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Tablets, Mobile Devices

Algorithms, automated content optimisation are key to publisher competitiveness

03 February 2016 · By Chuck Blevins

Media sites often seem designed in the same manner that a newspaper 1A is – various boxes and teases highlighting other content available. Since we’re not sure what will stick, we provide a smorgasbord of content, hoping most readers will see something of interest. Obviously the goal is to get readers to read more.

Yet, according to Nielsen, “The average visitor spends only three minutes, four seconds per session on the typical news site.” How are we measuring the effectiveness of these designs and widgets, versus just how the content itself performs?

How many of us use tools like Google or Adobe Omniture’s Click Map, or Chartbeat’s Dashboard or Taboola Newsroom? These are tools that ...


How Snapchat works for advertisers

31 January 2016 · By Lorna White

Mobile platforms as we know them today tend to have been built successfully as apps within their operating systems. Out of millions of apps, the success of so many companies  results through the development of a popular app, and the industry of app development continues to be of huge significance for businesses.

Very strong links between social networking and mobile are built on the power of mobile apps.

One success story that is still making waves in the industry is Snapchat. The social-sharing platform, which enables users to exchange photos and videos that self-destruct once seen, was founded in 2011 and has continued to grow and develop, now incorporating a strong advertising proposition.

Developing this opportunity for advertisers has been the result of a considered and careful approach, with a keen eye on ensuring that the all-important public audience is still at the heart of the platform.

October 2014 saw the first Snapchat ad: Universal Pictures launched with a sponsored update integrated within the platform. Ever since this moment, the proposition has ...


Ad blocking is more about personal data than on-target ads

25 January 2016 · By David Murphy

The ad-blocking problem continues to challenge publishers and advertisers alike.

Figures from the IAB released last November revealed 18% of consumers in the United Kingdom had deployed ad-blocking software. And, the rate of growth of ad-blocker deployment in the UK between June 2014 and June 2015 was 82%, according to PageFair, which offers publishers the ability to serve simple, unfussy ads to people who arrive on their sites with ad blockers turned on.

That’s exactly double the global growth figure of 41%, which is, in and of itself, worryingly high.

There seems to be broad agreement on why people are deploying ad blockers. There are two principal factors. The first is because they can. It’s never been easier to click on a link and download a bit of software that will speed up your browsing experience.

But being able to do something is not always reason enough to want to do it. In the case of the ad blockers, the digital advertising industry has ...


Apple changes to app purchases, iAds affect publishers worldwide

24 January 2016 · By Sarah Riley

Changes in the global economy have ripple effects that don’t just affect prices at the gas pump or the grocery store. Exchange rate fluctuations in some countries have prompted Apple to re-evaluate its App Store price tiers, including for in-app purchases in Canada, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and South Africa.

This means if you have paid apps or subscribers, they’re about to see their prices go up both in the store and on their monthly bill.

In Canada, for example, the lowest pricing tier now starts at C$1.39, up from C$1.19 in September 2015. The higher-priced tiers are the most affected, with prices that were formerly C$50 now increased to C$69.99. Apple released an encyclopedic PDF earlier this month outlining the new pricing for reference.

By most standards, you could consider these increases marginal. But in the App Store, where pricing is assigned to something somewhat intangible (software), the perception of price is relative. It’s a unique economic landscape where a C$1.99 app can actually be ...


Data insight at the heart of audience engagement at VG+

13 January 2016 · By Padraic Woods

VG’s premium digital product, VG+, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with more than 70,000 paying subscribers. VG+ is a 5-year-old publication published by a tabloid newspaper with no history of subscriptions.

VG+ is now the fourth-largest newspaper in Norway with ambitions to surpass the 100,000-subscriber milestone in 2016. In a country with a population of just more than five million people, the subscription numbers are starting to become substantial.

VG+ began as an iPad-only product at a time when people anticipated the iPad would save the media industry. “The real game changer didnt come in 2010 with the iPad but came three years earlier with the launch of the smartphone. We just didnt realise it then,” says the chief editor for VG+, Espen Olsen Langfeldt.

Today VG+ is more popular on mobile and desktop than on the iPad.

Behind the success of VG+ lies a high-functioning, cross-departmental collaboration among the technology, journalism, and commercial departments. At the core of the success is the use of data insight to help drive decisions across all departments.

At VG, breaking news is available for free and is supported by ads on our popular Web site. Premium content is also promoted through the same site and is interspersed among free and open content. Data insight helps ...


7 mobile trends for the new year

04 January 2016 · By Mark Challinor

As we transition from 2015 into 2016, what can we expect in terms of mobile and m-advertising next year?

