This summer, in an effort to help save the struggling newspaper industry, the Newspaper Association of America asked for ideas from companies who had experience in helping online publishers monetize digital content. Among the submissions, which included ideas about content management systems from Oracle and IBM, Microsoft (PDF link) submitted an idea about a next-generation newspaper reader. Interestingly enough, the concept looked a lot the popular third-party Twitter client, TweetDeck as many bloggers noted.
However, the desktop software application was actually built by a company called Sobees. (You may remember hearing about them here on Channel 10, thanks to several of our previous posts.) Microsoft had worked in conjunction with Sobees to develop the user interface as a way to demonstrate the company’s ideas about content aggregation and monetization.
According to the proposal, the software aimed to demonstrate the following concepts:
- contextual awareness
- interactivity and user participation
- anywhere access
- cross-platform/cross-device access
- semantic search and navigation
- advertising-based monetization
Additionally, the media content included in this next-gen newspaper could also generate revenue through sales of “packages” or “parts.” The packages would be like a TV channel or newspaper today – meaning, a lot of different content from one main provider – and the parts would be more like an RSS feed containing individual articles.