In a go-go world, news readers and consumers are constantly on the move with their mobile devices. On trains and planes—and everywhere in between—they stay connected on the web through their tablets and smartphones. As a result, most publishers now realize that mobile platforms are a critical way to reach consumers, who want to remain up to the minute on breaking news and the best deals while shopping.
According to a recent survey,How Media Companies are Innovating and Investing in Cross-Platform Opportunities, 90% of Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) publications currently have a mobile presence. The study, conducted in conjunction with Roslow Research, indicated that this number was up from 51% in 2009. The remaining 10% anticipate developing these platforms within the next 12 months.
When AAM first fielded a digital-focused survey in 2009, publishers were just starting to hatch strategies for the mobile market. In 2012, the profitability of digital e-commerce was highlighted. In the survey, 22% of the participants noted that their smartphone as well as tablet apps and platforms are profitable; more than half forecasted that their mobile presence would lead to additional revenue during the next 2 years.
In addition, the survey results revealed that media companies are distributing content on multiple platforms to connect with consumers on their preferred device. According to this study, Apple products still lead the market, with 85% of publishers using iPhone apps and 87% selecting iPad apps. However, Kindle apps have grown 2 ½ times, up from 24% in 2011 to 67% in 2012; Nook apps have increased more than 4 times, from 14% in 2011 to 57% in 2012.
Besides recognizing the importance of delivering mobile content, media companies understand the need to reach an expanding number of digital readers. To achieve that goal, publishers have adopted tablets, smartphones and the Internet as essential tools in their cross-platform publishing strategy.
The following are some additional survey findings:
- Media companies are offering multiple apps on each device. On average, companies are producing 3.4 iPad and iPhone apps, 3 Kindle apps and 2.4 Nook apps.
- Publishers are most likely to charge for content on the iPad (56%); the iPhone follows at 42%, Kindle at 38% and Nook at 31%. Subscriptions are not the only revenue source. Most respondents agreed that a dual revenue stream from advertising and subscriptions is essential to make digital platforms lucrative.
- Even as the market matures, media companies are still testing and revising their strategies to best provide editorial and advertising content to their consumers. They are nearly split on using native apps designed for specific devices versus web apps that function across devices. Seventy percent are publishing native apps, and 67% are publishing Web apps.
- The impact of HTML5 as a new additional publishing technology is still undecided for most publishers. During the next year, 41% said they plan to continue using native apps, and 31% said they plan to try HTML5.
- After years of allowing customers to access free online content, many media companies are charging for their website content. A total of 48% have a paywall for some or all of their content. Combined percentages for newspapers, magazines and business publications show 41% currently use a paywall. Of those currently without a paywall, 44% plan to use one during the next 2 years.
- The most popular type of paywall is metered, where customers may access a predetermined number of articles before payment is required. Almost 40% use metered paywalls, and 17% use a hard paywall, where payment is required to read any content. A total of 33% use a combination paywall, which restricts access to premium content.
- To monetize mobile apps in an effort to offset print declines, 77% agreed that mobile revenues must emerge from advertising and circulation, up from 52% in 2009. Fifty-four percent of respondents said mobile platforms currently represent up to 9% of advertising revenue, and 56% said it represents up to 9 percent of circulation revenue.
- Despite the promise of mobile publishing, survey respondents are pragmatic about their print publications. Less than 15% said they have plans to reduce their print publishing frequency and less than 3% think their publication will only be produced digitally in the next five years.
For media companies currently planning to expand their mobile apps, Big Mouth Local can help them develop and launch these platforms quickly. Contact us now to increase your company’s mobile presence on the web, and watch your revenue grow!