Editor’s note: This is one of 19 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Smartphone App Lessons for Media Companies,” released in July.
In Denmark, Ekstra Bladet has a strong Internet presence, behind only Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, and Wikipedia as of June 2015, according to Internet rankings site Alexa.
Its mobile strategy is to focus on its browser interface, which accounts for 92% of its mobile traffic. Users have free access to content; revenues come from advertisements that are connected with the company’s browser ad strategy.
The media company’s two mobile apps, which contain its browser pages surrounded by a native shell, are up to current market standards. But rather than trying to impress readers with bells and whistles, the media company relies on unique content to drive interest.
Christian Jelbo, mobile platform manager, says Ekstra Bladet has found that users spend more time and produce more pageviews in its apps than when viewing its content through a browser, so serving up fresh content quickly is essential.
“We know that speed is crucial to maintain high loyalty and time spent,” he says.
The company plans to expand its portfolio of apps into several niches in 2016. It expects to include some new features, as well as improved performance and user experience.
Ekstra Bladet’s plan to offer its readers more ways to access its content through smartphones demonstrates a shift in thinking about the importance of mobile technology, Jelbo says.
“Until now it has not been our main focus. But [in] the next years, we expect that apps will become a bigger part of our overall marketing of mobile content.”
The company also sees potential in developing hybrid apps [hybrids of HTML5 and native apps] that make it possible to develop exciting new advertising formats while continuing to improve performance and user experience. As with the first two apps, the media company will develop them all internally.
The biggest challenge in serving its readers through mobile has been in dealing with Apple, which has censored some of Ekstra Bladet’s unique content and has slowed the process of updating its iPhone apps.