The Associated Press on Tuesday said it has hired Nick Ascheim, who previously ran The New York Times’ website, to oversee development of apps for the iPad and other mobile devices. The AP already offers a free app for the iPhone and it said it’s hoping to charge a fee for the iPad one, “although it may be offered for free initially to help build an audience that would attract advertisers.”
Those efforts are part of AP Gateway, which launched late last month as an effort to develop products “that will help the not-for-profit cooperative, newspapers and broadcasters mine new sales opportunities as less money comes in from their traditional sources of income,” the AP said. The organization said that the three-year-old advertising downturn cost it US$30 million fees last year and will take away another $45 million this year.
Traditional print publishing has languished in recent years as magazines and newspapers try to make money from the Internet while dealing with ever-dwindling subscriber numbers. Advertising, particularly classified ads, has also been hit hard by the move to the Internet, leaving those publications scrambling to make up the difference. There is a hope that devices like the iPad will offer new revenue streams, if consumers are willing to pay for subscription content delivered to those devices.