Back »

Are Native Apps the Way to Go?

In the Alliance for Audited Media Digital Publishing Survey “How Media Companies are Innovating and Investing in Cross-Platform Opportunities”, they start by stating “In the past decade, digital publishing has become widespread thanks to expanding consumer adoption of tablets and other mobile devices. For traditional media companies, digital content has progressed from static replicas of a print edition and basic website content to dynamic, engaging smartphone and tablet apps. Meanwhile, new media companies and platforms are emerging that drive innovation, audience engagement and new business models.”

Digital publishing is becoming more and more widespread due to consumers’ love for their tablets and other mobile devices. From digital publishing’s beginnings as static replicas of print publications to today’s dynamic smartphone apps, publishers are always seeking ways to drive innovation and audience engagement.


In 2012 The AAM polled its large membership of media brands to gather insight into how they were adopting and embracing mobile media. The numbers have changed for 2013, but the basic trends continue. This is what they learned:

  • More than ever, AAM media companies are distributing their content via mobile devices. When we conducted our first survey three years ago, 51 percent of respondents claimed a mobile presence. Today, it stands at 90 percent. Even more encouraging, the remaining 10 percent plan to develop mobile-optimized content in the next year.
  • In a market flooded with competing devices and operating systems, publishers are distributing their content on multiple platforms, eager to get in front of readers on their device of choice. Eighty-five percent have iPhone apps, 87 percent have iPad apps, 67 percent have Kindle apps, 57 percent have Nook apps and 75 have Android apps.
  • While Apple products still dominate the market, Kindle and Nook apps are growing at an astonishing pace. The number of publishers developing Kindle apps has grown two and a half times, up from 24 percent in 2011 to 67 percent in 2012. Nook apps have increased more than four times, from 14 percent in 2011 to 57 percent in 2012.
  • With regards to app publishing technology, our survey respondents were split. Seventy percent are producing native apps—downloadable programs built for specific operating systems—while 67 percent are producing Web apps, programs that use web browsers to deliver content and are optimized for specific screen sizes. When we dig deeper into the data, we note a difference between magazines and newspapers. Eighty percent of magazines are leveraging native development technologies for at least one app versus 50 percent using browser-based web apps.

Ask us about native apps and read more of the AAM survey at: