ABC Survey: Mobile Content Full of Potential for Newspapers

By: Lucia Moses/Mediaweek Fifty-two percent of print publishers are distributing content on mobile devices and another 56 percent plan to develop a smartphone application in the next two years to tap into the platform?s growing popularity, according to a new survey due out Sept. 21 from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Newspapers are leading the way, with almost 58 percent already formatting their Web sites for mobile device viewing, followed by business magazines (45 percent) and consumer magazines (42 percent).

In terms of developing smartphone apps, newspapers also are head of the pack. Thirty-six have developed smartphone apps, followed by 22 consumer magazines and four business pubs.

Mobile is already paying off for publishers, according to survey respondents. Forty-four percent said mobile devices increased visits to their sites by up to 10 percent, while about half believe mobile traffic to their sites will increase five to 25 percent over the next two years.

Magazines are further ahead when it comes to exploring e-readers, with about 30 percent developing relationships with makers of those devices. Among newspapers and business publications, the figures are about 28 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Apple is the favored manufacturer, with 65 percent considering it a leader in the space, followed by Kindle maker Amazon (62 percent) and Sony (25 percent).

Publishers see ad opportunities on mobile, with sponsorships, search, video and banner formats all viewed as having the strongest future.

What does all this say about the future of print? Well, the vast majority?76 percent?still expects to publish in print five years from now. But that leaves nearly one-fourth of respondents who aren?t so sure.

The ABC surveyed 375 people in the U.S. and Canada via the Web between June 25 and July 10.

-- Nielsen Business Media


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