Newspapers and the Need for Feeds

John Gartner has two interesting articles in Wired this week about newsreaders and aggregation and newspapers branding their own newsreaders. Newspapers are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain and increase readership. The latest tactic here in Vancouver is the free daily, with Metro, 24 hours and (my favorite) Dose all arriving on the scene in the last month. Newspapers are having to push more content online, and it's interesting to see how some are choosing to embrace this, and others are still charging subscribers to view online content. Newspapers branding RSS readers encourages their regular subscribers to still find their content through the newspaper, which could be a very smart move by the papers. Gartner's interview with Gil Asakawa, executive producer of DenverPost.com, helps explain how newspapers are targeting the average user.

Whereas newsreaders require users to build news libraries by locating an RSS feed from each website they want to follow, News Hound will bundle several news feeds organized into categories. "The consumer benefit is that not all newspaper readers are early adopters," Asakawa said. "We want to make RSS available to people that are not technically savvy."

Since readers already graze for news from many sources, providing a Denver Post-branded application gives the newspaper increased visibility, according to Asakawa. "It increases the utility of the newspaper," he said.