Written by Alessandra Scocco, Sourcing Manager of Marketing, Advertising & Merchandising- TopSource
It is not news that newspaper circulation has been declining for years – as a result, the advertising dollars are also drying up. In hopes to help newspapers keep their revenue from circulars and coupon inserts , Associated Press (AP) is developing an app for circulars.
When I heard this idea, I thought: “Another app? I already have apps for some of the retailers where I shop – apps which allow me to locate stores near me, create a shopping list and also see the weekly ad!”
Exploring further, however, I saw AP’s proposition is different. Their app, iCircular, is a newspaper-specific tool enabling local newspapers to reach consumers looking for local deals on their mobile devices (via an app or mobile website), while also allowing retailers to target customers by zip code. For clarification, this is not a stand-alone app, but a module of a newspaper app/mobile website. The benefit is that consumers read the news and see the weekly ads, an advantage over individual retailers’ apps that many times are downloaded and then forgotten.
The many articles I read state that iCircular will have similar content to the printed version, as well as offer shopping list creation, deals sharing, product details/specs viewing, nearest location mapping, and social media functions (including Facebook and Twitter). For consumers, this means convenience! News, circulars and functional capabilities in one centralized place. For retailers, it means they can target the 28.4 million readers who already access news via their mobile devices and yet may not be newspaper subscribers.
I would love to hear what you think about iCircular as a consumer – based on the idea, would you utilize it? As a retailer, do you like the concept? Would you be willing to pay “regular” CPM or do you think this should be a value add of your distribution contract? What other features would you like to see?
FYI – Target, Kohl’s, Radio Shack and K-Mart are testing iCircular. I will update this post once a screen shot of what it looks like is released. I’m very curious!