SF Chronicle Launches 49ers Digital Magazine
San Francisco newspaper offers exclusive digital content through app
The iPad-exclusive app will be published twice each week with a pregame edition released on Fridays and a postgame version coming the day after that weekâs game. Content includes exclusive multimedia features, articles from theÂ Chronicleâs sports section, player profiles, opponent scouting reports, fantasy football and betting advice, as well as social media integration.
âWhen you research an audience of highly engaged sports enthusiasts, or highly engaged people who watch any particular NFL team like the 49ers, often the feedback that you get is âI want more information than Iâm currently getting and Iâm willing to pay for it,ââ says Mark Adkins, president of the Chronicle. âThe audience says they canât get enough.â
More specifically, Adkins says, itâs about providing information that isnât readily available elsewhere. There will be some overlap between content in the Chronicle and on the app, but with several new staff members brought on specifically for the digital magazine, the focus is putting out exclusive stories.
The nature of the NFL scheduleâone game per team per week, usually on Sunday afternoonsâlends itself to a unique publishing schedule as well. It allows Adkinsâ team to capitalize on the market when itâs most hungry for that extra content.
âEverybody has limited information right after the game. You basically know score, statistics and a couple of key elements that may have happened,â Adkins says. âBut player interviews, coach interviews, those types of things start to trickle in after the game and theyâre not immediately available. So we see a spike in web traffic, obviously, after the game, but we also see it on Monday when a lot of the coverage starts to come in.â
The Chronicle did consider making the app an in-game companion that could complement the fan experience in real-time, but Adkins says the undertaking would have called for additional resources in a time frame that just didnât fit. Itâalong with expansion into other Bay Area sports, topics and eventsâremains on their âradar screenâ for future development however.
AtÂ $9.99, the price works out to about 30 cents per issue for the full 16-game regular season. Issues will continue though, should the 49ers make the playoffs.
As a new product in a new market, Adkins admits his team is not entirely sure of the price elasticity yet, but emphasized that the projectâs purpose at this stage is to build volume.
âIf you have no brand identity, the best thing to do would be to create what we thought [would be] a low enough price point that would drive a significant level of subscribers,â says Adkins, who also notes that theyâve sold out ad space on the app. âWe decided that we wanted to try to build volume off of it.â
For now, the app is only available on the iPad, but other platformsâfor a bigger audienceâmay be supported by the end of the season.