World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

The (mobile) future of inserts

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

The (mobile) future of inserts

“At the end of the day, iCircular is a marketplace,” says Jeffrey Litvack, General Manager of Global Product Development for the US-based Associated Press, in explaining AP’s pioneering new effort, which is being developed together with major newspaper publishers.

He notes that retailers rely on circulars to drive traffic, so the aim was to extend the power of circulars, which is a $6 billion-a-year business, says Mr. Litvack.

iCircular is a mobile service that mimics the preprint experience and is complementary to a retailer’s preprint strategy. It contains all the merchandise and products contained in the weekly preprint, and includes weekly deals, etc.

At a glance, iCircular allows the creation of “shopping lists,” “product views,” and “search” – to look for best prices – as well as “editor’s picks.”

iCircular reaches customers along the entire path to purchase, Mr. Litvack says, from when they start to shop, to the store shelf and on to the register.

Why do mobile first? Mr. Litvack says that last year for the first time more smartphones were shipped than PCs. Consumers are taking out their smartphones before their wallets. About 75 percent of U.S. shoppers are using it to make a purchase. Forty-seven percent of Americans access news on their mobile phones, and that is growing month on month.

iCircular launched in October 2011 in 40 newspaper markets with 20 retailers, nearly all major preprints, and has already proved extremely popular. He notes that the goal for the pilot project was not financial success, but to serve as the basis for a model that could be used and expanded.

The next phase will begin in June and integrate a sponsorship model.


Photographer: Vojtech Marek,


Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling


2012-03-01 15:57

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About 200 newspaper advertising experts will attend the 22nd World Newspaper Advertising Conference in Prague on 1st and 2nd March. WAN-IFRA will provide summaries of each speaker's presentation during the event. Check back on our blog for the latest updates.

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