Flipboard acquires Zite from CNN as bigger players are moving into news aggregation

CNN Money

CNN has sold personalized news aggregator Zite to Flipboard for $60 million, CNN Money reports. Flipboard will also offer custom magazines for some CNN shows as part of the deal.

Zite — whose algorithm always manages to surface customized content that I don’t come across anywhere else — was previously acquired by CNN in 2011. In December, AllThingsD reported that a new round of funding valued Flipboard — with its 100 million active users — at $800 million.

The consolidation by two of the largest news readers comes as major players like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have moved to compete in the space. Read more

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Newspaper PDF replica service bets on future of print-style digital reading

In October 2012, just 23 percent of Americans told Pew they read even one newspaper the previous day. So who in the world could possibly want or need unlimited access to 2,500 of them?

Alex Gruntsev, EVP and chief innovation officer of PressReader, made a compelling case in a phone interview that his “Netflix-style” subscription service — $29.95 per month — fills a niche in online news publishing by presenting news in a form that many automated aggregators cannot.

PressReader, formerly NewspaperDirect, has long provided PDF replicas mainly as a specialty business, but now it’s focusing on a wider consumer audience. “For just your morning routine, to open a PC was difficult,” Gruntsev said. “But in 2010, with the first iPad, the experience of reading dramatically changed, and it became way more appealing to the average reader.”

Now, PressReader users online or on tablets don’t just get static images of newspaper pages; they can jump into individual stories by clicking headlines. Read more


How Flipboard just created 50 million magazine editors

Inside FlipboardAll Things D | Giga Om
If you wanted to draw up a plan for drastically remaking the landscape of mobile news discovery, it might look something like this: 1) Release a beautiful news aggregating app that attracts 50 million readers, then 2) Empower those readers as curators who can create thousands of hand-picked digital magazines.

Flipboard, one of the most popular news-reading mobile apps, has just done that. It is shifting its focus toward empowering users to create their own curated “magazines” for others to read.

“Now everyone can be a reader and an editor,” a company blog post says. Read more


Four things for journalists to consider as full New York Times content comes to Flipboard

As of Thursday, New York Times subscribers can access the news organization’s content from within Flipboard, the aggregated magazine app for iPads and smartphones.

That’s news — even if you don’t subscribe to the Times. Here’s why.

This is what New York Times content will look like in Flipboard.

It is the first time Flipboard has fully subsumed the content of any publisher, and it is “the first time that The Times has offered paid subscribers full access to its content off a Times platform.”

But it won’t be the last. The Times says this is only the first step in a new strategy called “NYT Everywhere,” which will put Times content on many third-party platforms.

There are at least four things journalists and publishers should be considering as this transition occurs. Read more


iTunes features best news apps of 2011

Even iTunes is doing a year-end list; its staff pick the best and top selling apps of 2011, including news apps. The New York Times made the list of top iPhone and iPad news apps. The Daily was one of the top Newsstand apps and also the third top-grossing app of the year. CNN’s app is in the top five free apps of the year, and its iPad app is also among iTunes’ top picks for news apps of the year (see images below). CNN’s Zite tops the list of news apps. And Instagram is the iPhone app of the year; the photo filtering and sharing service is a favorite of journalists.

The Newsstand, introduced in October, has driven up app download rates by as much as 85 percent in some cases, though few news organizations have migrated their apps to it. Read more


Four lessons from Flipboard’s reinvention for the iPhone

The most popular news aggregation app for the iPad launches a new iPhone version Wednesday. Flipboard’s redesign for the smaller screen offers lessons in how publishers should tailor apps for the different needs of tablet and smartphone owners.

The welcome screen of the new Flipboard for iPhone app.

If Flipboard for iPhone seems a long time coming, that’s because it is. Flipboard for iPad debuted more than 16 months ago, and the iPhone app had been expected sometime in September.

“It’s something that people have been asking for for a while, and we really wanted to get it right for the iPhone,” Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll told me. “It’s not just a matter of the smaller size, it’s the fact that the iPhone is used in an entirely different context from the iPad.”

How different? Read more


What to watch for in Google’s Flipboard-style Propeller app for tablets

AllThingsD | Robert Scoble
Google is working on a news reading app for tablets that will compete with Flipboard, according to reports. This comes after Google tried unsuccessfully to acquire Flipboard last year.

Robert Scoble says his source has seen versions that are “mind-blowing good.” Kara Swisher reports that the Google project is called “Propeller,” though it’s not clear if that is a code name or will be the actual brand at launch.

Other than that, there are few details reported. Here are some important things to watch for: Read more


Today’s Timeline: News.me goes free

Nieman Journalism Lab
Megan Garber reports that News.me is going from a paid personalized iPad aggregation app to a free service, opting for “more scale than what a paid-content strategy could offer.”

“The app will still focus on creating a good reading experience; it will still focus on aggregating content from a wide variety of sources. And, speaking of, nothing’s really changing about News.me’s relationship with the publishers whose content it’s licensed.”

News.me’s relationship with publishers is what distinguished it, in large part, from similar services Trove, Ongo, Flipboard and Zite.

Here’s a brief timeline of News.me and the other big personalized aggregation news services: Read more


Flipboard partners with Condé Nast for its first paid advertising

Condé Nast is working with the popular iPad reader app Flipboard to sell advertisements that will appear within New Yorker magazine articles viewed in the app. This marks the first paid advertising in Flipboard, which has been running some free ads from select partners for months during its Flipboard Pages trial period. Publishers participating in Flipboard Pages allow their entire articles to be reformatted and displayed within the Flipboard app, with the goal of eventually selling full-screen ads between some of the pages. PaidContent reports that Condé Nast and Flipboard will share revenue from the ads, and that Wired, Bon Appétit and other magazines will get Flipboard advertising later this year. Read more


New version of Flipboard highlights newspaper, magazine feeds

Flipboard, the most popular iPad app for browsing multiple news sources, was updated Thursday with features that drive more attention to individual newspaper and magazine sections. First-time users now start with a content guide to well-known websites, rather than being asked to set up their own social networks and feeds first. The app has a search function to find new content sources and now integrates with LinkedIn for industry news. Perhaps most interesting, though, is what will come in the next version of the app. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue told ReadWriteWeb that the product will include personalization and recommendation tools, which will help it compete with iPad aggregators like Zite and News.me. || Related: Apps, websites personalize news delivery through social data. || Next: A Flipboard iPhone app is due this summer. Read more

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