Touchpress is to present its new digital strategy at the FutureBook Conference with head of marketing Tom Williams to join a panel on the new publishing.
Earlier this month the company, one of the first innovators in the app space, signalled that it planned to dispose of its paid-for literary and education apps, in order to refocus on music on the Apple TV platform. After celebrating its fifth anniversary earlier this year, and despite becoming profit-making for the first time this year, c.e.o. Sam Aspinall said. "We set out to make beautiful things, and we did whatever we found interesting. It's been rewarding, but as a strategy, it's too haphazard.” Aspinall said: "Everyone recognises we've been experimental, and have found new audiences. Some apps have been tremendously successful while others are beautiful but don't sell in sufficient volume. Even with tremendous support from Apple, it's a challenge to explain to consumers why our apps are worth paying for when the majority of apps are free. Our apps get five-star and one-star reviews – the five-star reviews are all, 'It's wonderful; mind-blowing,’ the one-stars reviews are all, 'I can't believe I have to pay for it', even if it's only £2.99.”
For the next five years, the new strategy will focus on music, and enhancing the experience of listening to music, and Touchpress will offer the apps for free, while building the Touchpress brand in the consumer's mind as the place they can go to to see culture reimagine. Touchpress plans to build its performance partnerships - with theatres, record labels, conservatoires and sheet music publishers – and, while offer the content for free, make money by attracting sponsorship from the kind of organisations who sponsor major opera companies or art galleries.
A key plank of the new strategy is the just-launched (October 26th) fourth generation Apple TV. Touchpress produced its "Classical Music Reimagined" app specifically for the platform, using features from earlier music apps, including scrolling scores, NoteFall (a graphic which shows keystrokes, altering with the intensity of the strike and the length of the note) and BeatMap (a visual representation of activity in each part of the orchestra). "Classical Music Reimagined" was made Best New App in the Apple TV App Store in the US on launch day, and was downloaded 31,000 times in the first week.
Williams will present this app, and share some insight into the development process behind it and discuss why Touchpress thinks there is a huge opportunity for apps on Apple TV. Last week the company was visited by Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who used the opportunity to showcase the recently launched iPad Pro.
This year's FutureBook Conference takes place on 4th December at the Mermaid Theatre and brings together the best of indigenous thinking about publishing with external perspectives, including dedicated sessions on the new publishing that feature Touchpress alongside Lonely Planet, Audible, BookTrack, Hodder and Agatha Christie Ltd. For more information or tickets visit, click here.
Tickets can now be bought via the FutureBook Bookings Hotline +44 (0) 203 358 0385, which opens on Friday 20th November at 9am.