Archive for July, 2014

Which Digital Version is Which?

Understand the definition of the various application offerings is the first step in deciding which iteration is right for your business. It may well turn out that one or the other or even both is the right model for your particular digital vision.

The basic difference between native and hybrid apps and web apps are as follows:

Native apps are installed through an app store, where they are purchased (or downloaded free of charge) to a digital device. They are developed specifically for one platform, and can take full advantage of all the device features and they can work offline.

Web apps are mobile-optimized webpages that look like an app. Web apps are not true applications; they are really websites that look and feel like native applications. They are run by a browser and typically written in HTML5. Users first access them as they would access any web page, by navigating  to a specific URL and then have the option of “installing” them on their home screen by creating a bookmark to that page.

The conundrum confronting many publishers who offer digital versions of their content is which way to go. Offering both options is not always possible or even desirable due to factors such as cost and implementation time. Within the publishing industry, there are just as many advocates for native-only solutions as there are of non-native solutions.  To help make an informed decision, publishers should look beyond the inherent advantages/disadvantages of each platform and focus their efforts on developing a digital strategy that takes into account their customers’ content use and expectations.

On the mobile journey, a consumer’s content consumption often begins on one device and ends on another. Readers often start their research on smartphones to browse and sample content.  Laptops and desktops are often used to engage more fully with content while in an office setting, and tablets and print are accessed while traveling and to be mobile within the home, office or vehicle. Many devices and platforms typically play a role in the overall consumption of content.

Native apps offer some unique advantages over non-native alternatives.  They provide marketing value through an app store, the option of viewing offline content, and the ability to push notifications to readers.   However, publishers might find that if they focus on only one format they will fail to reach and engage at least half of their potential audience. At this time it is estimated that just over half of consumers still access digital titles via non-native, web-based platforms. Non-native platforms are in some ways easier to access, as there are no apps to download, no issues to download, and no storage space to consider.  A reader need only click on a link to start consuming content.

A publisher’s goal should be to reach as many platforms and as large an audience as possible while minimizing effort and cost. Let us help you decide what is right for your business.


Digital Magazine Ads Stick

New research and a recent study The Survey of the American Consumer from GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research found that ads in tablet versions of magazines have the same average level of reader recall as print magazine ads. The new data suggests that tablet magazine advertising is just as effective as print campaigns. This is good news on many fronts, because research firm eMarketer predicts that mobile will account for 10 percent of ad spending by the end of 2014, making it the third-largest ad medium in the U.S. behind TV and PCs. Advertisers are expected to spend an additional 83 percent on mobile this year, an increase of $8.9 billion to $17.73 billion.

You’re addicted to your smartphone and tablet, and increasingly, the big ad agencies are too. Smartphone and tablet use is ever-increasing, and that’s great news for advertisers in a number of ways. Publishers and advertisers are increasingly steering ad dollars away from print media to digital devices. It is possible that smartphones and tablets will surpass newspapers, magazines and radio in terms of ad spending this year.

GfK MRI Starch Advertising conducted an online survey to analyze reader recall of 28,624 magazine ads in 805 tablet magazine issues published last year and compared that data to consumer print recall data. Among other things, the online survey asked respondents if they recalled having read a particular ad and if they had interacted with ads that had interactive features. GfK found that the average level of reader recall for both print and digital ads last year was 52%. The most effective digital magazine ads were recalled by more than 80% of readers, in line with the most effective print ads, GfK said.

Mobile is where the ad dollars are going, simply because that is where users are looking. U.S. adults will spend an average of just under three hours per day with mobile devices this year, up from just under two and a half hours in 2013.