Lack of face time

The latest lament of the death of AP's youth experiment ASAP is Will Sullivan. For him, it was an experiment he would have liked to have seen succeed in that newspapers need to do something that will actually attract younger readers

Steve Yelvington has some thoughts on why it failed and some great comments from others.

We "use" it at knoxnews and Knoxville News Sentinel and probably will until it dies in October. It's been available to our print folks, but they aren't running much of it. They didn't realize they had it in their wire feed for quite some time. Online the hosted version is on an inflexible platform. I never got my page view tracking code in it; never really had the ad positions we needed. AP's Customwire is much more friendly to clients.

It never really had the audience that I could tell. That may very well have been because we did little to promote it other than the promo tools provided by the service and sometimes running a piece high on the home page on weekends.

The packages often were just a different spin on the traditional news topics instead of really outside the box stories. But they could be pretty good.

As has been suggested, tying the product to the 'Old Gray Lady' probably doomed it from the start.

It could not get the face time with the intended audience. Had it got their attention, I think an audience might have been possible. Maybe AP targeted it to the wrong client?

It would be interesting to hear AP's internal "lessons learned" on ASAP.

Updated: Susan Mernit has this analysis: AP ending ASAP,a youth-oriented syndication package launched in 2005, in October. The cause? "A number of marketplace changes that were happening with the U.S. newspaper industry." (Susan sez: Is that corporate speak for we're screwed?)

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