iSnapMalaysian daily newspaper The Star has launched a second screen app for its print edition that enables users to bring print articles and advertisements’to life’ via their smartphones and tablets. Users point their cameras at the content with the ‘iSnap’ logo alongside it and the newspaper’s app uses image recognition to provide additional content.
 
So, for example, a user could be looking at a print ad for a movie and then watch a movie trailer by pointing their phone’s camera at the ad. In an interview with his own newspaper, The Star’s CEO, Ho Kay Tat, said the app will enable provide a more web-like experience and could content could take the form of ’a playable video or audio clip, additional content like photo galleries, maps and product catalogues or call to action features like contest entry forms etc.’
 
All of which begs the question, why bother?  If someone’s willing to take out their phone for additional content, won’t they simply access the content via their mobile device in the first place? Some will of course, and The Star already caters for online-only users. But Asian consumers have behaved differently to their counterparts in the West over the last decade or so.
 
While Western newspapers have been scrambling around trying – an in most cases, failing – to find a sustainable digital business models, printed newspaper circulations in Asia Pacific have been steadily increasing. But Ho Kay Tat says even Asian newspaper owners ‘cannot assume that will be the case forever so we have to be strong and innovative in the digital space’.
 
Links:

Full Interview with The Star’s CEO, HO Kay Tat (The Star)
Attractive Young Malaysian Girls Unanimous in their Praise for iSnap (The Star)
Comical Digital (Mis)Translation of this Story (BarcodeGeneratorFree)

 
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