Mobile is still increasing its market share of all digital channnels.

Smartphones and tablets sales are much higher than those of PCs or laptops. The overall availability of high-speed Internet connections has resulted in “always on.“ The total flexibility of the device allows for the freedom to consume everywhere and at any time. Which is what consumers want.

We learned that users expect a special, mobile-optimised version of Web offerings. Amazon and eBay currently make 10% of their revenues on mobile devices, a rate that has been increasing 20% each quarter.

Publishers understand the power of the mobile channel. (Well, almost all of them.) The keys to long-term success rests in not only producing a mobile design, but also reflecting different user behaviours on mobile devices.

For news production, this is fundamental: Digital has expanded the news production process of the print-only era. A newsroom has to be productive not just from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. — but 24/7 if it wants to be relevant for mobile users.

In Germany, the first leading publishers, e.g. Axel Springers brand BILD, are covering this via an editorial team overseas. This seems to work fine: The mobile Web site or app has a layout and structure that’s optimised for mobile usability; the content is selected and produced for the “always on” target group.

But I’m sorry to report the next move is just ahead.

The market for tablets and smartphones is simplified like this:

  • Tablets: Apple iOS.

  • Smartphone: Android.
A user has more than one device. And these devices are running on different platforms like iOS and Android, e.g. an Android smartphone and an iPad tablet. And the content has to be everywhere, including all services.
 
Services like Dropbox and Evernote bridge the walled gardens. Amazon, eBay or independent newssstands such as Nook learned that lesson early and organised their offers to be cloud-based.

It doesn’t matter if you want to read the sold magazine on an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Tab or a Windows 8 Surface. With a Single Sign On (SSO), the sales and content will be automatically loaded in the background. Everywhere, any time, on every device.

News sites have to think and produce their products like this, too. Bookmarks, content organisation, customised services like weather or sports should be synchronised everywhere. The user should not notice or care about a new experience on a new device.

In a perfect world, the user will come home. Home is one of the strongest connections we have.

Start creating a familiar home for every one of your users!