The Mario Blog
06.28.2017—1am
Tablets are nice, but those smartphones dominate

As more readers of all ages get their information on the phone, tablets take a back seat. For The Toronto Star, its Star Touch app will cease to be by the end of July.

It is not as if tablets are likely to disappear any time soon.

But each day we get another kernel of evidence about the importance of those smartphones, the rise of mobile and how more people are consuming information on those small screens.

This week, The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper took the bold step of shutting down its much publicized Star Touch app, designed specifically for tablets, and which the company thought would be a way to lure those elusive young readers.

Well, those young readers are attached to their smartphones, consuming most of their news and information on them, and barely separating themselves from the phones every moment that they are awake.

The Star Touch app was created in 2015, using the technology of La Presse+, the Montreal-based media firm, which publishes entirely on the tablet, and for which a tablet edition has been a most successful venture.  The app included videos, photo galleries, and kept the finger of users happy, with tons of visuals and good engagement.

 

It is sad that this well done tablet app disappears, especially since Toronto Star execs had pinned such high hopes on it. Here is what John Cruickshank, the newspaper’s publisher, said in 2015:

“It’s the biggest change in storytelling in a century. The newsroom is producing for the tablet, and everything else will fall out of that. And that’s huge.”

The other sad news and a direct result of the app’s demise:   The Toronto Star is laying off 30 employees as it shutters its Star Touch tablet app.

Star sources say that the tablet-only app will be replaced by one for smartphones as well as tablets. A so-called universal app will be available to readers before the end of July, while the Star Touch’s latest edition will run on July 31.

I believe many of the visual storytelling components and innovations that made Star Touch unique can be utilized when writing/designing for the smaller screen of smartphones.

What went wrong?

Apparently, Star Touch was an editorial success with a loyal audience — but one that was too small.  Not enough of those young (or old) readers were reading on the tablet.

As I always mention in all my workshops, there are three verbs to conjugate in newsrooms these days: shift, change, disrupt.

The Toronto Star has shown that it follows these patterns, and now will have to shift its strategy, hopefully using some of the disruptive ideas that made the Star Touch app popular with its loyal, albeit small, audience.  As more media houses create hierarchies for the media quintet, it is for sure that smartphones are the lead voice!

 

Of related interest

 

https://garciamedia.com/blog/la_presse_a_success_story_part_2the_concept_and_the_technology/

TheMarioBlog post # 2661

Blog Post01.23.2018—1am
The new FT campaign
Blog Post01.22.2018—1am
Are we using better photos today?
Blog Post01.19.2018—1am
The challenge of that fold
Blog Post01.18.2018—1am
The Washington Post: another profitable year
Blog Post01.17.2018—1am
Did I really read that much?
Blog Post01.15.2018—4am
The Guardian changes more than just the format
Blog Post—1am
Are vulgar words now part of a journalist’s styleguide?
Blog Post01.12.2018—4pm
The new New York Times campaign
Blog Post01.11.2018—1am
The good news about paying for content
Blog Post01.08.2018—3pm
Prof. Miguel Urabayen (1926-2018): Tribute to a grand maestro
Blog Post—2pm
Fire & Fury: Here’s a cover that tells more of the story
Blog Post—1am
End of print edition for Montreal’s La Presse
Blog Post01.07.2018—11am
Happy New Year…..I am back, sort of
Blog Post12.19.2017—10am
My prediction for 2018: we will write, edit & design for mobile
Blog Post12.13.2017—1am
Best wishes for the holiday season!
Blog Post12.12.2017—1am
Every year should be year of the audience
Blog Post12.11.2017—1am
The Post Most: curated content as easy as 1-2-3
Blog Post12.08.2017—1am
The power of a comic
Blog Post12.07.2017—1am
Those European ePapers Continue Growing
Blog Post12.06.2017—1am
Journalism students and print (not a romance)
Blog Post12.05.2017—1am
The nuances of using ragged right type
Blog Post12.04.2017—1am
Monocle’s habit-forming daily briefing
Blog Post12.01.2017—1am
2018: More digital everything, more of the Trump factor
Blog Post11.30.2017—1am
That time of the year to think what next
Blog Post11.29.2017—1am
Apple goes romantic
Blog Post11.28.2017—1am
E-mail newsletters can be a real seductive hook
Blog Post11.27.2017—8am
An e-newsletter with visual appeal
Blog Post11.21.2017—1am
So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
Blog Post11.20.2017—1am
The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
Blog Post11.17.2017—5am
Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
Blog Post11.15.2017—5am
In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
Blog Post11.14.2017—1am
The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
Blog Post11.13.2017—1am
At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
Blog Post11.10.2017—12am
“I read it on Facebook.”
Blog Post11.09.2017—12am
The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
Blog Post11.08.2017—12am
When content hits the spot
Blog Post11.07.2017—12am
When hierarchy makes a statement
Blog Post11.06.2017—12am
When the advertising wraps around
Blog Post11.03.2017—1am
New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
Blog Post11.02.2017—1am
Favorite branding logos? No surprises
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.