Telegraph iPad app
The iPad is "core to the future business model" of the Telegraph, its director of mobile platforms said at the World Editors Forum today.

Mark Challinor told the conference, which is taking place in Kiev, that mobile platform revenue at the Telegraph "represents a double digit percentage" of digital revenue streams. And this is expected to "increase substantially" over the next year or two, he added.

The development of the iPad at the Telegraph has been an "interesting story", he said. Its original news app was launched in September 2010 as a free download, which remained free for six months.

In this time the Telegraph discovered some "unexpected truths", he said, such as that more over 55s used than iPads than under 35s.

Also, a quarter of iPad users consumed content via the device in addition to its other media consumption, not instead of.

He said that during the six month free trial period the Telegraph had a "continuous dialogue with readers to find out what it is they liked", and also what they would like to see if it became paid-for.

The responses included the "product's closeness to the newspaper rather than the website", the depth of engagement, the clean design and the "conspicuous editorship", he said.

Users also liked the sections breakdown of the app, which Challinor highlighted are "all key strengths of print", which users felt had been "successfully transferred" to the app.

He said the Telegraph feels "at this moment" that having a native app "is where we belong ... it gives that premium feel".

Looking ahead the publisher's strategy is to build interaction, collect data and "ultimately generating new revenue".

Recent developments to the app, which is now available as part of a digital package for £9.99 a month, include additional weekend content.

During the Olympics this summer the Telegraph also offered a "5pm downloadable update" each day of the Games, which Challinor said the title may bring back at some point.

Asked for the latest download figures, the Telegraph declined to release details but told Journalism.co.uk that "figures are very encouraging".

Yesterday the Telegraph announced a "significant" investment in video streaming, which will give the publisher the ability to livestream video to its iPad app.

Update: This article was updated to clarify that the mobile platform revenue percentage quoted was within digital revenues, not all revenues.

This article also said that the Telegraph was thinking of bringing back the "5pm downloadable updates" as offered during the Olympics later in the year as a one-off download. The news outlet would like to clarify that it may bring back the update at some point but it may not be later this year.

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