It has probably been a few years since you realized that scrolling on your smartphone is undoubtedly more convenient than ruffling through the clumsy folds of a newspaper. Moreover, it’s quick and the real time notifications get you the news as soon as it happens, no more waiting for the morning paper. The immense upsides of a newspaper app are hence already well known to you.
Now here’s a thought – if people love newspaper apps so much, you could build a business in them, right? Yes you can.
The Revenue Potential for Newspaper Apps
For better or for worse, our world right now is just too newsworthy. There’s something happening every minute. Breaking news is flashing on all kinds of screens, far too often. Even so, the people’s interest in staying abreast with every new development around the world is an unquenchable thirst. And therein lies the immense business potential of a newspaper app. One viral piece of news can bring millions of users to your app in a matter of minutes. In fact, 85% of US adults accessed news on a mobile device in 2017, up from 72% in 2016, as per data by Pew Research. Even on social media, news consumption is going up as 57% of Facebook users use it for news. Clearly, we live in a news-hungry world.
Now with this sort of engagement, monetization potential of your app is remarkably high. Apart from in app purchases and ad revenue, the subscription model and premium membership plans too are a way to generate massive, recurring revenue. The popular news aggregator app InShorts recently reported doubling its annual revenue, reaching close to $90 million. The behemoth Apple News, with its new subscription model, has been audacious enough to demand a 50% revenue share from its publishers and publishers still throng along. Clearly they see merit even in this expensive bargain.
Features That’ll Make Yours the Go-To Newspaper App
So now that you have a sense of the business of a newspaper app, let’s talk about how to develop one and do it well. From a UX point of view as well as engagement, retention and ultimately, revenue, a good newspaper app needs some features. In a deluge of events happening and news being made, app users expect a lot from a good app. From personalized news curation to filtering and sharing, here are some of the features that you must include in your newspaper app, to make it a highly read app among users.
I don’t care about film and celebrity news, but if there’s a new Nolan movie coming out, I wanna know. I am super into sports and business news, but I don’t want my feed inundated with updates from the Vivo IPL. Just one roundup a day of that is enough.
When it comes to news, people tend to have quite firm preferences. There are some things they need to know everything about, other things they never want to see. There is a third category of news that they’d like to know of when something important happens, but not too much of it, just the essentials.
If you are to make a good newspaper app, you need to provide this kind of personalization to your readers. You must use user preference input as well as advanced AI and machine learning to curate news and only display those that the user will want to know about. As a subset of this, you will need features like User Login and Profiles to make this happen.
Sort and Filter
Your news app must give users the option to sort and filter the news as per their needs and preferences. Even aside from setting up a general overview of the topics a user likes, they may want to look for a certain kind of news on a certain day and your app must make that extremely easy to do. Politics, business, sports, international, film, science and technology, and many other sub topics and sub-topics within these topics must be predefined and segregated to help users view what they like.
The first thing we want to do when we hear something big is tell our friends about it. Sharing on social media has become second nature and hence, you app must have social sharing buttons. Doing so is a doubly rewarding strategy. By sharing your content on their social pages, users are engaging richly with you app. Moreover, they are also inviting other users to come visit the site as soon as they see an interesting piece of news.
As you can tell, the app must allow users to search for a specific type of news. The search box must be rich and functional with prominent façade, auto complete and other advanced mechanisms.
Unlike the newspaper, nobody will wait for an app to refresh the next morning. The app must report news as and when it happens. New content must keep updating and showing up in real time, every minute.
Even when the user is unable to access the internet, he must be able to log in and read something. The app must refresh itself with the latest stories as soon as it finds connectivity and those stories must then be available for offline viewing.
Putting a number on app development cost for a newspaper app is a tricky job. Based on collated estimates, the total cost of developing the app along with UX Design, aggregation, and basic features can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000. However, the cost goes up as you add features like video, animations and others, the cost can go as high as $30,000 and even more.
Even with the cost so high, a well made newspaper app can bring back handsome revenues with the right monetization strategy. So if you’re looking for the next app idea, a newspaper app might just be the thing for you. Watch this space in the future as we will be covering detailed aspects of newspaper app development on our blog over the coming months. We will talk about how to stand out from the deluge of apps out there, news app best practices and others. So keep reading and keep developing.