We feel a tremendous responsibility to ensure that our great content is not only available anytime, anywhere, but that the digital experience enhances it. —Chris Higbee, General Manager of DeseretNews.com and the Deseret News apps
SALT LAKE CITY — Shortly after being recognized by Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism for innovation in the newspaper industry, the Deseret News reached a milestone this week when its free iOS and Android apps were downloaded for the 100,000th time.
The 100,000-downloads milestone makes the Deseret News app the most widely used newspaper app in Utah, while DeseretNews.com receives almost 6 million website visits each month from all 50 states and more than 25 different countries.
"As a digital news provider, if you're not meeting your users' needs, you'll know it — your competition is only a click away," said Chris Higbee, General Manager of DeseretNews.com and the Deseret News apps. "We feel a tremendous responsibility to ensure that our great content is not only available anytime, anywhere, but that the digital experience enhances it."
According to Media Post, 87 percent of newspapers and magazine publishers have iPad apps. And research conducted by Pew shows that on tablets alone, 53 percent of users consume news daily on their device.
A recent survey conducted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations also found that 63 percent of publishers believe tablets are the most important digital channel for their publication's future.
The Deseret News's universal iOS app, available for both iPhone and iPad, was originally launched in November 2011, with a completely revamped version released in June 2012. The Android app was launched a year after the original iOS app. The Android app is available for smartphones, mid-sized tablets like the Kindle Fire and larger ones like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Updates to all of the Deseret News mobile apps are released regularly.
"DeseretNews.com is one of the top newspaper websites in the country, in terms of traffic," Higbee said. "We have an incredibly strong local following, but our audience has rapidly expanded across the country and the world due to innovative content and digital marketing approaches, including with our apps. The tremendous growth we've seen in app downloads and the high levels of engagement are so gratifying, not just because they mean we're reaching new users, but because those users continue to come back for more content."