This week AlJazeera ;launched it new digital news product , AJ+, along with a dedicated iPhone app. It is meant to target millennial consumers who prefer to get their news on their mobile devices.
I haven’t seen a ton written about the launch this week but I think Gigaom gave a good summary .
Some noteworthy bits:
“So how does AJ+ intend to make money? Apparently not with oldschool advertising. [Yaser] Bishr [AJ+’s Executive Director of Strategy and Development] categorically ruled out mobile or banner ads, but said that at some point, AJ+ may venture into sponsored content, or monetize its own videos by licensing them to others.
But Bishr also stressed that there is not a lot of pressure for Al Jazeera, which is funded by the ruling family of Qatar, to be profitable with a venture like this.”
“The team wants to launch an Android app next, and Al Jazeera is looking to launch an Arabic version of AJ+ in the coming months as well. However, there seems to be no rush to launch a full-fledged website.”
Food for thought: According to the Pew Research Center, in 2013, “ 64% of tablet owners and 62% of smartphone owners said they got news on their devices in 2012.” But it also said that more than half of mobile and tablet users got their news mainly from their device’s web browser.
While AJ+ definitely isn’t the first mobile-native news product to come about ( NowThisNews comes to mind), I am interested to see how this sort of product could be developed for international audiences. It seems to be the edge that AlJazeera has in this case.
I am also curious to see if other international news organizations will follow suit with similar products catered to millennials.