Not Free: CNN iPhone App

Interesting item in Mediabistro’s Mobile Content Today:

It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between foolhardiness and marketing genius. I still haven’t decided which category to place CNN in with their decision to charge $1.99 for…

CNN Mobile 1.0 (iTunes App Store)

…for the iPhone. After all, everyone else (MSNBC, ABC, Reuters, etc.) are giving away their news apps. It doesn’t even seem to have a push feature for breaking news like the AP News app does. Its one differentiation point is the ability for your to contribute to CNN iReport. This seems a bit backwards to me (paying for the privilege of contributing news).

I also found it odd that CNN’s news app received a 12+ rating with the following warnings:

– Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
– Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco or Drug Use or References
– Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
– Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes

Um, this is the “news”, right? Strange. MSNBC and Reuters apps do not have any warnings associated with them. ABC News (owned by Walt Disney) has three of the four warnings CNN received. ABC’s app does not include a warning for “Sexual Content or Nudity” (it is a Disney company, I guess 🙂

Will CNN create an iPhone app paradigm shift by charging $1.99 for its apparently risque content? I suspect not. My guess is people will continue to view their nicely designed free website and continue to use the various free iPhone news apps already available.

Good luck. If Ted was still around, he’d probably call it “awful.”

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Playboy Interview

Found an interesting database of all the Playboy interviews, which reminded me of Ted Turner’s (August, 1978). He makes for great copy, thirty years later:

PLAYBOY: Are you having qualms about doing this interview?

TURNER: Oh, boy, I know I’m burying myself. You think Jimmy Carter had trouble? Wait till this interview comes out. But this is the big time. Everybody wants to do something like this. I’m just a big kid who loves a good time. This is the big leagues. But it’s always my mouth that gets me in trouble.

PLAYBOY: That’s why you’re known as the Mouth of the South?

TURNER: I hate that. That’s derogatory. I got that from some guy who didn’t like me.

PLAYBOY: Why do you talk so much?

TURNER: Maybe because I’m good at it, you dodo. I couldn’t do any sport, but I learned to speak on my feet, and that’s a hell of a lot better than being a high school quarterback. I went into debating in my sophomore year in high school and ended up winning the state championship my senior year. I’ve got a virtually limitless supply of bullshit.

Click here for the PDF of that interview.

Playboy’s circulation — and influence — isn’t what it used to be (it peaked at 7 million in 1971). Nice piece in the Toronto Star this past weekend on Playboy’s heyday:

Gay Talese, Gore Vidal and many other heavyweights have either written for, or in defence of, Playboy. Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, now taught in high school English classes, was first serialized in the magazine’s pages.

The 55th anniversary Playmate is from Ukraine (Dasha Astafieva). That’s cool.

The current interview with Richard Branson has this noble quote:

We’re taking 100 percent of all the profits from the Virgin Group’s transportation companies—including Virgin America—and plowing them into efforts to come up with alternative, clean energy, whether solar, wind or something else.