New York Times: Apple Watch attracting more mobile readers and driving newsroom changes

NYTThe head of the New York Times’ product development says their new Apple Watch app is bringing in new subscribers and has revived the art of “one sentence storytelling”.

Alex Hardiman, vice president of product, told a forum of global publishing executives that since launching the product two weeks ago: “The feedback was been quite good. It has helped unlock creativity because people have to write headlines that fit the device.

The NYT executive, speaking at the International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress told the room that she was excited to see the watch bringing back the skill of one sentence storytelling to drive mobile engagement.

“We came up with the story format that we called the ‘one sentence story’ and you can kind of see what it is it,” she said.

“You can see from the story they are not really a headline they are not really a tweet – it’s a little more conversational and if a reader want to pull out the full story then they can just pull out their iPhone to read.”

Hardiman addressing the INMA World Congress

Hardiman addressing the INMA World Congress

Hardiman noted that the creation of the NYT Apple Watch app was an experiment driven by their desire to see what they could do on such a small screen.

“The watch is part of a broader strategy to think about storytelling in the small screen,” she said.

“We also see the watch as a really interesting way to bring in new subscribers.

“I’m not saying this is the future of the subscription business – very few people still have access to it – but it has been great to see that innovation on the side can bring in new readers.”

She noted that they were already getting some interesting feedback and that consumers were using it in ways not anticipated.

“The watch is personal and so is the feedback that you get – we had one woman who told us she scrolls through stories on it while in the shower.

“That is a user case we didn’t plan for,” she quipped.

Nic Christensen in New York


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