Mobile Publishing, an Unexplored Opportunity
As I and so many others have said before, the publishing industry has been offered a way of remaining relevant in an increasingly technological society, in the form of mobile publishing.
To date the opportunity has been underutilised, with publishers failing to take advantage of the benefits of digital devices such as smartphones and tablets. This article discusses some recent studies, which verify that cross-platform publishing remains an untapped industry.
Tablets are expected to outsell desktop computers by two to one this year, and smartphones sales are set to more than double from 1 billion units in 2012 to more than 2 billion units in 2015. The popularity of these mobile web devices provides publishers with access to thousands of new customers.
Despite these compelling figures, only 93% of digital publications worldwide are yet to provide customers with a complete cross-platform experience. A recent study of 78 English-language publications across the UK, US, and Germany revealed that 83 per cent have at least one app available.
All 78 titles publish to iPad and 65 per cent have iPhone apps. Only 40 per cent have published apps for Android and a mere 25 per cent have optimized their content for cross-platform display.
The statistics are presented to show the dismal state of advertising in digital publications, but that’s only part of the problem. So many publications are still iPad or iPhone specific, despite the documented rise in popularity of other smartphones and tablets.
Though there has been an emergence of responsive web technologies that allow producers to publish content once and flow it into multiple devices, cross-platform content is still a rarity in the publishing industry.
Today users own a range of devices and they expect to be able to access content across all platforms. There’s an abundance of free, flexible, and easily accessible content – videos, news, opinion, guides – online.
If people can’t access your paid content wherever, whenever, and however they want, they won’t bother purchasing it.