| NAA mediaXchange is the largest annual gathering of industry executives in North America, offering unprecedented networking opportunities that combine an exchange of information and ideas with programming designed to generate results. The conference is designed to provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. Sessions highlight leading-edge thinking about media strategies, successes in product and revenue development, new ideas and innovation inside and outside the industry, and tactics and techniques to employ in print and digital.
Mobile product development
By Varun Saxena
From video games to medical exams, newspapers are experimenting in areas loosely related to their traditional function due to the advent of mobile technology.
The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City created Pancake Frenzy, a downloadable video game for smart phones, as part of a marketing campaign for De Wafelbakkers, a food manufacturer.
The newspaper's profit margin on the product was 50 percent to 60 percent, said Chief Information Officer Dan Barth.
The technology also benefits readers.
QR codes are displayed on The Oklahoman's print edition. When scanned, related multimedia content is displayed on a reader's mobile device.
The Dallas Morning News' most successful app is SportsDayHS, a smart phone app that displays high school sports standings and real-time updates of high school football games.
Originally, the app was designed to provide locations of the area's high schools, but further researcher determined that real-time updates were in demand.
"It's an evolving process," said Amin Pirani, the paper's digital project manager.
DMNmedia, the affiliated company, launched My Mobile CE, an app that helps health care practitioners participate in hospitals' continuing education programs.
Once the test is passed over a smart phone, tablet, the Internet or a combination of all three for those who can't take the entire test at one time, the results can be shared with others over social networking sites, said General Manager Michael Mayer.
The Boston Globe has launched a variety of mobile apps, including Boston Deals and Best of the New to keep customers informed of best prices and latest business openings, said Domenic Vecchiarelli, senior product manager of boston.com, the Globe's website.
The Morning News and The Globe work on apps with third-party developers, while The Oklahoman has one developer. DMNmedia has a goal of developing 100 apps annually.
All three companies reported that their mobile initiatives are paying off. For example, boston.com, has recorded almost 25 million total views, with the vast majority after 2009.
Varun Saxena is a student at the University of Maryland. He is one of several local university journalism students reporting live from NAA mediaXchange 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Apr 04 2012, 05:02 PM
About Amanda Knowles
Amanda Knowles is Web & Social Media Manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Before coming to NAA, Amanda spent four years working in print journalism, both at the college and professional level. She has worked as a copy editor and news page designer for two daily newspapers in northwestern Pennsylvania, The Erie Times-News and The Meadville Tribune. Most recently, she collaborated on The American Observer, the online magazine edited and produced by graduate journalism students at American University in Washington, D.C. Amanda believes strongly in the secure future of the newspaper, and is excited to be a participant in the movement to integrate traditional print media into the burgeoning digital world.