It is no secret the traditional physical newspaper business has been suffering as a result of the rise of digital media consumption. Although many from the older generation still enjoy the feeling of picking up the newspaper and catching up on the world’s news over a coffee, those days are numbered. Laptops, smartphones and now tablets are the tool of choice when reading news anywhere and anytime. Why pay when you can get it for free right?

In recent years newspaper companies have decided to stop fighting the current and freely put their content online. Yes they try to monetize on premium service and content but I believe these subscriptions must be quite low. That’s why revenue has shifted from print advertising to digital advertising and this isn’t a bad thing. There are a number of key benefits when using digital advertising. Firstly, advertisers and brands can get more creative with music, video and motion graphics. Secondly, it is much easier to measure the results of digital ads through click-throughs to an action like purchase.

In line with the print to digital trend, NewspaperDirect has released a mobile app called PressReader that aggregates over 2,100 full-content newspapers from 95 countries in 54 languages. It’s like having all the leading quality newspapers you could ever read in the palm of your hands. I played around with the app to see what it could do.

Firstly, ‘My Library’ allows you to save news publications that you are interested in. To add a new one I could search by country or language. Since I’m from Australia, I do miss reading Australian newspaper so I downloaded ‘The Australian’ and the ‘Wish Magazine’. Upon opening the content, it looks exactly the same as what it would on the physical copy. This will help people navigate something they are familiar with. To read something more clearly, you just have to tap the section to zoom in. To see the next page, simply swipe right or click on the page scroll to see a preview of all the pages.

Instead of going to pick up the paper, all the publications are automatically updated on the app.  This empowers users to keep subscribing or stop at any time. The digital nature of the content means you can easily print sections or share it with your social network through Facebook or Twitter.  If you are doing research or need to take note of articles you can save them to Evernote or copy and paste them to other places like Word. If you are too lazy to read, you can even listen to the text to voice audio version and vote if you like or dislike the article.

The great thing about PressReader is that you don’t have to sacrifice low quality journalism or publications. Since content can get text heavy, the app is better designed and used on an iPad.

The app is free to download and comes with 7 free issues. Thereafter, you can subscribe for US$34.99 a month and are charged to your iTunes account.

One disadvantage to other magazine apps like Flipboard, is that each publication has to be downloaded each time you want to read it.

To experience real publications that you once thought were only in print, you can download the PressReader app here.

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.

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1 Comment

  1. 35$ a month !!?!? A year, why not ? but for this I am back to free RSS feeds ! 🙂

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