Newspapers Might Soon Be Delivered On Mobile Phones

Dennis Faas's picture

With most national newspapers experiencing record-low subscriber rates, many are starting to wonder if newspapers (at least in printed form) are on the brink of extinction. California start-up company Verve Wireless has come forward with a tempting offer that could save many newspaper companies.

That's not to say that people are not reading newspaper content. Online newspapers, whether coming from national news sources or reputable newsletters like, are being read by millions of people on a daily basis. In fact, after search engines and email services, newspaper content (weather, sports, politics and entertainment) is the most-searched information among mobile users.

The key to future success for newspaper companies is not only posting their content online, but considering the mediums people are using to read this information. Many assume that people are reading online news content on their computers, yet a significant percentage of people use their mobile phones to surf the Internet. Of the 95 million mobile Internet subscribers in the United States alone, 40 million actively use their phones to connect online.

Verve Wireless specializes in creating web sites for mobile phones and has already secured the contracts of over 4,000 newspapers from 140 publishers across North America. Its biggest customer is the Associated Press (AP), which has invested over $3 million to finance Verve. The AP has even released a popular iPhone application developed by Verve that allows users to scan daily news headlines, save articles to read later, and send articles to other contacts. (Source:

Analysts believe that the problem with most newspapers is not a refusal to introduce their material online, it is that most do not have the resources, expertise, or relationships needed with cell phone carriers to build mobile sites themselves.

Will this venture prove profitable for Verve?

Most mobile companies are attempting to persuade advertisers to pay more for advertisements that appear on cell phones as opposed to web-based advertisements, claiming that mobile advertising will be the next wave of the future.

So far, advertising companies are not buying into this prediction. Advertisers currently invest $1.6 billion in mobile ads compared to the $26 billion spent on web-based ads. (Source:

If mobile companies can produce hard data that suggests mobile ads are working, we could soon see much more money invested in this area.

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