iPad Forum report: Newsstand and second screen tablet opportunities

AOP iPad Event
Tigerspike’s Tim Rowell introduced our iPad event this week with this striking fact from Apple’s latest results: its Q3 profits were higher than its total revenues just 6 quarters ago. Although the Kindle Fire might shake things up, he added, at least on this evidence “it’s hard to see how Apple will be overtaken”. With more than 55m iPads sold worldwide, and around 5m in the UK – more of whose users are over 55 than under 35 - this is already a mass-market device. For many, it’s their first computer, bypassing even owning a laptop. It’s critical then that publishers:
  • Provide the right level of customer support - a hidden cost
  • Get the product & design/user experience strategy right for your specific audience
  • Realise the largest cost may be in getting the content into the device
  • Consider all the options in terms of development - the jury’s still out on whether native or html5 is the way forward
The Future perspective on Newsstand Future’s iPad Editor-in-Chief Mike Goldsmith layed out its results since the launch of 65 apps with the arrival of Newsstand. Despite $1m revenue in the first month and 9.3m container apps downloaded to date, he admitted marketing is a challenge, with Apple disallowing cross-promotion of other products from within container apps. With that in mind, giving out sample copies is a must – the only way to reach scale. That said, he advised other publishers not to compromise on price - the iPad is still "the internet with a cash register attached."
In terms of development: it's expensive and you can become tethered to third party roadmaps – Future’s response: to develop its own platform called FutureFolio.  Newsstand has rejuvenated back issue sales and started to open up new global markets, he added. It’s also surprising to note how popular magazine apps are on the iPhone. A final tip from Future: make sure you use affiliate links when promoting your own apps – a 4 per cent commission means Apple’s 30% will be reduced to 26 for all resulting sales. Channel 4 on second screen tablet opportunities While News International Product Director Lee Wilkinson outlined the Times’ approach to developing a paid iPad app, Channel 4’s Ed Couchman argued the case for free, ad-supported apps. He explained how C4 sees its tablet product as shoring up existing budgets and adding new opportunities for existing advertisers. He also cited research showing tablet users are driving extra viewing – peaktime tablet viewing coming in at around 10pm. Driving user interaction on tablets is another big focus – the next series of Million Pound Drop will be live on iPad, inviting viewers to bet along with the programme. Zeebox has also been tested around shows like Desperate Scousewives, and is bringing new opportunities both for programme sponsors, through ecommerce and in raising the bar around making TV more social. Alex Morrison, MD of Cogapp also presented a case study on iPad design and UX, around its work on the DK Eyewitness Travel apps – members can download presentations here.

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