And still, after many publishers were caught flat-footed by the Internet, history has repeated itself in slow motion with the shift to mobile.
Even though more than half of traffic is now coming from mobile devices, there’s no shortage of dire pronouncements on the state of publishers’ mobile efforts. An inexact bill of particulars: 1. Most publisher mobile experiences are horrific; 2. Publishers can make only a fraction of money off mobile visitors as they do on desktop; 3. Mobile pages are so slow to load that Facebook and other platforms now have a pretext to host the content directly; and 4. Publishers have woefully under-invested when it comes to mobile.
It’s the last point that NBC-owned Breaking News co-founder and general manager Cory Bergman emphasises in this week’s Digiday Podcast. Figuring out mobile is going to take untold amount of iteration, but most publishers are loathe to devote the resources needed to figuring it out. Among Bergman’s “12 hard truths” about mobile is “it’s about to get worse.”
“The investment level is too small,” Bergman said. “If you go into any news digital arm, if you ask people who work on the website to raise their hands and people who work on apps to raise their hands, it’s still going to be leaning vastly to the website.”
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