Gerry Carew, director of digital products and operations for Transcontinental Media, checks out the new Telegram app on his iPad. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
While the print edition remains its bread and butter, The Telegram hopes to reach readers in a new way with the introduction of the Telegram App for Apple mobile devices.
“I think it’s an exciting time to be in the newspaper business, and I tell a lot of people that,” said Leo Gosse, manager of reader sales and marketing for The Telegram. “I’m so excited about our content being even more and more accessible to everyone, and we’re working hard as a management team to make sure The Telegram remains a leader in the market.”
The Telegram App offers the paper’s full print edition in an electronic format, allowing the reader to view it on an iPhone or iPad device.
Though the Telegram App may only be a month old, having been released on Sept. 26, the newspaper has been available on iPads ever since the tablet computer product was first introduced to the market through the Press Reader App.
“The only way you could get The Telegram on the iPad was you had to know it was in the Press Reader App, so it was a convoluted way,” said Gerry Carew, director of digital products and operations for Transcontinental Media in Newfoundland and Labrador.
NewspaperDirect, a company specializing in the electronic distribution of newspapers and the developer of Press Reader, suggested The Telegram develop an app under its own brand. Work on The Telegram App began last December.
“It took a lot longer than what I would’ve liked, but we had to do things right,” said Carew, adding The Telegram is the first paper within the Transcontinental Media family to have its own app available through the Apple’s iTunes Store.
The mobile nature of The Telegram App allows a reader to have the paper with them in any setting, be it the gym or on an airplane. Users can share stories through Twitter or by email, use a text-to-voice feature to have a story read to them, and those with visual impairments can increase the size of text to make stories easier to read.
The paper typically becomes available at 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. at the latest on the day of publication.
Since the app was launched, Carew said downloads have tripled. A weeklong trial subscription is also available, which Gosse said will hopefully lead to more subscribers.
“For the advertisers, it’s important for them to know that we’re extending the reach of our brand so that the eyeballs are in print, in the digital space on our app, and online. If you combine the three of those things — the print, digital, and online — we are reaching more people than we ever did before, which a lot of people in this business don’t realize.”
According to recent numbers from the Newspaper Audience Databank, a research arm of the Canadian daily newspaper industry, The Telegram reaches more than 80,000 readers per day in the metropolitan area.
Subscribers to the print edition of The Telegram receive free access to the online Smart Edition and The Telegram App, while those who choose to subscribe through either electronic format can do so at 75 per cent the cost of a print subscription. Individual issues of the paper can also be purchased through the iTunes Store at a reduced cost.
Carew notes readers who typically place a hold on subscriptions during holidays or while heading south for the winter now have the option to continue subscribing by keeping up to date through The Telegram App.
Carew said The Telegram hopes to have an app ready for Android mobile devices, which he said are gaining traction in the technology world. It is already available on them through the Press Reader App. Incorporating a breaking news feature into the app is another step the paper hopes to make. Gosse said NewspaperDirect is already working on a way to do so.