Johnston Press has launched free football smartphone apps for ten of its newspaper titles as it embarks on a three-year growth strategy for its mobile platforms.
In a presentation to investors today, chief executive Ashley Highfield said mobile will be the key growth channel for the business over the period between now and 2015.
He said mobile services would help the company reach a new audience which might not buy its newspaper or live inside its franchise areas, but who nevertheless want to access its content because it provides what they need.
In the first of what is expected to be a series of new mobile developments, the company has unveiled ten smartphone apps enabling fans to follow their favourite teams by phone.
The ten titles are as follows:
- Yorkshire Post
- Yorkshire Evening Post
- Sunderland Echo
- The Star, Sheffield
- Wigan Evening Post
- The News, Portsmouth
- The Gazette, Blackpool
- Lancashire Evening Post
- Burnley Express
- Milton Keynes Citizen
Apps for all the titles are now free to download for Android devices, with the iPhone app for the Yorkshire Post also already available. iPhone versions for the other titles will follow soon.
Announcing the launch, digital and business development director Henry Faure Walker said: “The football apps offer an excellent, innovative way for fans to follow their local teams via their Johnston Press title.
“These smartphone apps follow hot on the heels of our iPad apps for The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post which we launched earlier this year.”
Each app features the latest stories and pictures from football clubs in each title’s area, including pre and post-match analysis.
Users will also be able to access the latest stats, live match updates, team line-ups, league tables and squad information.
The launch of the football apps comes just weeks after the roll-outs of iPad apps for The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post titles.
These apps feature live content updated throughout each day, including videos and slideshows, as well as full page-turning editions of the daily newspaper.
JP says that since their launch, the two apps have been downloaded more than 10,000 times, with a significant number of users choosing to subscribe to The Scotsman app for £7.99 per month after the 30-day free trial period.
Similar iPad apps for other Johnston Press titles are currently in the pipeline, and will be launched over the coming months.