Mobile Strategies

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Tablets, Mobile Devices

Apple, Google, Facebook lead digital media transformation

28 June 2015 · by Dirk Barmscheidt

Over the last few weeks, there was a lot of discussion about the publishing industry’s transformation. And the surprise was that the publishers did not start the discussion, but rather tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple did.

The message for each publisher and for the whole industry is a slap in the face: You are not able to transform to digital successfully on your own!

And this is not ...


How analytics should inform your media company’s smartphone app creation

21 June 2015 · by Sarah Riley

When it comes to digital platforms, we shouldn’t have to convince you that smartphones lay claim to the “fastest growth” title. But just in case you need proof, here are some numbers to prove the mobile screen has now surpassed television as North America’s primary display:


How to make peace between your re-designed mobile app and its users

17 June 2015 · by Chuck Blevins

So, you’ve released a major re-design to your app. It’s prettier, more functional, and addresses lots of prior complaints. The focus and user testing groups have loved it. It’s all around better.

Then the hate mail starts rolling in.

Why don’t the users see that the new version is better? How do they not recognise you made things easier? Have they suddenly forgotten their complaints?

Major design/interface and architectural changes, while cool and shiny, are fraught with problems for users. The changes usually cannot be transparent as they might be with incremental fixes. Big changes, even for the better, are big changes. And existing users will be thrown by them, even if new users have no issue diving in.

“In most cases, people hate change because they don’t like to suddenly become stupid,” writes User Interface Engineering’s Jared Spool in a 2012 post. Not because they don’t like change, but “because of the changes, you suddenly find yourself ...


VG partners with 3 advertisers to test location-based app

15 June 2015 · by Padraic Woods

At Verdens Gang (VG) we have been experimenting with offering location-based advertisements in our VG app.

The goal is to deliver relevant advertisements to the users at the right time and in the right place. Smartphones have provided the opportunity to serve more relevant information based on a user’s current physical location or locations previously visited.

There are different ways of identifying the location of a user. The green triangle in the diagram above displays the accuracy of the location technology used, and the blue triangle displays the reach of that technology.

So a location determined from IP addresses has a high reach but isn’t very accurate. iBeacon solution using Bluetooth technology has high accuracy, but relatively few users have Bluetooth turned on and are in the vicinity of an iBeacon.

Modern browsers have a geo-location API for determining the current location of a user. Users, however, have to accept location sharing every time the browser wishes to look up the users location. An app, on the other hand, only needs to ask for the permission once.

Current browsers do ...


What does the new Apple News app mean for media companies?

11 June 2015 · by Sarah Riley

You can probably imagine the flurry of excitement in the creative tech industry this past week, hotly anticipating Apple’s keynote at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Apple TVs in boardrooms everywhere — including ours — streamed it live.

WWDC turned out to be especially relevant to publishers — not least of all because Newsstand (launched to lots of fanfare in iOS 5 but languishing in popularity since then) got the axe. 

Consider it a welcome act of quietly putting an app past its prime out to pasture. While it once had earnest intentions of making mobile media consumption easy for iPhone users, the app ultimately hide publications away once downloaded. Worse, it locked publishers into a no-win scenario where moving the app out of the faux folder meant losing your in-app subscription base and starting from scratch. 

Newsstand to pull a disappearing act, replaced by News

Expect Newsstand to morph into a regular folder, and for its apps to now appear as ...


Mobile connections mean media advertising will never be the same

02 June 2015 · by Lorna White

Advertising systems are made more powerful with increased integration of mobile. With the future becoming more connected, what does this mean for consumers and brands?

Change has never happened this fast before, and will never be this slow again.

How consumers are connected now

Mobile has been the driving force behind a number of different digital innovations as the functionalities of smartphones enable different interactions. Introducing more devices means that this will continue.

Although voice search hasn’t quite taken off in the United Kingdom, in the United States, 41% of consumers are using this. Smartwatches will continue to fuel this, providing a seamless experience without having to use a phone at all, which may be the tipping point for the UK.

Video advertising is now prolific on mobile, however, advertisers need to make sure ...


5 steps to a premium mobile site

31 May 2015 · by Mark Challinor

Having recently attended the INMA World Congress in New York, I was particularly inspired by the session on creating a better mobile experience.

Expanding on this further, it seems to me there are, in essence, five obstacles or challenges we all need to overcome in delivering a first-rate mobile site for our readers and advertisers:

  1. Winning over your stakeholders (very often, with your CEO).

    What do your readers want from your Web site? Maybe it’s a combination of getting news, checking restaurant and theatre reviews, booking tickets/buying reader offers, and reading free or paid content? Researcher IMRG statistics show that 37% of online sales in the United Kingdom, for instance, are now on mobile (equating to US$12 billion in 2014).

    So how does this translate to the resources and budget we need to develop the best ...

Facebook’s Instant Articles: Repelling, rewarding, or required for media companies?

25 May 2015 · by David Murphy

Things have been tricky enough for news publishers these past few years, what with declining print circulations, paywalls, and then this incessant shift in consumer behaviour toward accessing content on mobile devices, tablets, and now even smartwatches.

What works in a broadsheet print format, of course, doesn’t work so well on a mobile device. And when it comes to a watch, one of the new breed of “glance-able” devices, there’s barely room for a much-truncated headline.

Somehow, news publishers have just had to deal with it as best they can, doing their utmost to see the opportunity in the threat. All of that is challenging enough without the increased pressure traditional publishers face from the new kids on the block, not that Google and Facebook are all that new anymore.

The battles between newspaper publishers and Google are ...


3 tips for a successful digital publishing strategy

19 May 2015 · by Dirk Barmscheidt

I was invited by Google to present at a regional publisher and newspaper forum. Google wants to show these publishers potential ways to penetrate the digital realm by doing the following in the mobile world:

  • Create digital products.

  • Organise the production.

  • Monetise the reach.

Based on my experience with a publisher’s daily work and the (internal) barriers faced, I created three main topics for a successful digital publisher’s strategy:

  1. Adapt instead of copy.

    The core of print and digital content products is and must be similar: high-quality editorial work (research, selection, commentary). The execution is totally different.

    Mobile device users like summaries and overviews, and are mostly time-stamp driven. Print readers are mostly in a lean-back situation. They want and are able to read long versions. Tablet users are between these two media.

    Rule 1: Analyse your target group using ...

Publishers find new mobile opportunities by looking to the past

17 May 2015 · by Stefan Savva

Each new computing cycle brings predictable patterns of behaviour. As such, one of the interesting things about the shift to mobile devices is that while publishers are certainly struggling with the number of “unknowns” our businesses are forced to deal with, you get a clearer view of some of the factors playing out in 2015 by looking at the past.

During the last 60 years of computing, in each platform shift — from the mainframe to the personal computer to desktop Internet and now into mobile — definite similarities have emerged. Each new platform was initially seen as inferior to the one preceding it until, over time, the emerging platform become more robust and replaced its predecessor.

It is classic disruption. New platforms are not just significantly better; they are far cheaper and vastly more accessible. They have an addressable base that has increased, more or less, by a factor of 10.

The quality issue is playing out again. For example, while we are reasonably comfortable with smartphones and tablets (up to a point), most people have a hard time imagining how ...


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

Dirk Barmscheidt
Founder and Managing Director
Brantalist - Digital Business Consulting
Hamburg, Germany
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Chuck Blevins
New Platform Development & Technology
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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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Stefan Savva
Mobile Director
Fairfax Media
Sydney, Australia
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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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