For years, newspapers have worried that future generations have less and less use for their product.
The Dallas Morning News felt this acutely, and it’s been launching jaunty spinoff sites like Guide Live and SportsDay to appeal to young people. But the Morning News wanted to be part of their news diet, too, even as millennials increasingly get their news by way of Facebook.
So a year ago, the Morning News revamped its free mobile app to be graphics-heavy, easy to navigate and customizable. The results: Overall readership is still small, at 40,000 monthly users, according to the paper, citing Google Analytics, but a big increase from 27,000. Sixty percent of the app’s users are now under age 34, up from 23 percent pre-redesign.
“It was a very old app that was long in the tooth; it looked like a newspaper,” said Chris Williams, who runs digital for the Morning News. “It was essentially an automated stream of content and hadn’t changed from 2012 to 2014.”