OLD Media Moves

Economist launches digital “Economist Radio”

May 14, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Steve Smith of MinOnline writes about how The Economist is expanding its digital offerings, including the launch this week of Economist Radio.

Smith writes, “Also surprisingly popular in the digital editions is a unique audio feature that reads articles to you and lets the user switch easily between the two modes. In fact, the audio experience has proven so compelling for Economist readers that the magazine introduced this week Economist Radio as a Facebook and Google Chrome app or available online. The content includes the best audio from the brand’s podcasts, live events and the digital editions. Again, it is about Lean Back 2.0.

“Rossi acknowledges that his is a content category that can get by without dense multimedia enhancement. But the modest enhancements that are here are all aimed at the specific use case and needs of his target audience. ‘It is about knowing the value that they play on you and delivering that,” he says. “Don’t confuse the idea that just because tablets can do all of these things that customers want them to do all of these things.’

“One thing that devices really don’t change about the magazine business is the nature of the value proposition of the content itself. Rossi says it is ‘what we unexcitedly call The Package.’ The curatorial function and editorial authority of the classic 169-year-young brand remains telling readers (sometimes listeners) ‘these are the things you need to worry about this week.’ The perennial genius of the magazine, whether in print or on a tablet, is that it is a finite experience. You put it down.

“His argument: ‘You can finish The Economist. You can’t finish The Huffington Post. The Internet is un-finishable.'”

Read more here.

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