Top 5 Mobile Trends for Publishers—It’s Good News, Folks
Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is one of my s/heroes. In this day and age of branded journalism, she is one of the few women who has solidly branded herself as the Go To Gal for internet trends. She comes out with an annual report packed with excellent analysis, and the world becomes clearer for all of us. Thank you, Ms. Meeker!
Here are the top 5 takeaways for publishers from Ms. Meeker's 2014 Internet Trends, with a few added facts I think are pertinent thrown in for good measure.
1. Mobile is taking off, especially for tablets. Follow the yellow to see the insane growth of tablets since launch.
According to Forrester Research and reported by App Annie, revenue from US smartphone commerce is forecasted to increase from $16 billion to $46 billion from 2013 to 2018. The forecast for tablet commerce, a much smaller piece of the market, is even more dramatic- a fivefold increase from $34 billion to $176 billion.
2. Mobile app revenue still makes up much more of the total revenue than mobile advertising revenue. This is a great sign for publishers, who have not yet figured out how to get advertisers to buy into mobile, but glommed onto selling their magazine apps on Apple and anything else that would sell them with a fierceness rivaling the Honey Badger (remember him?).
3. The number of mobile devices will beat out people by 2015 or so, as they will reach somewhere in the range of 10B units by 2015. UN Estimate of total population by 2015: 7.2B. That's 1.4 devices/person on this earth. Think about it. Do you have a camera AND a smartphone? You're there.
4. According to App Annie, magazines make up 6 ½ of the top 10 apps by revenue in the General and Business News app categories! Of the top 10 apps in the General and Business News categories, six are magazines or combinations of magazines (Zinio is in the #5 spot). The others are three top newspapers in the country and Glenn Beck's streaming TV/magazine that he sells for $99/year or $9.99 a month (that's where we get the 1/2).
The Next Steps Marketing Digital Magazine Dashboard Index has kept us informed that Apple has far more magazines in its newsstand than Google Play. To that, App Annie adds that an astonishing 95% of all revenue for the top 10 General and Business news titles get their revenue from Apple, with only 5% coming from Android.
Of those sales, 80% came from the iPad. Not Tablets, not iOS, but the iPad itself made up 80% of all sales.
5. While we may not be making money off of Facebook, Facebook is making twice as much money as Twitter off advertising, and Google 6x as much as Facebook. What's wrong with THAT picture?
6. There is room for growth for making money off mobile. The amount of time consumers spend with newspapers and magazines (5%) far outweighs the number of dollars spent (19%) by advertisers. Other forms of media are more or less in line (radio, TV, and internet). Not until you hit mobile does the see saw the other way: While we spend 20% of our time on mobile devices, only 4% of advertising dollars are spent there.
This is the key slide for understanding where magazine publishers are today. Remember the part of mobile is made up of tablets. And tablets fit with digital magazines like a hand in a glove. On the print side, advertisers are well aware of the value of our product, valuing it much higher than other media because advertising works much better in magazines than in other media. If we could convince these same advertisers that the value of advertising in digital magazines is equal or greater to the value of advertising in print magazines, we could right the seesaw for magazines as ad dollars would begin to flow into the digital magazine space as well.
You could read this as, "silly advertisers, overvaluing print." But, my hunch is they are valuing print correctly, but they are undervaluing the digital version of print, which provides that same evocative and emotional experience on the tablet that gets people to want to buy (because the layout is so similar to print with full pages given to the advertising experience) and adds the ability to make that purchase immediately.
What should we do as publishers?
- Start a campaign to advertisers: It's like print, plus. Readers consistently perceive advertising in magazines to enhance content.
- Keep going on the tablet road. Get real familiar with it, because it is the biggest hockey stick out there.
- Provide a better product in the digital space, and they will come. If you have an audience delighted by your content, you have the story to tell advertisers.
M. Thea Selby is a Principal in Next Steps Marketing, a San Francisco boutique firm that solves audience-building challenges in creative, customized way using practical "call-to-action" marketing techniques where the return is clearly measurable by clicks, online sign-ups, responses to direct mail, orders from partners, or sales at newsstand.
She was the 2010 Women's Leadership Conference Chair, is a co-founder and board member of Exceptional Women in Publishing—a national organization dedicated to supporting women in and through the power of online and print media—and is the former CEO and Publisher of Light Green Media, a digital publishing company.