PressReader’s evolving strategy

PressReader, the distribution partner for more than 4,000 publishers from over 100 countries, is changing. Follow PressReader on Facebook and you will notice that some of the latest posts are short videos which encourage users, via the handle @pressreaderSNAP, to follow PressReader on Snapchat, a popular app primarily used by millennials. Scroll further down and you will also find that PressReader is celebrating the new version of its app… with ‘gifts’ in the form of free access to magazines and newspapers.

These additional features and social media elements are more than mere ‘nice-to-haves’, says chief content officer Nikolay Malyarov. Enhancing the product with social media elements enables end users to interact with content and enhances the ability of users to discover new content from titles and authors they were not previously aware of. 

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Above: Nikolay Malyarov

“Readers must know that they can go to PressReader not only to consume content from a specific title but that they can also discover content which is relevant to them; content that is a perfect fit for their specific passions and interests”.

End users who have discovered content via social media features can continue to find and follow people with similar passions and interests who will then fill a user’s feed with comments and discoveries.

For example, after reading an opinion piece, readers can scroll across to the ‘supporters section’ for a list of everyone who agrees with that opinion. By clicking or tapping on the ‘plus’ icon next to the people you want to follow you create a real-time stream of updates and posts from like-minded individuals who could enrich the content you discover. 

Malyarov says functions like these are an integral part of the ‘discoverability’ of new titles and authors because attitudes towards brands and readers’ loyalty towards specific titles are changing so rapidly.

Another aspect of PressReader widening its footprint is to create new channels to access content. “We are focusing on people who are not keen to pay for more content by notifying them of available content via companies that have already picked up the bill (known as PressReader sponsor partners). The end user must know that if they enter a specific cafe, hotel or use a specific airline or cruise ship, they will have access to PressReader.”

Users can find sponsor partners by activating the HotSpot Map in their app. This enables them to browse for nearby sponsor partners and if they’ve have turned on the ‘gifts and notifications’ function, the app will notify them when they have entered a newly sponsored location.

“PressReader must be part of any travel experience,” says Malyarov. During the recent Cannes Film Festival PressReader was available in all Uber taxis with complimentary access to newspapers and magazines, with the most popular downloads including titles such as the Cannes Market News (a special daily publication during the festival), Le Film Français, Paris Match, Vanity Fair France, Vogue Paris, The Guardian, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

The collaboration was an apt fit for both Uber and PressReader, two companies using technology to transform their respective industries and striving to change the consumer experience via more personalised services.

“Our next challenge is to explore the unique element of each distribution platform. “Like audio for the drivers of cars,” says Malyarov.

And in the world of driverless cars? “Well, that’s a new platform altogether,” he says.

PressReader is a FIPP member.

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