Are Publishers Abusing Mobile Push Notifications?
How many push alerts is too many? What are the biggest challenges for news organizations sending out alerts? What happens if readers don’t even click through?
Upcoming research from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia and the Guardian U.S. Mobile Innovation Lab takes a look at how news organizations are sending out push notifications. A preview of the research was presented at the Online News Association’s annual conference last week, and the full report will be released in November.
Pete Brown, a senior research fellow at Tow, led the analysis, monitoring alerts from 31 iOS apps, as well as Apple News, over three weeks between June and July 2017. (This was an iOS-only study.) This turned up a sample of 2,577 alerts. Brown also conducted 20 interviews with mobile editors, product managers, and audience managers (all of whom remained anonymous).
There is a big difference in the number of push alerts that news organizations send each day. The news organizations sent, on average, 3.2 alerts a day. CNN MoneyStream sent the highest average number of alerts — 11.1 per day — and on some days, CNN and CNN MoneyStream sent as many as 17 alerts. (Other news outlets to send out more than 10 alerts in a single day: The AP, Fox News, Mic, and USA Today.)