Zite, the personalized magazine app creator that CNN purchased last summer has had a busy couple of days.
Last week they announced the release of an Android version of their app. This week they announce that they’ve created a publisher’s program with eight partners including Fox Sports, The Daily Beast, the Huffington Post and, of course, CNN.
The program integrates the publisher’s content into a dedicated section within the Zite app with the goal of first exposing readers to that content, and then — because the user likes the publishers’ content so much — getting them to download the publishers’ native apps.
Conversion, of course, is a tricky game to play and hard to succeed at but it is an important step for a company that was sent a cease and desist letter by publishers almost immediately after it first launched the product last year.
The model also differs from Next Issue Media’s “Netflix for Magazines” app that we highlighted yesterday, where publishers are bundling their content together under an all you can read buffet for $10 to $15 per month.
Perhaps its in their DNA. Zite considers itself a discovery engine rather than a personalized magazine news aggregator. In announcing the publishing program, they write:
Zite is uniquely positioned to innovate on distribution with publishers because of how Zite works. At our core, we are a discovery engine: a place where users can go to find interesting articles that are personalized to a user’s particular needs/wants. One of the most common compliments we receive from our users is: “Wow, I find stuff on Zite that I couldn’t have found anywhere else.”
Zite’s goal isn’t to be the only place you go to read news. Much like a search engine, we just want to be your starting point. On a person’s iPad, for example, we expect that a user will use Zite and a number of publisher applications that they read cover to cover. Zite gives you a taste, but you need to go the publisher for their full experience.
So, two days, two different models on how publishers are coming together on tablets and mobile devices. We look forward to watching where this leads, and seeing what new innovations others are coming up with.
We’re psyched to be a part of this. Check out the app!
This is probably not the last we’ll hear about this.
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