Sporting News Today debuted Wednesday with about 35,000 advance subscribers; less than a week later, publisher Ed Baker told paidContent, the number of people getting free delivery of the digital sports daily has more than doubled to 75,000. But it’s still not enough to achieve the critical mass Baker wants — at least 200,000 — before going wide with ad sales. It’s all a matter of phases, he explains, starting with a launch of a beta product that’s “more than a beta test because it’s in consumers hands” but is still being created.
More about the launch and a first look after the jump:
Delivered daily at 7 a.m. eastern, SN Today is the first step in a reinvention of a title continuously published for 120 years; perhaps the ultimate test of how to take part in the transition to online beyond a website. The second prong of the dramatic shift by Sporting News, acquired in 2006 by American City Business Journals, Inc., involves moving from a weekly sports magazine to a revamped bi-weekly with larger pages, better paper, and less emphasis on news.
The new daily doesn’t replace the company’s sportingsnews.com; instead, it’s pitched as additive. Get the morning’s full news through the daily; get breaking news through the website. The daily has links to blogs, stories and other aspects of the site for use when you’re reading online. Reading offline? You can go back to a list of links per page once you’re online again.
For now, despite the constant description of the “first digital newspaper in the country,” Sporting News Today doesn’t look much different from the electronic editions produced by print publications for paid subscription. But Baker says that’s about to change with the addition of rich media. The daily will include audio and video, including pre-roll ads.
Advertising: Baker: “We