The disruption that digital technology is causing in the publishing business is old news now. But as the debate rumbles on about how best to monetize digital content, arguably one platform isn’t being given as much thought as it deserves: mobile.
Last month the Washington Post shared a graph produced by mobile analytics firm Flurry, which compares the proportion of time that American media consumers spend with TV, web, print, radio and mobile with the proportion of money that advertisers spend on those platforms.
Data showed that American users were consuming media 22% of the time on the web, while advertisers only spent 16% of their money there. While these numbers are a little worrying, on mobile, the imbalance was far worse. Readers consumed media via mobile devices a whopping 23% of the time, but advertisers only spent 1% of the money on this platform.
Last Friday, Press Gazette quoted Ken Breen, the managing consultant for consumer media at Thomson Reuters, who said that, when it came to smartphones, news organisations were on a “journey from Kansas to Oz,” adding “we’re smack bang in the middle of a tornado at the moment."
Breen, who spoke at Press Gazette's News on the Move conference, is quoted by the publication.
“We’re starting to make money from mobile, but we’re certainly not making as much as we want to,” he stated, “it’s part and parcel of pretty much every commercial conversation we’re having at the moment, and if it isn’t we’re asking why.
Breen claimed 2.5m app downloads across different devices for Reuters and stated, “it’s where we need to be. There’s a huge amount of change within digital publishing. Mobile for us is something that I don’t think, if I’m being honest with you, we’ve really looked at historically.”
A study from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism last week also highlighted that news organsiations are struggling with mobile revenue. Of the papers that Pew looked at, “advertising on mobile devices accounted for only 1% of the digital revenue in 2011.
“Executives are generally excited by the prospects of mobile, but for now it accounts for a tiny amount of revenue,” stated the study.
Sources: Washington Post