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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Ongo Launches Subscription-bsaed News Service For Big Papers


Ongo Inc. on Tuesday launched Ongo, a personal news service funded by New York Times Co., Washington Post Co, and Gannett Co in an attempt to get readers to pay for online news.

Ongo delivers full articles and customization features, along with editorial curation that uncovers interesting stories beyond the day's top headlines.

Ongo is accessible through any web browser on computers, smart phones and tablets for a single monthly fee. The basic subscription plan includes articles from the Associated Press, the Washington Post, USA Today and select stories from the New York Times and Pearson PLC's Financial Times. Users can add titles, such as the Guardian and the Detroit Free Press, for 99 cents a month for each additional source.

Ongo also features tools for searching, saving and sharing stories that matter most to readers, displayed in an ad-free web environment.

Many of today's online news aggregation services are disjointed, distracting experiences - providing only snippets of articles surrounded by links and ads that require readers to jump from site to site.

"Ongo is launching a news service that puts readers first, and will continue to do so by adding new publications and features," said Alex Kazim, Ongo Inc.'s founder and chief executive officer. "Ongo redefines readability and provides the most sought-after content from top sources. Our smart tools ensure that readers get the news they need while our editorial team spotlights the interesting, informative and entertaining stories that shouldn't be missed."

Smart news features built into Ongo work across all titles include:

1. Ongo Home - A single "front page" for the most important daily news, along with stories of interest picked by Ongo's editors.
2. Titles - Quick access to news by a subscriber's publications.
3. My Topics - A subscriber's customized news "playlist" arranged by title, section or keyword.
4. Clippings - A convenient place to save articles for later reading.
5. Ongo Search - Fine-tuned news search by category, title, date or writer with readily accessible tools for quick filtering of results. Search results cover all titles within Ongo, not just those in a subscriber's package.
6. Sharing - Invitation-only "Clubs," which are discussion groups among Ongo subscribers. Even non-subscribers can participate in Clubs, receiving emailed and posted articles from Ongo subscribers, extending the value of Ongo membership.

The Ongo subscription package is $6.99 a month, providing coverage from the Associated Press; all original Washington Post content from The Washington Post print edition; all content from USA TODAY; New York Times Picks, a selection of top stories from The New York Times; and selected content from the Financial Times. Subscribers can add one title of their choice from a list of selected publications as part of the subscription package. Additional titles can also be added to the subscriber's account, starting at 99 cents a month.

At launch, Ongo is offering a free one-month trial to everyone who sets up a subscription. There is also a free "day pass" for one day of access to Ongo without having to provide a credit card number.


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