1. More devices: Wearables and all things that might be classed as “mobile” in this Internet of Things era will become more prevalent. We will start to expect “connected everything” – more of an experience, more creative, more personalised, and all in real time.

The GSMA mobile device tracker says the number of mobile handsets are expanding seven times faster than the human race itself (there are already more phones than humans: 7.5 billion versus 7.2 billion at the end 2014). Expectations are that 36% of revenue for Apple in 2016 will be attributed to the Apple Watch.

I think people will start to find that wearables make mobile easier in that they place technologies on you first (sensors, et. al.). Everything is hands free with no need to reach into your handbag or pocket.

2. Data: Next year, advertisers will need to prioritise data more than ...


Mobile audiences want simple, slimmed down app products

21 December 2015 · By Chuck Blevins

I’ve said before that we’ve entered a time where the key technical disruption is happening in the gaps between services, which leads to waiting at the consumer level for transcendent innovation.

With the holidays upon us, I’m feeling the consumer doldrums more than ever. I’m bored with the offerings and updates this year.

Welcome to the remix.

New apps, devices, and services are built from the “same old” mobile/digital tools and services. Most new wearables are a just phone or pedometer in a new, less useful form. Each month it’s another new social media platform, another calendar/meeting/e-mail client, another dating service, another isometric war game, or another “disruptive” service on demand.

Beyond the first movers who may or may-not-have disrupted some market, latecomers often just tighten the supply chains to little effect with certainly no ...


Smartphones + video = immersive advertising experience

16 December 2015 · By Lorna White

The growth of the smartphone is having an increasingly important influence on creative considerations. Different creative opportunities are available to make use of the different functionalities of smartphones. With the increasing influence on the digital market, this is now the leading the choice of creative format.

New types of video formats are emerging, with mobile video trending, and Facebook and YouTube claiming more than 60% of video consumption on mobile. Portrait video formats (where the images fit the screen fully) provide a super impactful format to truly engage the mobile audience.

While vertical videos were once creatively frowned upon, the increasing use of mobile video has ...


Apple iOS 9’s deep linking feature is invaluable for driving audience engagement

15 December 2015 · By Sarah Riley

One of the biggest and most powerful developments in iOS 9 is undoubtedly the arrival of deep linking. Yet a survey of the world’s top-ranking news apps found that only four of the top 10 are currently using it to their advantage (ABC News, BuzzFeed, Flipboard, and Fox News), and only 11% of the top 130 overall. 

Why so few? While you could argue that deep linking is one of the most groundbreaking updates to Apple’s operating system, it’s probably one of the least understood. Still it’s a feature begging to be explored, because its implications for the app landscape (and newspaper apps in particular) are huge.

Here’s how it works.

Imagine yourself, phone in hand, scrolling through your Twitter feed. Now imagine you spot a share from a fitness-type person of her most recent Nike+ run. Previously, tapping on the link would have launched Twitter’s Web view, and this is true even if you also happen to have the Nike+ app installed on your phone.

Twitter has no way of interpreting the link as anything but a Web redirect, but for iOS, there’s a new layer of ...


Programmatic needs to deliver on its relevance promise

30 November 2015 · By David Murphy

Relevance is everything in advertising. If I’m interested in golf but not in tennis, then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that I’m more likely to click on an advertisement for a golf holiday than I am for a tennis holiday.

In essence, this is where the real appeal of programmatic advertising lies. In the programmatic world – or at least the real-time bidding, auction part of it – it matters not where the ad appears, only that it’s the place your target consumer happens to be at the precise moment it’s served, whether that’s the Daily Telegraph Web site or an ad-funded game on his smartphone. (The other strain of programmatic, private marketplaces, which is growing in popularity, is more akin to traditional advertising in that the advertiser can choose where its ad will appear, even though the inventory is traded programmatically.)

In theory, then ...


About this blog

As news increasingly goes mobile, this blog’s mission is to be the worldwide reference guide to growing and engaging news audiences via mobile devices and tablets; attracting mobile revenue via advertising, sponsorship, and subscriptions; and owning the market for mobile news.

Meet the bloggers

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Chuck Blevins
Manager, Digital Products and Projects
Cox Media Group Newspapers
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Mark Challinor
Mobile/Digital Consultant
President, INMA
London, United Kingdom
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David Murphy
Founder and Editor
Mobile Marketing magazine
London, United Kingdom
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Sarah Riley
Senior App Advisor
MindSea, an investment of The Chronicle Herald
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Lorna White
Senior Planner Connect
London, United Kingdom
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Padraic Woods
Mobile Development Manager
Verdens Gang
Oslo, Norway
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