CNN has been expanding its digital media portfolio little by little, and finally took a big jump this week when it purchased Zite and its iPad platform.
Zite is a service that learns about readers’ preferences and tailors a digital magazine with stories from hundreds of different websites. It is a way to create a personalized magazine for news, articles, blogs, videos and other content from both specialized and mainstream publications.
According to ZDNet, digital publishing, particularly the iPad, is a growing business as more and more people are consuming their news via mobile gadgets.
In a letter from KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital, he explained CNN wants to become a leader in the personalized publishing and content space. “The Zite technology can also help CNN’s websites and apps serve more personalized content, making our current digital services even better.”
The news network plans to keep Zite just the way it is for now without a lot changes to the platform and even the employee base.
Even though CNN owns the platform, Zite will be a standalone business based in San Francisco. The company’s CEO Mark Johnson will stay on and continue to manage Zite’s daily operations out of the company’s current headquarters in San Francisco while founder Ali Davar will serve as Executive Director.
According to Johnson, CNN, Time Warner or Turner will not receive special coverage on Zite. The merger will help the platform grow and build up its capital. Neither company reported on the financial terms of the purchase, although some have speculated $20 – $25 million.
Zite for the iPad is available for free in the iTunes App Store.