Toronto ‘Star Touch’ for iPad to Get $10M Injection, Growth Slower than Expected

Torstar, the parent company of the Toronto Star, announced fourth quarter earnings from 2015 this morning, and also commented on the status of its iPad daily newspaper, Star Touch.

David Holland, President and Chief Executive Officer, was disappointed with current results of Star Touch for iPad, noting $14 million had been invested so far, excluding marketing costs.

The CEO said “We are pleased with our progress in a number of areas including the critical area of engagement,” but added “The audience build, however, is slower than we had anticipated. But we are encouraged by advertiser interest and their support for the product at this very early stage.”

Despite the slower growth than anticipated, Holland says they’re ready to invest more into Star Touch. John Cruickshank, publisher of the digital daily, said another net $10 million investment set aside for the first half of 2016, as the organization is ready to stay the course.

Lorenzo DeMarchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Torstar Corporation, said “The longer people are on Star Touch the more often they use it every week and they longer they use it every day,” adding “So everything is trending in the right direction, and the acquisition is slow and steady, the acquisition of new customers.”

Overall, Torstar saw a $233.2 million loss in the quarter, along with a decline in print advertising revenues, but digital ad revenues increased 27.3 percent.

Star Touch for iPad saw a 2.0 update last month and neared 200,000 downloads in mid-January. The app is built on the same platform as Quebec’s La Presse for iPad.

Click here to download Star Touch for iPad in the App Store.

[via Talking News Media]

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  • winnertakesteve

    They should spend more money making it actually pleasant to use and less towards the obnoxious nonstop advertising they do promoting it.

    it feels more like a distracting pop up book than an elegant or efficient way to consume information. Give me the coherent navigation of a news website over this anyway.

    Just my opinion of course. 🙂

  • Bafoon

    Yeah absolutely agree – usability is shocking with thin columns and non-intuitive design.

  • fatiredflyer

    I agree. An ineffecient method of news reading, heavy on graphics and annoying ads, thin on content.