Newspapers and magazines are struggling to keep their heads above water, not just due to the rise in tablet penetration that has made more consumers turn to their devices for reading material, but also thanks to the abundance of free information available all day long on search engines and websites. Tactics like lower cost subscriptions to digital editions, paywalls, and all-you-can-eat news content for a single price have lured a few customers back to some of the mainstays of the news industry, but the outlook still isn’t good.
One area where digital news services and apps have tried to market their services is the long-distance commuter, but those platforms only speak to commuters who take mass transit. A new app from Tribune Digital Ventures, however, will provide both iOS and Android users with audio editions of personalized news stories that they can access from their devices, a great feature for those commuters who have to do their own driving.
Newsbeat delivers users’ news via human and synthetic ” news anchors”as a playlist, allowing them to first download the information prior to leaving home in order to utilize their own wifi connections instead of their cellular data usage. To skip a story, users simply jump to the next item in the playlist in much the same way that they would skip a song. But the best feature might still be this level of personalization based on users’ preselected interests, which is a good thing considering Tribune offers over 7,000 articles every day.
“You can choose your category preferences, topics of interest, and preferred publications. You can also setup your home and work location and Newsbeat will bring you a mix of national and local stories tailored to your commute.”