What If Newspapers Became Startups?
An American print media publisher is thinking outside the box.
Philadelphia Media Network (PMN), the owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News, has created a tech startup incubator: Project Liberty.
As reported by ReadWriteWeb, Project Liberty hosts three start-ups at this stage:
- CloudMine provides on-demand software processing tasks to mobile application developers. It could help PMN refine its offering for smartphones and tablets;
- SnipSnap is an application for smartphones that allows consumers to scan coupons in order to store them digitally and use them when the opportunity arises. It could help PMN modernize its digital sales system;
- ElectNext is an Internet application that helps voters make their choice in an election. The application asks a series of questions to citizens on political and social issues, and then picks the candidate that best fits their views. It could help PMN beef up its political editorial offering in an original way.
But the added value of this incubator is not limited to this triple potential convergence. Its creation also allows PMN to position itself as a media group at the forefront of innovation, which can only be favorable when looking for partners or investors. Moreover, the fact that PMN hosts these startups in its headquarters will foster the promotion of a more agile culture in its own organization.
This incubator is not PMN’s first innovation. Last year, the Company announced its plan to offer Android tablets at reduced prices to people who would subscribe for one or two years to The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News.
The question is whether these initiatives will be sufficient to save a failing business. But it’s very encouraging to see a media group being creative when imagining its own future.