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New York Times thinks small to reach readers on Apple Watch

The New York Times? crafting of one-sentence stories specifically for Apple Watch users will extend the newsgathering organization?s efforts to cater to individual consumers, a growing priority for mobile marketers in the publishing industry. 

To fit the news more effectively to the watch?s smaller real estate, a team of Times editors will, around the clock, produce single-sentence articles that can be read at a glance by Apple Watch users from sections such as Business, Politics, Science, Tech and The Arts. The move reflects the impact the small-screen Apple Watch is expected to have on content consumption, including how people get their news.

?These days, readers are on the go and don't always have the time to digest the full story,? said Scott Stanchak, managing director for mobile marketing with The New York Times. ?Apple Watch allows The New York Times to provide consumers digestible bits of information they should be aware of, or one-sentence stories, as they're in commute, waiting in line at the supermarket or in-between meetings.?

?It's important that New York Times content is available on every platform our readers are on,? Mr. Stanchak said. ?Apple Watch has forced us to re-think how we tailor news to the mobile user to ensure the content they'll see is presented to fit the device.?

Offered free 
The Watch application is an extension of NYTimes on iPhone and will be free for all users. Watch owners will be able to use the app when the device is released on April 24.

Building a personal reading list on Apple Watch.

Editors on three continents will be dedicated to The Times? core mobile apps, including Watch, 24 hours a day. Readers can use Handoff to continue reading any story on iPhone or iPad, or tap ?Save for Later? to build a personal reading list.

The Times? breaking news alerts will also extend to Apple Watch.

Coming just weeks after Apple formally unveiled design and feature details for its smartwatch, the move to produce quickly digestible news items reflects the Times? recognition of the need to act quickly to reach readers in this rapidly evolving medium.

The New York-based news organization is no stranger to challenges from communication innovation, having in its 164 year history grown alongside the adoption of such technologies as the telegraph, the telephone, radio, television, satellite communications and the World Wide Web.

Mobile?s role in accelerating demand for personalized delivery of content, however, has challenged traditional publishers like nothing else, contributing to a rapid revenue decline that began with the advent of the World Wide Web in the 1990s.

Publishers have learned that the smaller smartphone screen has to be treated much differently than the screen of a personal computer. They also are grasping that allowing the consumer to select his or her news preferences has to be a priority.

The Chicago Tribune, the Montreal Gazette and other news brands have recently unveiled redesigns with improved site speed and performance and features that let consumers create their own personalized mobile newspapers. 

Publishers are not the only providers of news getting more personal with consumers. A Reuters TV executive at the 2015 Mobile: IAB Marketplace this week talked about how the mobile news video application is striving to personalize news consumption by providing each subscriber with a complete news show tailored to his or her interests and location, anytime and anywhere. 

Apple?s smartwatch will challenge marketers of all stripes to find ways to deliver more concise, personal messages as consumers are drawn to a fashionable wearable with baked-in high-tech features.

Driving adoption
Expected demand for the watch, which lets users receive calls, communicate by tapping on the interface, and features mobile applications promoting and measuring the user?s health, is expected to drive Apple to the top of the smartwatch market with 55 percent of global market share, according to Strategy Analytics.

All the news that fits.

?From a mobile marketing standpoint, there are few bigger moments during a year than a new device launch,? Mr. Stanchak said. ?The last time we saw this type of excitement surrounding a major Apple release was iOS 7 and that was because of the huge advancement in design there. 

?As a company it's important we embrace new technologies, especially from platforms like Apple, which has a track record for launching successful and innovative new products,? he said. 

?As marketers, new technologies excite and challenge us to come up with some really special, unique campaigns.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York