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4 tvOS strategy ideas for publishers

15 November 2015 · By Sarah Riley

When Apple had its big new tech reveal back in September, the advent of apps for Apple TV was an interesting development and one that might have piqued media companies’ interest.

There’s a lot of “wait and see” as to whether adding apps to the traditional television experience heralds a new heyday for the medium or not. But should media companies choose to wait and observe rather than take the plunge? Or can they capitalise now on tvOS by translating their offerings into new product strategies?

We think the latter.

With more and more media companies looking to conquer the local video reporting space that was once the sole prerogative of big broadcasters (at least online – think of The McClatchy Company’s new video lab with a mandate to guide online video efforts across its newsroom network ), tvOS seems to present a wide-open opportunity to further those efforts and engage news audiences across platforms with impactful, media-rich storytelling.

As of writing this, there are already more than 1,000 apps available on ...


Content in the right personalised context is king

11 November 2015 · By Padraic Woods

In the media industry, content is no longer king. Content delivered in the right context is now king. We need to deliver the right content at the right time to the right person.

The dialogue between a news media company and its readers has to change from a blanket broadcast to the masses to a tailored conversation with the individual.

How can we create content and products that replicate natural conversation? If journalists had the ability to sit down and have a conversation with each of their readers, how would they adapt the conversation in order to best challenge, entertain, and enlighten them, based on their level of knowledge on different subjects?

Personalisation is all about improving the user’s experience of the product by adapting the product based on what we know about the user.

What do we know about the user?

There are an endless number of signals that can feed the personalisation of content. There are both implicit and explicit ways of gathering information about a user and how he uses the product. It all depends on how much the user is willing to share with us:

His age, location, sex, race, academic background, reading level, income level, and marital status.

His content browsing history, how much he knows about the story or ...


Why Google and gang don’t like your Web site

09 November 2015 · By Chuck Blevins

Google, Facebook, and Apple are not happy with your mobile Web site. It’s too slow. It doesn’t look very good. And it’s costing them – and you – users and money.

They are betting their ecosystems offer a better fix than our own. And they don’t want to wait for the media and advertising industries to correct things themselves.

Facebook is making moves to address mobile performance – though mostly in their favour – with Instant Articles. Instant Articles launched publicly in late October after a short trial with The Atlantic, The New York Times, and others. It “displays stories as much as 10 times faster than conventional mobile browsers, while also providing the kind of fluid, high-quality experience, and interactivity people expect,” says Facebook.

Also, Facebook can sell ads into them (at a 30% cut) if the publisher agrees. Importantly, this content lives only in Facebook.

Instant articles do provide a superior experience for Facebook app users – and for Facebook. It’s less clear how much the publishers will benefit, even with a 70% share of ad ...


Mobile spend due to overtake TV: What does this mean for advertisers?

03 November 2015 · By Lorna White

The news that mobile advertising spending is on track to overtake television spending in the United Kingdom is massive. Since the beginning of the advertising industry, TV has been the central strand to launch all new products and reach core audiences.

Budgeting for TV advertising is a big deal for publishers and media owners. Google recommended that 24% of a 16-34 TV budget should be spent on YouTube at its Brandcast event, which shows the move is ever closer.

Ad spend is moving away from more traditional channels such as print and TV and into “newer” channels such as mobile. Recent research from eMarketer found that mobile will account for 20% of UK total media ad spending, and the study predicts that by 2016, TV’s share of total UK media ad spend <a title="will drop to ...


Ad blocking: There’s a app for that

18 October 2015 · By David Murphy

The heat around ad blocking is intensifying.

Right now, it seems, you’ll struggle to find anyone in the publishing industry who isn’t worried about it. Given how long ad blockers have been around – AdBlock Plus started life as a Firefox browser extension in 2006 – you could be forgiven for wondering why they have come to the fore now.

There are a couple of reasons.

First, a few months back, an Israeli tech company, Shine, put the cat amoung the pigeons when it announced that a number of mobile operators were looking at deploying its technology at the source. This meant that anyone looking at online content via the operator’s cellular network would have the ability to block ads, both in-browser and in-app.

