N E W S   P O S T

AP Mobile News Network Reaches 16 Million Page Views in First Full Month, over 1 Million Local Stories Read. Nearly 950 Content Partners Bolster Local News and Advertising Offering

By CrossCut News
Marketwatch.com, published September 18, 2008

By Associated Press

NEW YORK, Sep 18, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Associated Press today announced that the Mobile News Network received more than 16 million page views for the month of August, with 948 news organizations signed up to provide content. More than one million local stories featured on the Mobile News Network were read — the widest coverage available of breaking news, sports, entertainment and business developments for consumers on the go. The Mobile News Network is the first product released by AP’s Digital Cooperative, an initiative aimed at finding new digital outlets for news and information produced by AP members.

August marked the Mobile News Network’s first full month following the July 10 release of its iPhone client application. The network was optimized first for the iPhone to take advantage of the device’s multimedia capabilities, and currently 95 percent of traffic comes from the iPhone and iTouch.

Forthcoming this quarter are optimized client applications for other smart phones including BlackBerry, which was recently previewed during the CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment(R) show held in San Francisco last week.

(The Mobile News Network can be accessed on any smart phone by visiting its mobile site www.apnews.com/mobile, which was launched on May 5. With the popularity of the iPhone application, only five percent of total traffic is coming from the mobile site.)

Based on early traffic figures, wireless users are obtaining news from the network consistently throughout the day beginning at 7 a.m., with the number of visits growing steadily until 10 p.m. Users are acquiring news just as much, if not slightly more, during the weekend than any given day of the week (14.9% on Sundays vs. 13.8% on Wednesdays, for example). The Mobile News Network audience member views an average of 37 pages per month.

“The mobile industry has long talked about the huge potential of the mobile phone as a marketing vehicle because users carry it with them at all times. Looking at early statistics — the number of page views and the frequency with which users are accessing news, even during the weekends — really bears this out,” said Jeffrey Litvack, global director, new media markets for AP. “As we move to the next phase of development on the Mobile News Network, we will work closely with publishers, agencies and marketers to match consumers with relevant brands and products based on their location.”

This spring, AP selected Verve Wireless to provide the technology for the Mobile News Network. Verve Wireless’ patent-pending publishing and ad trafficking platform allows content partners to extend their communities and readership onto mobile phones and other network enabled devices.

“The rapid growth in Mobile News Network participation underscores the newspaper industry’s willingness to embrace the changing digital landscape and gives people easy access to the largest source of news from a single mobile application,” said Art Howe, CEO and co-founder of Verve Wireless.”This also demonstrates people’s interest and demand for quality, professional journalism from trusted sources, when and where they want it.”

Other Mobile News Network milestones and key findings:

– AP Members Embrace Mobile: In the first three months, 948 AP members comprised of news publishers and content producers have joined the Mobile News Network — a 786 percent jump since its May 5 launch with 107 participating members. AP member participation covers all of the top 100 designated market areas.

– California Drives 20% of Local Content Traffic: The most viewed stories came from San Francisco/San Jose, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami news providers.

– Where the Mobile News Network Fans Go: The most highly visited content areas are: Top Stories (29 percent); Local News (18 percent); Sports (12 percent); Entertainment (9 percent); and Photos (7 percent).

Launched in May, the award-winning Mobile News Network Web application can be found at www.apnews.com/mobile. The Mobile News Network’s iPhone application is available for free download at the Apple App Store on iPhone and iPod Touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore, with the Mobile News Network’s BlackBerry application expected to be released this quarter.

About The AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

About the Mobile News Network
The Mobile News Network is a multimedia news portal providing anytime access to international, national and local news content from an unrivalled network of trusted sources. Powered by The Associated Press, wireless users now have breaking news, sports, entertainment, politics, business and wacky content in the palm of their hand. Additional information on the Mobile News Network can be found at www.ap.org/mobilenews, including our growing list of nearly 950 participating publishers.

About Verve Wireless
Based in Encinitas, CA; Verve Wireless, Inc. and their proprietary Verve Local Content Gateway(TM) allow local media companies and advertisers to seamlessly extend their reach into mobile devices across all the major carriers. Verve Wireless currently works with leading media companies from across the country including dailies, local broadcasters, alternative newsweeklies, and city magazines. For more information visit www.vervewireless.com.