Tablet Publishing

Onswipe Launches, Helping Hearst and Reuters Avoid Apple’s App Tax

onswipe Onswipe Launches, Helping Hearst and Reuters Avoid Apples App Tax

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The way OnSwipe founder Jason Baptise sees it, the tablet will be the TV of this generation. “So why not make it simple for all websites to be beautiful, touch-enabled and easy to read, online or off.”

The TechStars NY grad will debut to the public today with big name publishing partners like Hearst, Reuters and Slate. On the flip side, the company has locked down advertising relationships with blue chips like American Express and Sprint.

Onswipe makes it easy for publishers to import their content and, with a small javascript implementation, give that content a touch enabled UI and clean look on tablets and mobile phones.

Instead of charging a fee for this service, OnSwipe takes a cut of the advertising revenue from interactive ad units that fit into the OnSwipe network.

“We think of publishers as our partners,” says Baptiste. That’s a nobel motto, many publishers could use a hand these days. But trying to survive on advertising revenue hasn’t proved easy for digital media companies, so its hard to imagine it will provide a big revenue stream for OnSwipe split two ways.

“Publishers just want a little love,” Baptiste continues. My Onswipe, the company’s Instapaper feature, saves content for reading offline, but doesn’t remove any of the branding or advertising. Plus, it continues to deliver metrics on engagement for this time shifted content.

Onswipe, which has raised $6 million to date from Spark CapitalLightbankYuri MilnerLerer VenturesSV AngelBetaworksMorado VenturesENIAC Ventures, and Thrive Capital, will have some breathing room to figure out their business model.

It’s clear from the moves made by the Financial Times and NY post in the last two weeks that big publishers are still doing the same. It will be fascinating to see, six months from now, whether the app store or the mobile site has proved to be a better platform.


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