Local newspapers migrate to iPhone

You will soon be reading your favourite local rag on your iPhone
You will soon be reading your favourite local rag on your iPhone

US company Verve Wireless has raised $3 million in fundraising to continue to provide local paper publishers with the technology and systems they need to publish on mobile phones.

Verve is currently powering over 4,000 local newspapers in the States, with the company's clients including Associated Press, McClatchy, and the New York Times Regional Media Group.

Verve's iPhone application, which delivers daily headlines and photos and lets readers watch slideshows or videos and text or email stories to friends, was the runner-up in the Apple Design Award competition.

Verve's chief executive, Art Howe (a former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer), told the New York Times: "Mobile is actually a better way to reach people than print or even Web. It's versatile, immediate, travels and is just as compelling–if it's done right–as a Web site or a printed page."

Advertiser benefits

Verve's president. Tom Kenney, argues that mobile local papers are the perfect solution for advertisers too.

"A Mexican restaurant can send a reader a coupon for a free margarita when they are walking nearby during happy hour, for example, or a car dealer could deliver an ad with a map and walking directions when a user types in an auto-related search.

Verve provides publishers the software and assistance in designing their mobile sites in exchange for a cut of advertising revenue.

TechRadar has contacted a number of the major local newspaper publishers in the UK for updates on their own plans to take their papers onto mobile phones. Stay tuned for updates on that in the coming days.

Adam Hartley