We sat down in the TIFF Bell Lightbox movie theatre for an interesting talk between Jian Ghomeshi of CBC & Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, VP of Digital Publishing at La Presse about their spectacular La Press Plus news app – a daily magazine that features enormous innovation in interaction, presenting Montreal news and features in many different ways – not as a special feature, but as the new normal, a daily news magazine.
The success of this deeply rich content is striking – people are spending as much time in-app (an hour or more) as they would reading the print newspaper. Even the advertising toolkit is designed so that ads are in fact engaging instead of occurring like interruptions. And we know how digital consumers are intolerant of interruption!
One of the largest challenges that any News company faces is the small amount of time that young professionals (and the generations younger) spend on News sites and simply reading the news in general … aside from their Twitter feed of course.
And with that unfortunate trend for the news industry, it’s important to note that the design and usability of the digital platform is perfect.
Ghomeshi brought up arguable points on how the shift from a physical newspaper to its newer, digital form can cause a change in experience for the reader. With pop-up ads everywhere, and the increasing amount of extra noise, it would appear that La Presse has evolved one solution to the ‘BuzzFeed-ification’ of content – delivering a satisfying experience while maintaining a viable business model.
La Presse is currently in negotiations to offer its platform, which has taken three years to develop, to other content providers. We look forward to the web becoming as engaging and as beautiful a place.