In 2015, many tech companies seem to be chasing the next great way of sharing news stories. Recent examples include YouTube’s acquisition of mobile news aggregator app Summly, and Snapchat’s efforts to position itself as a video news distribution network with its new “Discover” feature.
News agency Reuters is throwing its hat into the ring with a new app offering “curated but personalised news coverage.” Called Reuters TV, the iOS-only app offers downloadable news programs and live feeds of stories as they unfold. Users can personalize the app to have it present stories based on their interests and location. Users also can select the length of the downloadable news show, which can last anywhere from five minutes to half an hour.
Unlike apps which select all content algorithmically (which can go quite wrong–see Instapaper’s recent unintentional F-bomb), Reuters TV relies on editorial teams in London, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, D.C. Content will “draw on Reuters’ 2,500 journalists in more than 160 countries.”
The app is free for a one-month trial period, after which access costs $1.99 per month. It’s an interesting idea, and a bold attempt to draw the “cord-cutting” audience that is too busy or, perhaps, too young to be watching TV on a regular basis. The downloadable programs may appeal to subway commuters who can’t stream underground. (Netflix, for one, has said that off-line viewing of its videos is “never going to happen.”)
With competing apps from the likes of CNN, BBC, CNBC, and Fox Business, more and more traditional media companies are reevaluating their business models as they look for ways to present content in a way appropriate for younger, more tech-minded audiences.