iPhone News App Gaining Traction

Despite complaints about the price, and the general belief our customers don’t want to pay for news, WRAL-TV has a hit on their hands with its new iPhone app, according to Broadcasting & Cable Magazine.

WRAL Gains Traction With iPhone Users
Local station’s effort enters top 10 news apps
By Glen Dickson — Broadcasting & Cable, 1/23/2009 5:10:00 AM MT

An iPhone software application created by WRAL, the CBS affiliate and Capitol Broadcasting station in Raleigh, N.C., is proving popular with iPhone users and has already broken Apple’s list of top 10 free news “apps,” entering at No. 9, just three weeks after it was introduced.

The WRAL app was developed by News Over Wireless, Capitol’s mobile content business. News Over Wireless has been delivering news updates, weather alerts and other local broadcast content to conventional cellphones for several years for WRAL and a number of other stations nationally, including ones owned by CBS, Gannett and Meredith, on both an ad-supported and subscription basis. News Over Wireless and Capitol have also been involved in early field trials of broadcasters’ proposed mobile DTV system, which would deliver live TV to mobile phone users.

The WRAL iPhone app takes advantage of the iPhone’s unique multi-touch interface and features local news, video, weather forecasts, traffic images and more from the station. It includes national ads supported by News Over Wireless’ proprietary ad router and network of ad partners. News Over Wireless says it plans to introduce several more iPhone apps for its partners this year.

“WRAL’s iPhone application has really taken off, showing the incredible demand for local content with a great design,” said Sam Matheny, News Over Wireless general manager, in a statement. “It is striking to see how often the word ‘love’ appears in the App Store’s customer reviews-viewers are very passionate about the app.”

“We’ve had a busy news week with the Inauguration and a snow storm both on Tuesday,” added WRAL.com General Manager John Clark. “We’re very pleased with the overwhelming viewer response to the iPhone app. Knowing that we have reached our audience through this new channel during such major news events is extremely exciting.”

A check of the Apple Website today shows that the WRAL app is holding strong at No. 10 among free news apps. Other top 10 apps include offerings from USA Today, ABC News and the New York Times.

The WRAL iPhone app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. Users can access the download link by visiting http://mobile.wral.com or searching for “WRAL” in the App Store.


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