This was a significant departure from ad blocking’s traditional browser-only domain, and a worrying one when you consider that most people’s time on mobile is spent in ...


4 questions to ask when creating a mobile strategy

13 October 2015 · By Sarah Riley

Along with their flagship app properties, news media companies have entered the mobile mix with a plethora of app products.

We’ve even heard of media companies with more than 100 offerings in the app store. While more may seem like, well, more, 100+ specialty apps could make professional life a little unwieldy for your digital strategy team.

Take for example The Dallas Morning News, which recently talked about reducing its portfolio from more than 30 apps to just four in INMA’s own strategic report “Smartphone app lessons for media companies” in an effort to focus the offering.

Until recently, the app approach has largely been “everything for everyone.” But saturating the market with generic look-alike app products can fragment your following and fail to ...


The argument for vertical mobile video advertising

04 October 2015 · By Mark Challinor

Audi recently reported seeing an 80% higher ad completion rate.

Yes, you read that right: 80%.

How? Video per se is increasingly important for publishers.

Why? Because of the way video has evolved and the way we use it.

There᾿s a growing linkage between consumers, (mobile) technology and storytelling, and the way people are consuming video. This has changed dramatically in past five years (look at the ever-growing uptake on platforms such as YouTube and Vine).

Consumers are now getting a better experience.

As a result, publishers are using video for a variety of things: the extension of a story, maybe to illustrate features before a text story is written, or as a stand-alone product inside its own channel for consumers and advertisers.

Content and context are vital to consider here. Remember, the mobile phone is still a very personal device, and we have to make sure we get the offering right.

Drilling down further while looking at mobile video, we see a new potentially significant ...


It’s the little things that will change everything about the future of mobile

20 September 2015 · By Chuck Blevins

A touchscreen display integrated on Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The other day I discovered the existence of such a thing as a “pickle caster,” which made me consider how much consumer market needs change with time and technology, so much so that they are sometimes incomprehensible well before and after their times.

This was later reinforced while sitting in traffic. I noticed the Harley-Davidson next to me, along with its multitude of chrome and pipes. It was also decked out with a touchscreen display.

I don’t know why this surprised me; touchscreens have been common in cars for some time. Not being a motorcycle rider myself, I guess I presumed Harleys to be more “old school” in terms of tech flavouring.

Both these things made me consider the magnitude of changes that are happening under our noses. Sure, we see the big stuff – smartphones, the Internet, WiFi, artificial intelligence, etc. – but it’s the little stuff that is having the most impact.

I’ve said that the next wave, which we’re in now, will be less about ...


Growth in mobile video viewing is game changer for digital advertisers

16 September 2015 · By Lorna White

Changes in consumer behavior from traditional media to online consumption.

Last year I wrote about the growth in mobile video. This trend has continued throughout the year and is fueling ad spend in mobile.

Video consumption on mobile is also affecting other media channels. Brands therefore need to approach video as a cross-screen application, and consider different strategies to the traditional 30-second reach driving spot.

Brands need to understand changes in consumer behaviour. As technology advances and devices become more engrained in consumers’ lives, every aspect of media consumption is changing.

Opportunities to consume video have exploded with smart televisions, smartphones ...


New Apple technology opens engagement, design opportunities for media companies

14 September 2015 · By Sarah Riley

Apple's iPhone 6 integrates new technology allowing publishers to create high-quality contents.

If you have any starry-eyed Apple acolytes in your office (and even if you don’t), chances are you’ve heard about or can hardly wait to get your hands on the host of the hotly debated, new technology announced by the company last week.

At first glance, recognisable Apple themes like “bigger is better” were common. There were some surprises though, including a few innovations publishers, in particular, may want to note.

The biggest one? The incredibly smart new 3D Touch feature.

This one cool little upgrade is, in fact, a huge game changer. Apple can now boast a UI that additionally senses force and distinguishes between short and long presses. Tap-and-swipe only screens have been rendered effectively passé. Where we could once only ...


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
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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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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