Mobile Strategies

Tablets, Mobile Devices

Tablet: Dead or alive?

05 April 2015 · By Dirk Barmscheidt

Though tablet sales decreased in the fourth quarter of 2014, tablets are still important for news media companies because of the way they are used by a certain target market, the quality of their resolution, and the opportunity afforded to offer premium products.

The fourth quarter of 2014 was the first with lower tablet sales since the market debut of the Apple iPad in Q2 2010, with 12% fewer sales and 67 million devices worldwide.

In comparison to the booming smartphone and especially booming phablet market, it was a disaster. Apple tried to work against this downsize with a large advertising campaign, but it couldn’t solve the problem.

The iPad and tablet are, in general, at-home devices. And they are not as good as a smartphone for communication like chatting because of the missing GSM module WhatsApp, which is not running on iPads and only on some smaller Android tablets.

What does this means for media companies and publishers? Did you waste your money and invested in the wrong applications? And should you stop any development of tablet apps at all?

Absolutely not! You did everything right and you have to do more of the same in future!

Why? Here are the most important reasons:

  1. Tablets are the best devices to present editorial and multi-media content because of the size and high-resolution, coloured displays.

  2. Tablet use is enjoyed in a more casual setting, not at a desk, which is the same as print. And it is slower than smartphone usage, which is driven by speed.

  3. Editorial content apps represent premium products that justify a (higher) price point from users’ points of view.

But the success will not come easily around the corner. To be successful, you need to:

  1. Concentrate on the right, the “golden generation” target group. This target group is nearest to your print brand, has the money to buy premium digital products, and needs a convenient way to start the Internet life.

  2. You have to customise a whole product offering, not only the content. Have a look at the value chain and the easiest way for your target group to consume your content.

    Think of the best way this could be offered to a subscriber: Combine the tablet and content app as one product for one monthly price. No one will buy offline content without a newspaper. The same will work in digital.

  3. Adapt your print product nearly 100% to a digital issue. No innovations, no new way of comsumption. Your target group learned over the course of 10 to 20 years the way to consume a newspaper or magazine. Don’t change this!

The tablet market is more alive than ever for publishers. Take the chance and build a profitable digital business!


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