Apple iPad News Reader Zite Sold to CNN for Just Over $20 Million
By Kara Swisher at AllThingsD:
Zite, the magazine-style reading app for the Apple iPad, has been sold to news giant CNN for $20 million to $25 million.
The arena for news readers on tablets and smartphones is competitive, with high-profile efforts such as Flipboard, Livestand from Yahoo, AOL’s Editions and start-ups such as Pulse and Zite.
The reason for CNN’s acquisition interest — as well as look-sees from several other publishers — is not a surprise: As readers turn more toward using these mobile devices to consume content, big media companies are trying to acquire the technology to serve up their fare to them.
See Also: From a Zite Blog Post by CEO, Mark Johnson
Why CNN? First of all, CNN has a history of innovation in the marketplace. CNN was the first organization to launch a 24-hour all-news network – embracing people’s love of news on their terms. Secondly, a modern news organization like CNN isn’t just about reporting. CNN.com is one of the largest web sites in the world and the CNN mobile applications boast well over 12 million downloads. CNN knows that they are competing not only in high-quality reporting, but in delivering you the best news possible. Finally, our interactions with CNN leadership, including KC Estenson, have made it clear that they are visionaries who are voraciously pursuing next-generation technologies to give CNN.com an edge over its competition.
Zite wants to assure our users that what you love most about Zite will continue to get better. I will continue to operate as the CEO of Zite and will report directly to KC. We will not promote CNN, Turner or Time Warner content in any special way: our agnostic personalization algorithms will be the sole determiner of what you see on Zite. Most importantly, Zite will now have the capital to grow. That means better recommendations, new innovations in our iPad interface and Zite on additional platforms.
Filed under: Companies (Publishers/Vendors), Management and Leadership, News, Patrons and Users, Publishing
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.