Media owners are well aware of the importance and continued growth of mobile usage. Yet, they are still struggling with the enormous challenges of a fragmented landscape and meagre revenues.
With limited resources and potential for monetisation, publishers need to prioritise the projects that go into their mobile portfolio. The biggest decisions typically circle around the questions of ‘native app versus mobile web’, ‘Apple iOS versus Google Play/Android’, and ‘how to monetise’.
Are the advantages of native apps, such as richer and stickier experiences and hence more engaged and valuable users as well as the ability to capture new types of user data, worth the higher cost of development and maintenance for apps, which often struggle with discoverability and therefore typically smaller user numbers? Is the mobile web with lower cost but also less engaging experiences, with more advertising opportunities and larger user numbers the way to go? Which of the main mobile operating systems promises more users, but probably more importantly, more revenues for its apps?
New US data on mobile usage as well as glimpses into how US magazine publishers approach mobile may help guide this process.