The Associated Press’ attempt to connect with the 18-34 set is about to get disconnected, after it failed to gain enough traction with newspaper clients. The service, called “asap,” will be discontinued as a standalone service on Oct. 31, according to an internal AP memo. The service, which offers a variety of news/feature packages and audio/video reports fr the younger audience, had about 200 newspaper subscribers. “We’re in the business of providing news coverage in a fiscally responsible way…If we launch a product that is intended to generate revenues, they need to generate sufficient revenue for us to continue to produce them,” Kathleen Carroll, executive editor told AP.
E&P: Carroll blamed part of the economic failure on “a number of marketplace changes that were happening with the U.S. newspaper industry.” The service had been most popular during its first few months when nearly 300 customers signed on…but in the past year, that had dwindled to the current 200 or so.
When the plan was announced two year ago, it was dubbed “one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by the AP to provide content targeted to a specific demographic group.” And even then, it took nearly two years to move the project from idea to reality. Shows you how deeply systemic the problems with AP (and its relationship with the newspaper industry) are.