Lauren Indvik reports mobile consumers now turn more to their cell phones for breaking news updates than to their desktop computers or televisions.
The study, by mobile app developer Handmark, found that among mobile phone owners, 30 percent favored a mobile device for breaking news reports, compared to 29 percent for the Web and 21 percent for TV. Traditional print newspapers were the choice of 3 percent of those surveyed.
The reason for this trend, convenience and availability, are pretty obvious, and Indvik makes that point, quoting Handmark CEO Paul Reddick:
” ‘Breaking news happens all throughout the day, and what you have throughout the day is your mobile device,’ he explains. ‘Once you get into the habit of using your mobile … you [can] be in a room with a TV and not turn it on, because you’re reading your news on your mobile device instead,’ he says.”
As I wrote last month, mobile consumers bring different expectations to their on-the-go information seeking. Producing replica or RSS-editions of your website as a mobile app will not serve their needs. Mobile is built for immediacy and location, and breaking news is the perfect centerpiece of any smart phone publishing strategy.