News UK Commits to More Content Acquisitions in Multiscreen Race

News UK has faced some scepticism since the Sun went behind a paywall in August, but the company has reiterated its commitment to paid-for subscriptions across all of its titles.

Speaking to the Mobile Marketing Live audience, commercial product manager Damon Garwood said that at News UK: “everything must be about content that is absolutely worth paying for.”

Most recently, the tabloid news operation has invested in the Sun Studio, where they are producing two short daily football shows during the football season, as well as a match day show which launched last Saturday. “It’s Match of the Day on your mobile – but four hours earlier,” he said.

On the launch of the Sun Goals platform in August, which saw the news group buy the online rights for the Premier League highlights across the next three seasons, he said: “It was an eye-watering sum to acquire the rights to Premier League goals but its gives us the opportunity to be the first place for football; every game, every goal, everywhere and its mobile that makes that possible.” Although he couldnt reveal exact figures, he said mobile visitors are exceeding desktop on this channel.

Following the arrival of Mike Darcy, formerly number two at BSkyB, to become chief exec of News International, Garwood said the group has been actively investing in exclusive new content across a number of verticals. “We are looking at acquistion rights not just around a single sport and not just about sport – other verticals are interesting to us,” he said.

News UK has also streamlined its operations, going from having five editorial production teams working to convert the Times print edition for other platforms, to creating its own cross-title Newsroom 360 platform. This enables the paper to build once and select which devices the content is published across. “We’ve not got it spot on yet but we’re making bold strides in solving the multiscreen, multiplatform conundrum,” Garwood said.