MOBILE TECHNOLOGY—The New Pittsburgh Courier app is available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. (Photo by J.L. Martello)
According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project from 2012, 85 percent of American adults have a cell phone and 45 percent of American adults have a smartphone. Of those surveyed, 37 percent of all mobile phone users and 64 percent of smartphone users, use their mobile devices to read news online.
A partnership between the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and mobile app developer Rumble is seeking to capitalize on the nation’s mobile phone addiction and drag even the smallest newspapers into the 21st century. The new “Ready to Rumble” initiative is providing newspapers of all sizes with a newspaper branded custom-designed mobile app at no cost for one year.
“As we learned more and more about the newspaper industry, we saw that there was a huge mobile gap,” said Uyen Tieu, Rumble’s chief revenue officer. “We thought because reading news on mobile devices is becoming a trend, a lot of newspapers are being left behind because of not having a mobile app.”
Thanks to this initiative, the New Pittsburgh Courier launched its first mobile app at the beginning of the New Year. This app, which is currently available for free, provides users with a brand-new way to read and share news from the Courier and provides a customized experience tailored to helping readers access the content they are most interested in.
“Our mission is we want to create powerful technology to connect readers to their newspaper content,” Tieu said. “We wanted to create a platform so that even the smallest publishers can have a sophisticated mobile app.”
The Rumble News platform provides newspapers with full data analytics and the potential for monetization integration. It also integrates with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which can help newspapers, increase their social media presence and reader base.
“As newspapers around the country have shifted to the internet as a means for delivering content to readers, mobile technology and social media integration have become increasingly important to any publication’s viability,” said Courier Assistant to the Publisher Stephan Broadus. “This new opportunity provided by PNA and Rumble along with the recent launch of our Digital Daily positions us at the forefront of other African-American news outlets in terms of mobile technology.”
Less than two weeks after the Courier app’s initial release, more than 2000 users already downloaded it. The app has also received 4+ rating in the Apple iTunes App Store.
“This app is full of local and worldwide news of all types. It is extremely useful and easy to navigate,” said reviewer Ms. Sage in the iTunes App Store. “The Pittsburgh Courier is very inspirational and gives you the real news. I am proud to be a reader and excited about how easy it just became to stay up to date with this app.”
Founded in 2011, Rumble is supported by the Project Liberty Digital Incubator, a program funded by Interstate General Media, which supports innovations in digital media. Their mission is to transform and reshape the way consumers follow local news, while providing unique commerce opportunities for its newspaper partners.