This week, Atlantic Media’s mobile-first, disruptive content brand Quartz announced its foray into the Indian market. In an email to FIPP, Quartz president publisher Jay Lauf, explained, “With the Indian population shifting towards the consumption of news via mobile and other digital channels, it provides a unique advantage for us as a digitally-native, mobile first publication.”
Several other international media organisations have of course made the move to India, but Quartz’s move is telling. Says Quartz; “We hope that our focus on global, business news and digitally-native and responsive design – with a mobile focus – give us an advantage in this region.”
As Digiday reported, “Business Insider, Quartz, the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed are all at various stages of expansion into the country, which they are eyeing as the next big phase of their growth strategies.”
There are the sheer numbers, as Digiday points out, but one of the key points is that, “as in the US, India is seeing growth in mobile and social, two trends that sites like Quartz are built around.”
When it comes to mobile, few have a better vantage point than Google. In a recent conversation with FIPP, Luca Forlin, Head of International Product Partnerships at Google, shared several thoughts on where mobile publishing is headed. “There are two things right now. There are two things right now. The first is the around the devices and the second is around usage.”
Around devices, “the interesting element is that we have seen huge growth in smaller tablets – phablets – which are taking a huge share of the market from the bigger tablets. Does that change much in terms of what publishers do? The truth is we are not yet sure. What is clear is that publishers must abandon the idea of designing something one way and move to a world where content actually adapts. Optimisation is really important. The second thing is that, while phablets are taking over, in reality they belong to the smartphone family, which is entirely different from big tablets. That again forces them to abandon their old habits. Small screen sizes require much more simplicity, different design logic and different content.”
He believes usage of content won’t change. “People love content. They still want to get content, be sent content, find content and access it very quickly – but they just want to be able to do it with a thumb. That’s the impact of tablets… [But] The disruptive technologies coming into play are forcing everyone to change radically the way they write, develop and distribute content. The monthly titles have to become weekly publications, the weeklies are becoming dailies and the dailies are trying to be always-on. Everyone has to work faster and better. But the content must remain of the same quality – if not even better than it was before. There is now an even stronger focus on valuable and quality content – so those two things together are very exciting.”
Native advertising is, if not by and large then at least in important part, driven by mobile and social, and here much as Buzzfeed’s VP of Advertising (Europe), Will Hayward makes an important point regarding quality of native content. “I think as a trend native is more about media companies realising they are going to have to work a lot harder for their advertisers and, actually, the old model of putting a ton of effort into creating this wonderful editorial resource and then monetising it by adding loads of logos actually isn’t doing enough for advertisers – because consumers don’t recognise that, they don’t care about it and it’s not interesting to them.”
How mobile-ready are you?
Mobile will be a strong theme throughout FIPP’s Innovation Forum taking place on 26-27 June in London.
Google (with Luca presenting) will be there, and so will Quartz and Buzzfeed. There will be sessions dedicated to tablets, phablets and smartphones, as well as sessions on video, including top Vine campaigns, native advertising and e-newsletters, an in particular optimising these for mobile.
Come along to see top innovations and strategies, engage, discuss and debate current and future developments, and come away with practical take-outs to help develop your business and brand strategies, and help you execute on promises.