CNN announced last week that mobile page views accounted for 40 percent of its overall traffic, the result of equally emphasizing its mobile website and mobile apps even as some in the industry remain stuck in an either-or debate.
ESPN’s traffic crossed the 50 percent mobile threshold late last year and BuzzFeed’s traffic is also majority mobile, but CNN’s 40 percent is impressive for a general news organization — one known to take particular advantage of softer content. “We’ve been saying 2014 is going to be the year that we go over 50 percent for mobile usage,” said Meredith Artley, CNN Digital’s managing editor.
I wondered if CNN was shifting resources away from apps and toward the mobile web, especially in light of reports like the latest from Flurry Analytics that indicate news apps struggle to compete with social media apps for mobile users’ attention. (Flurry found use of social/messaging apps grew 203 percent in 2013, compared with just 31 percent in the news/magazines category.)
But Artley told me via phone she doesn’t get caught up in the ever-shifting rhetoric surrounding mobile apps:
One month, they’re dead, they’re hard, they’re expensive, you have to get approval, they’re closed off.