ToI’s Alive App brings Rich Media experience to newspapers!


If you read today’s Times of India (or on 16th Dec), you would have found couple of news with pictorial showing read arrow and stating “alive”. This is the latest mobile app launched by Times of India that brings richness to the newspaper with use of mobile phone as platform to deliver the news.

Here is an example of Alive app appearing in today’s Times of India newspaper.

alive app toi

How Alive app works?

This concept is obviously not new – About couple of years back, Mid-day as well as couple of other newspapers had used QR code to bring the newspaper content on mobile. The article carried a QR code and when the user scanned it, related videos, images would get downloaded on mobile for viewing. Here is a demonstration of how that worked.

The concept of alive app is similar, but it works within the framework of Alive app, which has to be first downloaded to users mobile. Alive app is available for download on nearly all mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows as well as Symbian.

Because Alive app has its own framework and AR engine, the content can be showed to use in much more pleasing manner. So for example if a user has downloaded the alive app on their mobile and scan the image shown above, a video will start streaming exactly from the point where the image is frozen in the newspaper. This makes alive app an extension of the news the user is reading.

QR code on the other hand worked by just pointing user to related content, which necessarily did not add to consumers news reading experience. That was probably the main reason why QR Code in newspaper did not really take off, while alive app may!

Will Alive App be popular?

Alive app may not have a mass appeal, but according to me, many users will find it interesting. According to news reports, Alive app was launched on 16th December and it has notched up over 250,000 app downloads till date, which, if true, is really an encouraging stat for such kind of app.

And if Alive app does really get popular, for Times it will open up another premium channel for monetization, because with multimedia content they have host of options to sell rich advertisements, that too, to a very known segment of users.

I like the app, and I sure think it has great potential. What needs to be seen is its adoption rate and level of activity it generates.

Give it a try and let us know what you feel.

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