Automatic solution addresses mobile-only audiences

Automatic solution addresses mobile-only audiences

A new mobile publishing solution which combines newspaper pages with a small-screen reader has gone live at Alpha Media in Northern Ireland.

The Miles 33 solution, called VirtualNewspaper, automatically converts content from the group's newspapers into HTML5 and publishes it to be seen and read on smaller screens such as smartphones and tablets.

News is presented as a newspaper page, but individual articles that, when tapped, open in an article reader, perfectly suited for reading on a small screen. Additionally, if there are multiple images, or video or audio, available, the app will open all media in a carousel, allowing the reader to swipe left or right through all available images, video or audio.

Alpha Media Group is the first media company in the UK to go live with the solution, which allows the various newspapers to reach out to mobile audiences which might typically use their phone exclusively, rather than a website or the newspaper itself.

By presenting content that is perfectly suited for the mobile device screens, Alpha Media's content "fits" better into today's smartphone lifestyle and can therefore significantly extend the audience reach.

Secondly, the solution automates the content conversion and distribution so the newsroom is not burdened by additional formatting or preparation of content. News is created or captured and managed in GN4, Miles 33's editorial content management system. From that point, the system does the rest, automatically converting (and uploading) to the web and mobile channels.

The group's websites are already responsive, so the VirtualNewspaper solution is "in addition to" the group's web publishing efforts, but without the additional production overhead.

Therefore, news is 'delivered' to the consumer rather than rely on the consumer to visit the website.

Alpha Media Group is Northern Ireland's largest newspaper publisher in terms of circulation, with 13 titles in Northern Ireland and two in the republic, and enjoys more than 200,000 weekly readers across their multiple titles. They publish the Ulster Gazette (Armagh), Tyrone Courier (Dungannon), Mid Ulster Courier (Cookstown), Tyrone Constitution (Omagh), Strabane Weekly News, Ballymena Guardian, Antrim Guardian, Coleraine Chronicle, Ballymoney Chronicle, Ballycastle Chronicle, Northern Constitution (Limavady), County Down Outlook (Rathfriland) and the Newry Democrat.