A new app offering content from the Financial Times, Bloomberg and the Economist for a single monthly payment has been launched.
Mogul News bills itself as offering access to “the world’s best journalism in one app”, bringing together newsbrands whose content is behind a paywall under one “simple and affordable” subscription of £9.99 per month.
The team handpicks what articles to feature on the app from news publishers’ feeds, choosing which title has the best coverage on a particular topic and ensuring contrasting opinions are included. From the FT, for example, Mogul News republishes selected content totalling eight articles each week.
“We think there isn’t a better time for journalism,” founder and chief executive Rav Singh Sandhu told Press Gazette. “The amount of content we have being published is phenomenal.
“It’s just more about making it more digestible, making it more accessible, reducing some of the overwhelm, and just using things that haven’t necessarily been applied to media or journalism, like great design, great user experience, flexibility in pricing and real transparency.
“That’s front and centre for what makes for a really good, not only product in the form of our app, but just a service. Customers will keep using it if we keep delivering a brilliant service to them.”
The app will not carry advertising, with Sandhu saying ads create a “conflict of interest in the sense that you’re then incentivising people to either dwell on your page for longer or click something for an impression”.
Sandu said Mogul News is targeting millennial readers (aged 23 to 38), a “slightly different audience” to that currently enjoyed by newspapers. He said the service was a “showcase” for the best journalism and could lead to readers taking out a full subscription with member publications.
The app’s 7am breakfast briefing will show readers five to seven of the most important stories of the day . The app will also curate reading lists around a particular topic or event, and offer different perspectives on topics.
A “collection”, article and “perspective” on Mogul News. Picture: Mogul NewsReaders will also be able to scroll through daily articles chosen for them based on their preferences, and articles by category.
The app for iPhones is due to be followed by an Android version and then desktop version due in a few months. The first seven-days are free.
Economics graduate Sandhu launched Market Mogul, a media website giving “multiple perspectives” on finance and business topics, in 2014 when he was still working full-time at investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
The company raised almost £730,000 through a crowdfunding campaign in July 2017 from more than 600 shareholders buying in to its “growing, high value, millennial readership”.
Sandhu subsequently decided to change tactic and develop Mogul News, which has just completed beta testing.
“As the Market Mogul continued to grow I started to realise that there was a bigger problem out there,” he said. “On one side journalism was being quite heavily diluted by things like clickbait and fake news.
“High-quality journalism started to go behind a paywall and it became more and more expensive to access really great quality journalism. Obviously there are always some exceptions but for the most part.
“On top of that, as far as the user experience went for consumers, aggregators are great but as more and more publishers go behind a paywall or have anti-ad-blocker ads, as most millennials have an ad-blocker, the experience becomes more and more cumbersome.
“And just the impact of things like Brexit where based on the newspaper you read it heavily influenced who you voted for.”
Mogul News editor Fergus McKeown, who previously worked for academic and trade publisher Palgrave Macmillan, will be responsible for choosing what articles from the participating publishers are included in the app’s briefing each day.
Completing the team of five in London is business analyst Chris Marshall, lead engineer Mike Davies, who previously worked at Amazon, and head of operations Lina Balteanu. Mogul News employs two engineers based in India.
Picture: Mogul News