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Posts Tagged ‘Flipboard’

Why Yahoo’s Summly Acquisition Was a PR Stunt

Photo via Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERSYou may have heard today that Yahoo, which is in the midst of trying to “sex up” its brand image, just bought Summly, a “news summary” app created by a 17-year-old British kid named Nick D’Aloisio, for a whopping $30 million. But was Yahoo really expanding its product portfolio, or was the company just buying a bunch of good publicity? We’re firmly in the latter camp — and we’ll explain why.

The real value of this app has to be less than the selling price, especially when it faces competitors like Pulse, Flipboard and Pocket. But the move scored the company a first-page New York Times story with the headline “He Has Millions and a New Job at Yahoo. Soon, He’ll Be 18.” Compelling, no? He’s bold, he’s young and he’s a millionaire with his own Wikipedia page. He certainly doesn’t sound like the typical Yahoo user — and that’s the whole point. New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose notes that the last acquisition to get this much media hype was Facebook buying Instagram for a whole lot more money.

So it’s all part of Marissa Mayer‘s carefully planned image makeover.

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Pulse News App Bets the Farm on Sponsored Content

In the era of brand journalism, we talk a lot about “editorial”, “earned” and “sponsored” content–and the respective value of each. Now, leading news app maker Pulse plans to turn the dominant revenue model on its head by relying exclusively on sponsored content for its advertising dollars.

It’s a bold move that reflects the growing influence of branded materials as the line between PR and editorial grows ever fainter.

The company’s primary rival, Flipboard, made headlines as the first app to bring “glossy print-style ads to the iPad”, and Pulse just made a big move in the opposite direction. Their explanation? Mobile is a brave new world for brands, and betting on the success of traditional banner-style promos would amount to “short-term thinking”—however tempting it might be in the moment.

The fact that big-name publishers began pulling their full-page ads from Flipboard this summer strengthens Pulse’s case, because the publishers who dropped out mentioned the downsides of sharing revenue with a third party and noted that they would make more money with traditional banner ads. They also believe that, by partnering with Flipboard, they are discouraging readers from using their own sites and apps.

Publishers who work with Pulse don’t just get increased exposure; they also get a cut of the ad revenue earned “if a sponsored post runs within their content feed or if they bring the advertiser to Pulse”. The fact that advertisers pay on a “cost-per-read basis” is undeniably appealing as well.

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Tablets Offer Magazines a New Set of Editorial Options

Tablets continue to gain momentum as more consumers and magazine companies have embraced the devices. Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer, described tablets as “a new medium — not print, not Web, and not mobile. It’s a balancing act, where tablet’s goal is to perform like PCs but still fit in your hands.” He spoke at the MPA Digital: Swipe conference on Tuesday in New York.

Verna reported that tablet usage has grown from 4.2 percent of the total population in 2010 to 17.3 percent in 2012. While men represented the majority of users (53 percent) in Q3 2011, the gender gap has since narrowed. Still, he said top magazine publishers think it will take time for reader habits to substantially shift from other media options.

At the event, magazine executives and editors discussed what sets tablets apart.

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Five ‘Must Have’ iPad Apps for PR

Many of you shared and debated our previous posts about mobile apps for PR.  Since then, I upgraded the quiver to include a tablet–an iPad2–and we hope you do too.  The iPad is truly the “leanback” device so we’ll hedge this post by saying you can’t really stuff all your work into one.  With Apple shipping an estimated 44 million ‘Pads this year, it’s likely many more public relations pros will give them a try.

Here are the apps we like so far.  Stay tuned for more, and drop us an email to prnewser@gmail.com with your suggestions for the next batch.

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