App-etite: Metro launches on Android

The daily newspaper aims to reach a younger demographic by launching on the platform.

It might not seem possible, but the Free Daily News Group-published Metro has just become even more available with the recent launch of its fifth mobile application to date, the Metro Canada/Journal Métro app, now available on the Android platform.

The app was created by Toronto-based digital agency Spreed which also created their iPhone, iPad and Blackberry apps.

It will be launched through a print, online and radio ad campaign this summer, with all creative work and media buys done in-house by the company.

In addition, Metro plans to host an experiential campaign in support of the app at approximately 20 post-secondary schools across Canada this fall with Toronto-based Diamond Integrated Marketing.

Metro launched its app on the Android platform to reach a more youthful audience, Jodi Brown, interactive and marketing director at Metro tells MiC.

MiC: Why is it important for Metro to be a part of the Android market?

JB: We want to make sure youthful, active, metropolitans (we call them YAMs) can access Metro on the go on all the most popular mobile devices. According to Neilsen, Android now accounts for 50% of new smartphone purchases in the US and we believe this trend will follow in Canada.  We also think the timing is right for our launch with our telecom advertising partners like Rogers heavily promoting their Android devices.
MiC: Are there any significant differences between the Android app and the Metro apps designed for the Blackberry, iPhone and iPad? 

JB: Yes, it is our fifth mobile app, and we have cleaned up the design and user interface. It includes a personalized selection of share tools integrated directly into the app based on the sharing apps, like Facebook and Twitter, the user already has downloaded on their phone.

MiC: How does it mesh with the target audience?

JB: They are connected, time-poor and active. We want to make sure our readers can access Metro content on their preferred device.  Right time, right place, right format is a big part of the Metro value proposition and the introduction of Metro on Android is part of that.

MiC: How do you see this app evolving in the future?

JB: We’re proud to be the first Canadian newspaper brand to launch an Android app but can’t wait to keep evolving this and our other apps as we respond to consumer feedback and add more and more features that really utilize the specific strengths of each platform.  We have recently launched a citizen journalism tool on our iPhone app that allows users to take photos within it and submit to our editorial department; we plan to roll that out on our other apps, including Android soon. We are also in R&D on introducing more location-based features to take advantage of the trends in AR and hyper-localized information delivery.

App-etite is an ongoing MiC series dedicated to covering branded mobile applications. For an overview of branded apps in Canada, just type ‘App-etite’ into MiC’s search engine.