WisBusiness: Editor says tablet apps return newspaper reading to its roots
By Arthur Thomas
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor Marty Kaiser said mobile tablets such as Apple's iPad allow newspapers to give readers an experience that's closer to reading a physical newspaper than other forms of technology.
Kaiser said the company's soon-to-be-released iPad app would allow for a “lean-back” experience for users, compared to the “lean-in” experience of computers and smartphones.
“Historically, the newspaper was a lean-back experience,” Kaiser said, describing how many people would read newspapers as part of a morning routine.
Kaiser highlighted the app and uses of technology such as video during a speech at the Milwaukee Rotary Club Tuesday.
Kaiser said the Journal Sentinel may not be able to compete nationally with papers like The New York TImes. Instead, he said the paper would need to be strong in coverage of Wisconsin, adding that video was an important component of in-state content.
Kaiser said the paper’s use of video has grown quickly over the last three years. In 2009, the paper’s website had around 250,000 video page views. In 2010, the number grew to nearly 900,000 and reached just over 1.5 million in 2011.
Kaiser highlighted some of the videos the paper has done including then-presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s troubles answering questions about Libya and fans at the Super Bowl trying to pronounce the names of Wisconsin towns.
For advertisers, Kaiser said the app provides a unique opportunity to reach potential customers.
“It's a chance to be out there on a special device,” Kaiser told WisBusiness.com after the speech, noting that many families with tablets have an income over $100,000.
He highlighted how quickly tablets have been adopted by consumers, saying the device’s growth has been faster than other advancements such as smartphones.
For the media in general, Kaiser said the internet has brought about the most revolutionary change since the printing press.
“This is an amazing time for journalism,” Kaiser said.