The Washington Post is launching an app that is exclusive for owners of Amazon Fire devices. The app will provide its readers with both a morning and evening edition for news, in addition to updates for breaking stories.
Through the app, The Washington Post looks to develop a bigger audience for its newspaper, expanding to users of Amazon Fire devices that have a national and international reach.
Amazon, in turn, is hoping that content that the Post will bring to Amazon Fire devices will add appeal and value to the devices.
Amazon will be loading The Washington Post app into upcoming Fire devices. The company has also offered current Fire device owners with free updates for the software. In addition, accessing the content in The Washington Post app will be free for the first six months.
After the first six months of the app has passed, users may continue enjoy using the service by paying only $1, in addition to a monthly subscription fee. The price of the monthly fee has not yet been finalized, though officials from The Washington Post revealed that it will likely be between $3 and $5.
The new Washington Post app and its exclusivity to Amazon Fire owners is part of the strategy of Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post. Upon his announcement of his acquisition of the newspaper last year, Bezos said that he was looking to create a "daily ritual bundle" that will be a combination of different kinds of content aimed to appeal to different kinds of readers.
Bezos said that he was looking to reverse the prevailing trend of users moving from one website to another, saying to staff at The Washington Post that he wanted users to buy packages and not just a single story.
The new app for The Washington Post will publish two editions containing at least 100 articles per edition, one at 5 a.m. and the other at 5 p.m. Two stories will be featured per page, laid out in a vertical frame. Users can tap on stories to increase their size and make them easier to read, and a button located at the top will lead to a list of all the contained stories for the edition they are reading, divided among categories.
A team was formed to work on the app, and have succeeded in making the app intuitive and easy for readers to scan.
Amazon Kindle senior vice president Russ Grandinetti said that, similar to traditional print newspapers, the new app captured "the serendipity of coming across stories that you didn't know you were looking for."
"This unique app reflects the culture of innovation and experimentation at today's Washington Post," said The Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan.