AP Preparing For More Touch Screens Than Front Pages By 2012

AP Images (Small)

Evoking Google (NSDQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt’s “mobile first” message to the NAA earlier this year, Associated Press CEO Tom Curley warned publishers today that the mobile future is coming a lot faster than they might think — and will have a much greater impact. As part of its planning, the news coop is expanding its mobile white-label effort from smartphones to the iPad and other possibilities, prepping for a time for a very near future when there are more touch screens than front pages.

At an Austin meeting of the Southern Newspapers Publishers Association, Curley said the AP board last week approved an expansion plan designed to give publishers more tools for multi-device publishing. More than 70 AP publishers and broadcasters already have branded apps developed through AP’s white-label work with Verve Wireless, Inc. Now AP is testing iPad apps meant to provide a templated, turnkey publishing and advertising solution.

Chief Revenue Officer Jane Seagrave said the emphasis is on a more comprehensive strategy to get members on mobile. AP is testing iPad apps and plans to offer white-label content modules for use on various devices.

In his prepared remarks for Austin, Curley described the mobile landscape through the AP’s lens and urged publishers to move fast. Some excerpts about mobile:

Just consider the numbers. Devices based on the Android and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) software platforms are both being activated at rates of more than 200,000 a day around the world. As the slide points out, that will result in 250 million of those devices in consumers


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