ITN looking to build on iPhone app success

ITN - popular
ITN - popular

ITN's Head of New Media – Ave Wrigley has told TechRadar that the company is considering following up its successful iPhone app with Blackberry and Symbian versions.

After a 'soft' launch last week, ITN's news application has quickly jumped up the rankings – with the ability to view clips from key news stories winning fans across the globe.

Wrigley admits that there were a few nervous moments when the app was submitted to Apple after a considerable investment and a three-month development cycle, but admits he has been delighted by the early success.

Nervous times

"Absolutely I was nervous!" said Wrigley on the Apple vetting process that every app goes through before it hits the iTunes app store.

"To be perfectly honest, despite the negative stories you hear about the process, we had no problems at all.

"Our first submission needed a minor change but we learned about that within two or three days and the entire submission process only took a week."

New markets

The decision to push into the iPhone market was taken after a successful collaboration with Google on an Android app – with Wrigley admitting that the media focus on Apple's handset meant that ITN could 'put a toe in the water'.

"We have traditionally been fairly proactive in getting into new digital markets and, in addition, the last six months have seen quite a push into mobile," explained Wrigley.

"As well as producing a standard mobile site for users, that push has seen us look at platforms like Android and the iPhone.


"We worked closely with Google so that has fed into our Android development and we decided to do an iPhone app partly because the platform is there and also because it's getting a lot of attention," adds Wrigley

"We've had a long history with mobile going back to early 3G , but our unique selling point has always been video and although that was technically possible on 3G is hasn't really been easy until the recent platforms.

"Video is always our starting point although we have done a lot of development on different platforms. We're interested in the location based developments at the moment."

Money talks

ITN are, of course, looking to monetise their investment in the free application – with advertising being the favoured model after disposing of the idea of charging for the app.

And it is the financial opportunity that will ultimately decide if ITN continue to roll out applications for other platforms.

"We've looked at both Blackberry and Symbian," added Wrigley. "It's a similar issue in the sense that they are both fairly significant investments in terms of development


"The iPhone app is a nice test bed because it's a nice combination of being high profile and still a minority device," he added.

"So we can stick our toe in the water really and work out how the commercials work out.

"We launched as a free app rather than asking for a fee and it's advertising funded but we need to work out the figures for Blackberry and Symbian and see if they justify development of more applications."

The ITN application is available now on iTunes.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.