The Telegraph

The Telegraph

The Telegraph app has become our flagship product over the past year and crucial in achieving our target of surpassing 1 million subscriptions.

The focus is to design a high quality, habit-forming experience which serves our world-class journalism and supports the subscription strategy. We aim to make it the fastest, easiest, most delightful way to enjoy all of the Telegraph - whether through the “Latest” section, digital newspaper, puzzles, newsletters, search tool, or the 10 million notifications we send each day.

Ours is not a digital-first approach - it is app-first, with the website inheriting what we do for the app and not the other way round. The number of subscribers using the app has overtaken the web and accelerated away in 2023. Subscribers who visit the app are 15% more likely to retain because of the higher level of engagement.

A year ago we took inspiration from the success of social media in building such engagement levels. We followed their lead by adopting a highly visual “stream” of content on our app homepage.

This involved building a new template specifically for the app which allowed bespoke curation. It enabled complete flexibility as to how we display our journalism.

In fact, we went a step further than the social platforms, by creating a greater array of interactive options for the user. We deployed visual components and storytelling tools that had previously been the preserve of how we inject innovation into our article pages.

These award-winning “particles”, produced in our custom-built CMS, enable us to deliver autoplay videos, motion graphics, bespoke designs, polls, calculators, live sports scores, live business data, interactive charts, reader comments, picture carousels and more - on the app homepage itself.

Likewise our new native audio player allows the subscriber to play short clips or full episodes of podcasts, such as the much-loved Ukraine: The Latest, directly from the homepage.

Our strategy is no longer about merely encouraging click-through to article page views - although of course that is still important. But to make the homepage a journalistic experience in itself, making it easier for the subscriber to consume the most engaging elements of our reporting, whether it’s the Lockdown Files, the Coronation, or the latest from Ukraine or Israel. This approach sets the Telegraph app apart from other UK publishers.

Dwell time became a key performance indicator. Average dwell times on the homepage have increased by 50%, to 90 seconds per visit.

There is further evidence: -It was the fastest growing news app in the UK last year, according to Press Gazette. -Daily visits increased 19% year on year. -Comments are up 79%. -72% of subscribers who use the app use it every day.

Perhaps most tellingly, subscribers spend on average nearly 40 minutes in the app each day. For comparison, Ipsos data for 2022 showed Facebook’s equivalent was 34, TikTok 29, Instagram 10, and Twitter 6. This “stickiness” underlines the value of the service our app provides and how it is fuelling our subscriber growth.