WASHINGTON – Last year was supposed to be the year of mobile. This year is also supposed to be the year of mobile. But taking it beyond the buzz the phrase is generating, two speakers at the 2014 Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s annual conference spoke directly to the user breakdown and how companies are monetizing mobile.
Justin Ellis, a writer with Nieman Lab, spoke more about the a major shift in the way people are accessing news. For the first time, people are turning to digital sources in greater numbers than television for their news, but beyond that, he says more are ditching the desktop and using their phones as their access to the Internet.
“According to Pew Research, 34 percent of cell users use their phones specifically for the purpose of going online,” Ellis said.
And a majority of users are spending time on their phones in apps, which Ellis calls surprising.
“Even though they’re spending more time with their phones, the individual sessions are small,” he said.
The bite-sized Internet use of smartphone users lends itself well to easily digestible content like that found on the app, Circa, Ellis said. He also cites personalization and location-based news as paramount for marketing content to mobile users.
Wouter Vermeulen, with Opera Mediaworks addressed mobile from a slightly different angle, in how newsrooms like “The Washington Post,” “Bloomberg” and “The Wall Street Journal” are selling ads on mobile.
“Mobile app publishing is a must. It’s not a want anymore,” Vermeulen said.
He added Opera Mediaworks is seeing a format change that is driving more clicks.
“The more you go beyond banners and you go into rich media with full page video Interstitial, or full page static Interstitials you see significant performance. That’s what marketers want to go invest in,” Vermeulen said.
He says the company expects to see more rich impressions than static banner impressions in the coming year.