By Collins Atta Poku
Ghana’s leading and largest newspaper publishing and printing company, Graphic Communications Group Limited has made their brands available to their consumers online via an app. The Graphic News App is designed to add a digital version of each brand to the hard copies currently on sale and also make them widely accessible for Ghanaians abroad, foreigners who want to access local news and other persons who desire to read the papers via the app. The company aware of how much news consumption habits have changed in an era of unrivaled media consumption has decided to delve into the online market and make their presence felt.
Established in 1950 in the then Gold Coast by the Daily Mirror Group in the United Kingdom with African Graphic Company Limited as its original name, the company changed to Ghana Graphic Company Ltd after the Gold Coast gained independence from Britain in 1957. It was acquired from its private owners in 1962 by an act of the Parliament of Ghana and became a statutory corporation in 1972, and eventually ended up as the Limited Liability company it is today in 1999. The company published its first newspaper, the Daily Graphic, On October 2, 1950, and followed it up in 1953 with the weekly Sunday Mirror, now called The Mirror. In response to market demands, the company added Graphic Sports in 1985 and Graphic Showbiz in 1998 to its publications. After becoming a limited liability, the company came up with four more publications: Junior Graphic (2000), Graphic Advertiser (2004), Graphic Nsempa (2007) and Graphic Business (2008). However, the company no longer publishes Graphic Advertiser and Graphic Nsempa. The company as a result has six newspaper brands under its stewardship presently (Daily Graphic, Graphic Business, Graphic Sports, Graphic Showbiz, The Mirror and Junior Graphic)
Through the Graphic News App the company provides its customers with digital versions of their leading newspaper brands, see the headlines and read all the stories as they appear in the real newspaper. Subscribers who pay to access the newspapers will have the full content of the hard copies in a digital form on their smart phones, tablets, computers and other devices. The digital form of the newspapers will be in pdf format.
It is believed that this app will give advertisers more visibility, since they will also have their adverts on the digital version of the newspaper. The full version would be available by 5am every morning and stay on the device for two weeks. The content of the digital version cannot be transferred, saved or shared.
The cost of subscribing per an issue is GHc1.25 equivalent to 25cents. Subscribers will have access to the pages after making payments through the domestic mobile money transfer sytem or using visa cards from all over the world in any currency. Subscription for one year comes with 20% discount; six months attracts 15% discount; quarterly or three months subscription also attracts a 10% discount whilst a monthly subscription attracts 5% discount.
This move is targeted mainly at the many Ghanaians who are living outside the country and as a result find it practically impossible to get the opportunity to read these papers. Ghanaians in Amsterdam and Den Haag rely on the daily dispatch of these newspapers from Ghana through KLM at De Kandelaar and the Embassy respectively to read this paper albeit a day late. For them and many others in their situation this app will provide them a major respite. Concerns have been raised about why the app was not given a free trial version period but regardless of it, this a major move that will help provide consumers who so require to read the newspapers under the Graphic Communications Group umbrella with the avenue to do so. The Graphic News App is available for download on the Apple Market and the Google PlayStore.