October 1, 2012

PEJ | Ad Age | IAB | Econsultancy
The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism released the results of a significant study today on the state of mobile news consumption in America. Pew found that some people consume more news after acquiring tablets and that getting news is the second most popular activity on tablets behind emailing. It also sheds light on the difference between people who use apps vs. the Web to get their news.

Poynter’s Rick Edmonds looks at the business implications: While tablet ownership doubled to 22 percent in the past year, those tablet owners don’t want to pay for content and they aren’t crazy about advertising either. That leads Rick to conclude that “bundled subscriptions are looking better than ever.”

Mobile ads don’t inspire hope

The state of mobile advertising is getting a lot of attention as well, as Advertising Week kicks off today in New York. Ad Age writer Jason Del Rey notes that desktop Web ads go for about $3.50 CPM on average, but mobile ads are fetching only 75 cents CPM.

If publishers once lamented that offline dollars turned into “digital dimes” as content and audiences moved to the Web, here’s what might be keeping them up at night: Digital dimes are turning into mobile pennies.

The "Pull" ad format is one of five "rising stars" the IAB is highlighting for the future of mobile ads.

There is some hope for the future of mobile ads. The industry-standard-setting Interactive Advertising Bureau is showcasing five innovative new mobile ad formats that leave Web banner ads in the dust. The ad formats are interactive and customized to suit mobile screens, and hopefully that premium quality could lead to higher revenue.

An analysis on the Econsultancy blog asks, can the mobile ad market “really overtake television, which still generates more than double the revenue produced by all Web advertising?” Patricio Robles points out four factors holding back mobile ads: Small screen sizes, questionable effectiveness, user annoyance and a glut of inventory.

Forbes Chief Product Officer Lewis DVorkin writes that the tricky transition to mobile is what keeps him up at night. He concludes “there is really no magic bullet for mobile success,” but there are helpful steps Forbes is taking now.

Politico Pro chooses Web over apps

One more notable development: Politico Pro has relaunched its website with a responsive design that adapts to smartphone and tablet screens. Editor-in-Chief Tim Grieve tells me Politico Pro plans to forgo native mobile or tablet apps, since its new adaptive website “seems to do about 95 percent of what an app would do, and it gives us the flexibility to innovate on the fly in a way that a series of apps wouldn’t.”

The new site loads quickly and adjusts fluidly, thanks to a concerted mobile-first design effort, CTO Ryan Mannion told me. Developers reduced the number of embedded images, limited external javascript calls for plugins and ads, prioritized the loading of content elements, and used a heavy dose of caching to make page loading “faster and cleaner,” he said. Worth a look.

Related: Nat Ives’ in-depth report on The Daily, and whether it has a future (Ad Age).

Correction: This post originally misspelled the name of Jason Del Rey.

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Jeff Sonderman (jsonderman@poynter.org) is the Digital Media Fellow at The Poynter Institute. He focuses on innovations and strategies for mobile platforms and social media in…
Jeff Sonderman

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