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Mobile advertising spend bolstered by video, native

24 April 2016 · By David Murphy

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), in partnership with auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, released the latest United Kingdom mobile ad spend figures last week, and they make for pretty pleasant reading.

Between 2014 and 2015, spending on mobile advertising in the UK rose by a cool 62% (£1.01bn in actual terms) from £1.62bn to £2.63bn.

That’s an impressive rate of growth, even more so when you consider that the figure for 2012 was just £526m. So it’s risen by a factor of five in just three years.

Mobile ad spend in the United Kingdom rose by 62% from 2014 to 2015 despite the advent of adblockers.

And all of this at a time when the digital ad industry, including mobile, is facing threats on a number of fronts. These include viewability (what percentage of ads sold are ever actually seen), ad fraud (the number that are or can be seen by humans as opposed to bots), and adblocking (the incidence of Internet users deploying software that filters out the ads so they only see the content).

So what’s going on?


No clear winner in mobile Web vs. native app contest

07 April 2016 · By Sarah Riley

Last month, INMA offered news publishers a glimpse at a collaborative and interconnected future on the Microsoft campus in Seattle. At the INMA Mobile Strategies Conference, publishers dove deeply into the digital disruption and what consumer attention’s shift to mobile devices means to their business.

As a mobile launch partner for numerous media companies, we at MindSea were there to show some best practices. Specifically, our CEO, Bill Wilson, gave a talk that (hopefully) clarified a few misnomers and misunderstandings about where publishers’ focus should be: on native apps or on mobile Web?

In one of the conference’s highest-rated presentations, Bill explored this question, which has been asked since mobile apps first appeared.

The answer has never been clear.

He presented some ComScore data that shows 62% of ...


Could Virtual Reality be the next storytelling tool for news brands?

04 April 2016 · By Mark Challinor

Virtual Reality (VR) may well become more influential as news brands and advertisers look for new and more engaging ways to tell their stories beyond the traditional and social media platforms.

There has been much talk (and much hype) around the rise of connected devices and creating better experiences for customers in the future. Publishers should take a look at VR and its potential from other industries.

In the United States for instance, major brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have been experimenting with VR in an effort to engage with young consumers and leverage “mobile” in new and more innovative ways.

McDonald’s is incorporating VR technology into its Happy Meals.

Although the technology may not be for everyone, marketers in industries such as food, retail, motor cars — and news — could take advantage of initial cheap, cardboard packaging and mobile apps to create engaging and memorable Virtual, Augmented Reality-based viewing experiences.

The New York Times is leading the charge for “news” with an app of VR experiences and movies. (“The Displaced” was its version of events surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis.) In January, the company poly-bagged one million Google cardboard glasses in ...


Quality content strategy is key to digital success

16 March 2016 · By Chuck Blevins

I’m fond of the mantra of “the right content in the right place at the right time.” This blog has covered various aspects of the hows, whats, and what ifs on getting that content to the right places at the right times. But we haven’t actually discussed how the content itself becomes “right.”

With so much emphasis being placed on aesthetic and interface, content gets the short shrift in the digital eco-system.

However, the most beautiful feature or app will fail if it only provides poor content. No amount of technological magic or A/B testing will matter a whit if you don’t have a solid content strategy to make use of it.

A flashy digital interface will fall flat without quality content.

Additionally, no new feature or app will have any value if you can’t back it up with processes that aren’t so onerous that the producers give up after ...


Virtual reality highlighted at Mobile World Congress

13 March 2016 · By Lorna White

Mobile World Congress, the largest mobile trade show, took place a few weeks ago. As usual, there were plenty of big announcements to excite the mobile world.

The key topic that crossed over from hardware brands to social channels was virtual reality and how it is evolving.

Virtual reality was, at one time, far off in the future, but it was clear at the MWC event that most of the technology behind VR is becoming more accessible. Also, people are becoming more accustomed to the vivid experiences.

Virtual reality, a technology touted by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, was a hot topic at the Mobile World Congress this year.

With Samsung releasing Gear VR and Google beginning to sell VR in the Google Play Store, it’s clear it’s becoming available to the masses at an accessible entry point. With Facebook founder Mark ...


Trinity Mirror goes old school with launch of print-only New Day

09 March 2016 · By David Murphy

In the current era, the idea of a news media publisher launching a print title with no associated digital version might seem like the epitome of madness at first glance — a sign (if one was needed) that everything felt a bit overwhelming and someone thought a return back to the basics might somehow help turn back the adblock-infested digital tide.

As if we could get back to the good old days.

But that’s exactly what Trinity Mirror has done with the launch of The New Day, which went on sale on February 29.

The New Day, a print-only publication, launched without a digital presence.

In fact, it was given away for free on the first day. It will then sell for US$0.36 for two weeks before settling on its full retail price of US$0.71. Trinity Mirror says it hopes to sell around 200,000 copies a day, targeting the half-a-million readers it believes have ...


5 tips for long-term app success

07 March 2016 · By Sarah Riley

Your product strategist has delivered an awesomely designed, truly engaging news app for your media company. You are live in the App and Google Play Stores — but now what? The five-star reviews should start rolling in, right?

After all the ramp-up to execute your mobile strategy, it can often be a depressing reality to discover you don’t automatically get an audience.

It’s easy to look at an app as simply a one-and-done means to an end. But for your mobile product to reach its full potential, your work isn’t done. It should be thought of as more than just one of the “to try” initiatives on your list of ideas for 2016. Rather, it should be thought of as an investment that needs long-term nurturing.

A successful app requires long-term care and commitment.

Apps are products with a relatively short shelf life once available for download. You could fondly compare them to Tamagotchi, the egg-shaped digital pets popularised in the 1990s whose chirps and beeps were a constant reminder of their need for your attention and upkeep ...


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 ...


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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