Publishers and the Mobile Internet Revolution

[Editorial notes: Guest article contributed by Mobstac cofounders, Sharath Potharaju and Ravi Pratap on evolution of mobile Internet and what it means to digital publishers.]

The mobile web is truly a game-changer for every publisher. From a small publishing house with just one title in its kitty to an enterprise news publishing house, everyone is revisiting their digital mobile strategy.

In the 90’s when the digital revolution took over, publishers had to get on to the Internet bandwagon to keep going. Today, armed with internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, a new class of content consumers are growing steadily. In the US, 25% of all Internet users are mobile only!

In May 2012, in India rapidly growing mobile internet usage surpassed the traditional desktop internet usage, suggests Mary Meeker’s Internet trends report.

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The growth of smartphones and tablets has boosted content consumption dramatically. A report by the Online Publishers Association reveals that content consumption is the No. 1 activity of tablet owners, with 94 percent of respondents saying they regularly read news or other articles and watch video.

Social, Local, Mobile

While mobile media pose a threat to traditional media forms, there is a hidden advantage for publishers to deliver tailor-made, location-based news and information to readers through mobiles and tablets. When readers get their hands on good content, they are more likely to share it with others via social media.

72mn Americans accessed social media from their mobile devices in August 2011, a 37% increase compared to the prior year, says ComScore. Every time your content gets shared, your content gets more audience.

As mobile visitors for content increases, publishers look for ways to monetize traffic. Mobile advertising gives marketers the chance to reach consumers on a more personal level than any other type of advertising. One reason why publishers prefer MobStac is because of the easy one-click ad integration.

Publishers have not yet woken up completely to the mobile revolution in India, but majority of marketers plan to increase their mobile ad spends in 2013. The mobile ad industry is estimated to be $5.04 Bn by 2015.

This reiterates the fact that publishers not just need a mobile strategy, they need a mobile-only strategy entirely focused on their audiences on-the-move.

When addressing this, publishers face two major challenges:

1. Creating engaging content to captivate the mobile audience

2. Making your digital content accessible to these mobile & tablet devices

While the first challenge can be addressed through a well-thought editorial strategy, the second challenge needs you to optimize your digital channels for smartphones and tablets.

App Vs Browser

A Mobile-optimized website or an app?

What works best for a publisher?

There is no definite answer yet. It varies from one publisher to another.

We at MobStac have learnt over the years interacting with publishers that they look for one cost-effective solution that offers the best experience to readers across all mobile and tablet devices and helps them monetize their traffic effectively.

The mobile web comes with a lot of new challenges for publishers. Recognizing these challenges early and equipping your digital channels to meet your mobile audiences’ needs will reap big benefits in the long run.

What are your thoughts?