In the same way that British new wave band, Buggles sang about video killing the radio star back in the late seventies, so mobile is now taking over from the Web. Today more and more people read the news on their smart devices using the mobile versions of publications. One of the key objectives for digital publishers is to drive readers to mobile and turn this into a profitable channel. The challenge is, of course, how to keep readers engaged with more dynamic, shorter content and for publishers how they can make money out of mobile ad placements?
Since the digitalisation of newspapers and publications we have adopted new habits as readers. The Online Publishers Association (OPA) states that 56% of people who chose their tablet or smartphone for reading news, spend an average of 14 hours per week on their devices. The mobile versions of magazines often offer readers exclusive content only available to those who have the app.
But providing mobile content changes the traditional rules that apply to providing print or online content. Going mobile doesn't simply mean just shifting all the content from the website to an app, it is important to adapt the layout, the look and feel, as well as the content and all of this has to be delivered in a more visual way for readers.
NetMediaEurope has rapidly adapted to the new mobile demands of its readers and we have an app version of all of our web publications available for iOS, Android and the Windows Phone. However, this is still not enough to be ahead of the game. If you want to get to the 'heart' of the digital reader you need to offer news to them in exclusive and dynamic ways. Therefore it is very important to monitor how people find news - discoverability patterns are going to be an increasingly important area for competitive news providers.
Google Currents is a perfect example of this. It enables online publishers to customise the presentation of their content. Currently, our two key UK websites, TechWeekEurope UK has over 900K subscribers and Channel Biz has 5,664 subscribers on Google Currents. We offer our readers the subscribers app, that aggregates content from our publications so users can read everything in the same place.
The growing challenge for digital publishers is how to monetise a mobile app. Digital advertising has been the golden rush for the past years but it has failed to capture the attention of readers and it has failed to generate enough revenue for online publishers.
With the rise of mobile savvy consumers, mobile advertising will be the way forward but online publishers must find ways to deliver sponsored content that is relevant to individual consumers and they must be able to monetise this. These are exciting time for the online industry and as an online publisher I feel that we have to ensure we provide a unique reading experience to our 'digital' readers.