Tablet Product Strategy Revealed (VIDEO)

We are about two weeks away from launch of our newest app for the Orange County Register and I finally have something cool to show. We put together a little demo video showing what the app will look like. Check it out and let me know what you think:

The app is a product of many months of hard work from a team of people from across departments. The content is managed in our current CMS NewsGate from CCI and exported to Woodwing’s Pro App Reader.

We will publish a designed and interactive edition every weekday and Saturday at 6pm. Each edition will consist of up to 60 stories curated from the Orange County Register’s newsroom, third party content providers as well as unique stories made specifically for the iPad. In addition, each edition will include a highly interactive magazine-like feature story. The app will also include a breaking news widget, some RSS feeds, weather and traffic widgets.

Just recently, President for Freedom Interactive, Doug Bennett, presented our tablet strategy at MediaXchange. You can download the full presentation here. I thought I would elaborate a bit below about our thinking behind the strategy. Let me know what you think.

Usage patterns

The iPad usage pattern we discovered was an important driver for the product strategy. The diagrams below, adapted from Read It Later’s study reveals some very interesting trends.

iPad owners primarily read on their desktop computers during the day, especially at lunch time.

iPhone owners use their phone throughout their day, in particular we notice spikes during breaks and commuting (6am: breakfast, 9am: commute, 5pm – 6pm: commute, 8pm – 10pm: couch time).

The iPad has completely replaced the desktop computer for evening usage with a dramatic spike right after dinner from 8pm to 10pm.

We also see a smaller but significant spike during breakfast. Interestingly, the iPad is not used much during the day, confirming our belief that for now, the iPad is more of a stay-at-home device. However, with the increase in enterprise buying, this pattern could change significantly over time.

Target market

We know the iPad is purchased by a variety of people, but the purchase intentions for age groups 18-34 and 35-54 are higher than the 55+ age group. Internally, we analyzed our reach and noticed (not surprisingly) that we enjoy an incredible reach with the 55+ market. For the 34-54 age group, a bigger pool of people, we see room for growth. Coupling the iPad purchase intensions with our growth opportunity, the primary target for our app naturally became the 35-54 age group with a focus on the 35-44 age bracket. Later on in 2011, we will attempt to target the 18-34 age group with a different offering.

Exceeding expectations

As Seth Godin would say, it is all about creating a Purple Cow. In all of our product development we have been searching for our Purple Cow. We want to exceed our target market’s expectations. We want them to go “WOW”. We know it is a big task made difficult for each new great app coming out. And what meets expectations for one user, might not be enough for another. The Daily is learning that, as evidenced by this very useful study just released by Know Digital.

Below is an overview of the areas we will be pursuing with our product. We will not have everything implemented from day one. For example, we wish we could have more personalization and hyper-local content. However, the diagram illustrates what we are striving for.

I was reminded of a quote I heard from Nate Bolt from Bolt/Peters User Experience:

“We don’t do research, we build stuff and watch people use it.”

We have waited long enough. We are ready to start watching people use the app. Look for the Orange County Register iPad app on April 19.


6 thoughts on “Tablet Product Strategy Revealed (VIDEO)

  1. Video looks good. Any giveaways for signing up for free app? paid app? If we can deliver half of what we strive for out of the gate, that will be good. Looking forward to seeing the live product and how app can add value+ to the regular web or m. site.

    Intrigued to see how we can take engagement to next level in partnership with some of our more progressive advertisers? What’s our guesstimate on the buying power of early adopters of OCR ipad app.

    What’s to stop us having something fun for the 18-34 crowd in this app?

  2. Thanks Neil. The app will be free to download and with free content for the introduction period. We have yet to define the date for introducing a paywall. When we do, it will continue to be free to print subscribers, and we will have a one-click subscription option for everyone else through iTunes.

    We will be in “soft launch” mode for a couple of weeks, after that you will see a marketing push with some cool giveaways, etc.

    With regards to advertising, there is a lot of excitement among advertisers and the quality of the ad creative is great. I’m convinced we will see high engagement rates. All research indicates that the iPad users are very receptive to advertisements and they have great buying power.

    We are planning a separate app for the 18-34 crowd for later in the year.

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