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Tablets, Mobile Devices

Sports: The mobile content pioneer

20 August 2014 · by Dirk Barmscheidt

In many ways, sports are determining the development of media.

The technical equipment is awesome when covering a sporting event. If you follow a golf tournament on Sky Sports, you will get live (!) analytics of hits and swings. The BBC developed snooker as a fancy sport on television.

In former days, newspapers’ main service on Mondays was to collect sporting event results, show tables, and analyse the background information. A post-sports weekend without a newspaper? Inconceivable!

We all know newspapers lost their mighty position as the information leader and monopolist. By using real-time channels like TV and the Internet, the user gets what he demands: near live results and near live analysis and backgrounds.

The football World Cup 2002 game with South Korea and Japan was the first hint as to where football coverage specifically and sports coverage in general would ...


Sydney Morning Herald readers put down their smartphones in the name of research

04 August 2014 · by Stefan Savva

Earlier this year, The Sydney Morning Herald contacted its readership and posed an unusual question: “Would you be willing to switch off your smartphone for a week in order to help with a research study?”
The goal of this research was to better understand the relationship our readers have with their smartphones and uncover their motivations in coming to the Herald mobile site.

With popular mobile apps being so singlular in purpose, successful app designers are those who understand what tasks the readers are trying to accomplish and build apps that succinctly solve these user problems.

Speaking to our users on a regular basis helps us improve the Herald products. We listen to our readers, and the insights are fed back into the mobile team as we develop new features and enhance the overall mobile experience.

The research group was made up of 30 individuals all undertaking the same three tasks:
Task #1: No using apps on one’s smartphone.

Participants were allowed to make voice calls as before, but they were strictly forbidden from using apps for personal or professional reasons. This led to ...


Have you revisited, tweaked your apps to respond to audience data?

29 July 2014 · by Chuck Blevins

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Most posts on this blog discuss the future and how you should be ready to meet it. However, we only get there by managing today’s applications.

So, let’s step back for a moment and talk about the now – how we are maintaining and improving our existing apps so we can get to that much-cooler-than-now horizon in the first place.

It’s about the grunt work.

Most of us launch an app with hypotheses about what content and features our readers want. We build based on the print archetype and organisation, and we test new features.

How are your hypotheses playing out? What are your metrics telling you about:

  • What readers are reading, how much of it, and for how long?

  • What readers are not reading?

  • Readers’ use patterns?

  • What features readers are using or ignoring?

Outside of metrics, regularly reviewing other applications should uncover ...


8 ways connected devices will change everyday life for your consumer

23 July 2014 · by Mark Challinor

Like it or not, we are starting to see a whole range of previously inanimate objects become connected by sending signals and messages to each other, alerting our mobile devices, and creating pockets of data on all of us that will make marketers excited.

A good example of this is Nest Labs (purchased by Google earlier this year for US$3.2 billion). This is basically a maker of thermostats and smoke alarms for your home that can control hot water, room temperature, and other similar functions, all via a smart device.

You may ask yourself why Google would spend billions of dollars on such products, but when you consider the battle for home-based technology, you’ll understand why.

Google wants to know who is at home, what they are doing, at what time, etc. — all so the company can get closer to their users through the use of data. This is a bit too much like Big Brother for many, but people are starting to trade privacy for convenience, and we all need to ...


VG+ shares pros and cons of Apple’s Newsstand: Is it worth it for your app?

20 July 2014 · by Padraic Woods

Apple introduced Newsstand in iOS5 as a single location for users to gather all their magazine and newspaper app subscriptions. From the users’ perspective, it’s a type of folder where all their news/magazine periodicals (that support Newsstand) are located.

There is also a link to the Newsstand section of the App store where a user can discover new publications.

If you are publishing a news app, you have the option to add it to Newsstand. Before you do, however, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages.

What is the difference between a Newsstand app and a regular app?


  • Newsstand app: The app needs to have at least ...

Own the device, own the customer — which publisher will make the first move?

13 July 2014 · by David Murphy

There’s an oft-repeated line from the TV series “Heroes” that sticks in my mind: “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” And when I think of the challenge brands now face in engaging with consumers, a similar mantra comes to mind: “Own the device, own the customer."

To explain: In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for any one brand to take ownership of the relationship with a consumer.

