Most US papers have mobile presence

2012-12-17 22:03
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Washington - Almost all major US newspapers and magazines have a mobile Web presence, and most of those without one will create one in the coming months, an industry survey showed on Monday.

The report by the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations, said 90% of the publications of its members survey had a mobile presence, up from 51% in 2009.

The remaining 10% expect to follow suit within the next 12 months.

The survey said publishers, unlike a few years ago, are looking at how to make mobile apps and platforms profitable: 22% said their smartphone and tablet apps or platforms are currently money-makers, and half expect these platforms to become profitable over the next two years.

The survey showed Apple the dominant platform for these apps: 85% of publishers have iPhone apps and 87% iPad apps.

But the number of publishers developing Amazon Kindle apps has grown from 24% in 2011 to 67% in 2012.

Nook apps, for those using the Barnes & Noble platform, have increased from 14% in 2011 to 57% in 2012.

"Media companies know that delivering content whenever and wherever consumers want is key," said Eric John, AAM vice president of digital services.

"They know digital content, including browser-based editions and mobile apps, is no longer the wave of the future, but table stakes to continue reaching and growing digital readership."

John said the survey showed publishers "have embraced tablets, smartphones and the Web as an integral part of their overall cross-platform publishing strategy.

They are meeting their readers where they live -- in print, on tablets and smartphones, and on the Web."

According to the survey, media companies are producing 3.4 iPad and iPhone apps, three Kindle apps and 2.4 Nook apps.

About 56% of them charge for content on the iPad, followed by the iPhone at 42%, Kindle at 38% and Nook at 31%.

But subscriptions are not the only revenue source. The majority of respondents agreed a dual revenue stream from advertising and subscriptions is necessary to make digital platforms profitable.

AAM said that 48% of newspapers have a paywall to charge for some or all of their content. Combined percentages for newspapers, magazines and business publications show 41% currently use a paywall.

Of those currently without a paywall, 44% plan to implement one in the next two years.

The most popular type of paywall is metered, where customers may access a limited number of articles before payment is required.

Some 40% use metered paywalls, while 17% use a hard paywall where payment is required to read any content.

And 33% use a combination paywall that restricts access to premium content.

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