ESPN looks to monetize its iPhone success

Tue, Sep 22, 2009


PaidContent has an interesting article detailing ESPN’s efforts to build on the success of its free ScoreCenter app for the iPhone and branch out into the realm of paid apps.  To date, ScoreCenter has been downloaded 2.7 million times, and though ESPN executives were wary that the app might steer users away from their iPhone optimized mobile site, John Zeher (ESPN’s SVP of Digital Video & Mobile Productions) notes that it was “additive.”

In terms of monetizing apps on the iPhone, ESPN recently released ESPN Radio for $2.99 and ESPN Fantasy Football for $4.99, and is also exploring the implementation of app subscriptions.

One possibility would be an iPhone version of ESPN Insider, the $40 a year plan that includes the print and online edition of ESPN The Magazine, and online features behind a paywall. “Bringing that content to iPhone makes a lot of sense and that’s something we’ll be looking at.”

Zeher, however, isn’t as optimistic when it comes to competing app stores from the likes of Android and RIM, noting that they’re both “playing a bit of catch up with getting that experience that makes it just real easy to find, discover and download an app.”  Zeher of course said that they’ll be keeping an eye on those platforms, but for the time being, ESPN seems keen on devoting the bulk of its mobile efforts towards iPhone development.

You can check out the full scoop over here.


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