The difficulty stems from the number of brands competing for everyone’s attention and the multitude of different channels they use to do so, from wearable tech at one end of the spectrum to sponsored messages on the sides of buses at the other.

There are few stones left unturned when it comes to targeting consumers with advertising messages. Think of the stair risers taking you back up to ground level as you exit from the Metro. Or the posters you see on toilet walls in bars and restaurants, the owners realising a man standing at a urinal is most definitely a captive audience.

During a Skype call to the office one recent morning, the square in the middle of the Skype window was occupied by an ad for an LG phone. It’s the first time I recall seeing an ad on Skype, although perhaps I’ve seen hundreds and have become at best accustomed, or at worst immune to them.

So how does a brand cut through the noise? Well, one strategy comes from Tesco, which is adopting a device-centric approach, and it’s one I think the publishing industry could follow.

Tesco entered the tablet market last September with the £119 Hudl, an Android device with a 7-inch screen, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and 16GB of memory. Since then, the grocery retailer announced ...


Verdens Gang creates device lab to deliver best mobile experience

29 June 2014 · by Padraic Woods

It is becoming more and more challenging to test apps and Web sites on different devices, with different screen sizes, running different operating systems, and with multiple browsers installed.

How can you guarantee your Web site or app works on every device and on every browser?

Nothing beats testing on the same devices as your users, as opposed to simulated versions of those devices. Physical interactions such as pinching, zooming, and scrolling, hardware features like the camera, GPS locations, the accelerometer, and factors such as battery consumption or site performance are all best tested using physical devices.

We established a device lab at Verdens Gang toward the end of 2013. Until then, we had a handful of mobile devices and tablets stored on a shelf in the office. They represented only a few of the many phones and operating systems our customers used. The majority of mobile testing was performed in emulators or on the device of the developer or designer.

One of our biggest problems was ...


The ABCs of tablet advertising for news media

23 June 2014 · by Mark Challinor

Why should news media take tablet advertising seriously? Are untold riches awaiting us? What are the trends in the space? And for those who do embark on the journey to the potential new revenue stream that is tablet advertising, what should they bear in mind when constructing a plan and a strategy?

Let’s start with, “Why tablet advertising?” Here are some facts. From 2013 research, the Pew Institute found tablet users were more engaged:

  • 31% of tablet users said  they spent more time with news since getting their device.

  • Another 43% said the device was adding to the amount of news they consume.

  • And 73% of tablet users said they read in-depth articles on their tablet.

If you add this to some market factors – namely, that tablet sales are ...


Thinking past tablets: Why you should be watching gaming consoles and smart TVs

18 June 2014 · by Chuck Blevins

The Internet is everywhere – from phones, tablets, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming services. The borders are dissolving.  

Game consoles have been around since the ’70s, but it’s only in the past few years that they’ve advanced to become media consoles that specialise in gaming and provide a host of other entertainment and informational features.

Microsoft has pushed this the furthest with the  Xbox. The Xbox features a slew of TV controls, content partnerships with ESPN, social features, and other home entertainment functions.

Sony, launching its PlayStation TV efforts stateside, announced its...


4 screens are better than 1 (and new tool proves how much better)

08 June 2014 · by David Murphy

In recent years, as first the fixed Web and then mobile have established themselves as viable marketing channels, brands have started to divert some of their marketing budgets away from TV to other platforms.

But, until now, there has arguably been no reliable way of calculating the extra reach they get for their advertising on screens beyond the TV. These include personal computers, mobile, and tablet, but also game consoles and “over-the-top” (OTT) platforms such as Apple TV and Roku.

Now YuMe, an online video specialist, in partnership with research company Nielsen, is attempting to put that right with a new tool called the YuMe Calculator (a.k.a. the “Reachulator” – get it?). The basis for the tool is an online survey of 5,125 people in five regions (roughly 1,000 in each), namely the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and the Nordics.

The survey asked a number of questions relating to device ownership. For example, in the UK, 99% of respondents owned a TV; 97% had a PC; 68% a smartphone; 46% a tablet; 45% a game console; and 19% a smart TV. The number of devices per household is 4.8 for the UK, compared to 4.3 for France, 4 for Germany, 5.3 for Spain, and 4.7 for the Nordics.

The study also looked at ...


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
Vice President, INMA
London, United Kingdom
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David Murphy
Founder and Editor
Mobile Marketing magazine
London, United Kingdom
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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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