HTC has delayed the UK launch of its First smartphone, which is the first Android device with Facebook Home pre-installed, following negative feedback on the social network's interface in the US. The new HTC First was launched in the USA market in mid-April 2013 and the pre-installed Facebook Home would replace the mobile home screen with a rolling stream of photos and status updates from the social network's Newsfeed.
The Guardian is to change its domain name to theguardian.com, reflecting a shift to a global digital approach and to further strengthen its presence worldwide. The UK site (guardian.co.uk), the US homepage (guardiannews.com), and the mobile site (m.guardian.co.uk) will be streamlined and all accessed via the new URL. Audited circulation figures show the Guardian had a global readership of almost 82 million, with 30 million of those readers in the UK.
Bauer Media has axed the Kerrang! radio station from its FM slot in the West Midlands, switching the frequency to its newly-bought rock music rival, Planet Rock. It is the first analogue platform for Planet Rock, bought by Bauer for between GBP1 million and GBP2 million from Malcolm Bluemel after a protracted sales process earlier this year. It confirms speculation that Bauer would replace Kerrang! with Planet Rock, but the magazine spin-off station will continue as a digital-only proposition, Bauer said.
Web traffic to the website for Metro rose by more than 25% for the second month running, according to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation. In March the site recorded a 27% increase in unique browsers, followed by a second sharp increase in April of 26% to more than 9.8 million readers. Metro announced a mobile-first strategy last November when it re-launched its website with a responsive design and 'swipeable' articles. Metro web traffic then dropped by more than 30% the following month.
Mail Online has reported revenue for the first half of this year (to the end of March) up 61% to GBP20 million. But despite the huge revenue growth from the world's most popular newspaper website, its contribution to the bottom line is still tiny compared to that made by its sister print titles. And the increase in digital revenue does not offset the overall declines in print revenue for the Mail titles (down 6% to GBP287 million) and Metro (down 8% to GBP40 million). Total half-year revenue was down 6% year on year to GBP406 million for the DMG Media ...
The Daily Mail has faced fierce criticism from readers after publishing the photograph of a British Army sniper who killed two Taliban gunmen in Afghanistan - in a report blasting the MoD for revealing his identity. The article was published the day before a British soldier in Woolwich was brutally killed in an apparent extreme Islamist attack.
The adoption of a metered paywall by Telegraph Media Group does not appear to have had any major effect on the site's overall traffic. The paywall went live in March and ABC-audited national newspaper website figures for April have now been released. This was the first full month where the metered paywall was in operation. The new figures show overall traffic for Telegraph.co.uk up both month on month and year on year in April.
A new visual storytelling tool, which enables users to bring together video, text and interactive polls into a single multimedia package, has officially launched. Soo Meta, built by a Budapest-based team, offers a simple drag-and-drop system to pull in content from across the web into its online workstation, with the ability for users to search for videos, images, text within Twitter and audio. Users can either 'collect' content in the sidebar 'library' for later use, or 'insert' it directly into the player. The end product can then be password protected, or publicly available and embeddable.
Consumer magazine publisher Future has reported a narrower pre-tax loss for the first half of 2013 compared with last year. The publisher of Total Film, Total Guitar and T3 made a loss of GBP1.5 million in the six months to the end of March 2013, down from a GBP2.2 million loss in the same period 12 months ago. While print revenue fell 9% from GBP40.8 million to GBP37 million, the group grew digital turnover by 33%, from GBP9.3 million to GBP12.4 million.
Five hyperlocal news websites have received GBP10,000 each as part of a new funding project. The Port Talbot Magnet in South Wales, Your Thurrock in Essex, the Brixton Blog in London, Whale Arts in Edinburgh, and Cybermoor in Cumbria, each received the grant from the Carnegie Trust. They were chosen from nearly 80 applicants across the UK and Ireland to become a Carnegie Partner in the 'Neighbourhood News' initiative.