Tag Archives: Mobile

Flurry: Mobile app use overtakes web browsing in US

People in the US are spending more time using apps on smartphones than browsing the internet on a desktop computer or mobile, with the average user spending 81 minutes per day using apps compared with 74 minutes per day web browsing, a new study has found.

Out of the average one hour and 21 minutes per day consumers are spending using mobile apps this month, 47 per cent of time is spent on games apps, 32 per cent using social media apps, and 9 per cent using news apps, which comes in ahead of the use of entertainment apps standing at 7 per cent.

Flurry, an analytics firm which carried out the study, said this is the first time native mobile apps have taken more consumer time than web browsing:

This stat is even more remarkable if you consider that it took less than three years for native mobile apps to achieve this level of usage, driven primarily by the popularity of iOS and Android platforms.

Although these figures are based on app use and browsing in the US, it is worth bearing in mind recent stats on the increasing importance of mobile in the UK and the fact mobile browsing in the UK will overtake desktop browsing by 2013. It is particularly relevant to news sites deciding whether to opt for mobile sites or apps.

The article on Flurry’s blog goes on to say:

This growth [in the use of native mobile apps] has come primarily from more sessions per user, per day rather than a large growth in average session lengths. Time spent on the Internet has grown at a much slower rate.

As a note of interest, Facebook has increasingly taken its share of time spent on the internet, now making up 14 of the 74 minutes spent per day by consumers, or about one sixth of all internet minutes. Considering Facebook’s recent leak regarding Project Spartan, an effort to run apps within its service on top of the mobile Safari browser, thus disintermediating Apple, it appears Facebook seeks to counter both Apple and Google’s increasing control over consumers as mobile app usage proliferates.

With a better understanding of how consumers spend their time across app categories, Facebook’s Project Spartan makes even more sense. As a category, social networking – which is Facebook’s core competency – commands the second largest allocation of consumers’ time. Games, which typify the most popular kind of app played on the Facebook platform itself, are also the top categories on both Android and iOS platforms. As interactive media usage continues to shift from the web to mobile apps, one thing is certain: Facebook, Apple and Google will all expend significant resources to ensure that no one company dominates owning the direct relationship with the consumer.

Flurry’s full blog post is at this link and ReadWriteWeb’s article on the study is at this link.

Related content:

Web apps v native apps v mobile sites: a guide

comScore: Social media accounts for one out of every six minutes spent online in US

Economist reveals download numbers for iPhone and iPad apps

#mobilemedia11: A Storify of the event

TheMediaBriefing’s latest conference Mobile Media Strategies kicked off this morning. Our technology correspondent Sarah Marshall is reporting from the event on Journalism.co.uk and via Twitter @journalism_live.

You can also fill up on the day’s events so far with the Storify below which curates content from the morning panels and discussions.

Guardian reveals iPhone app figures with more than 400,000 downloads

The Guardian today revealed figures for its iPhone app for the first time since its launch in January this year – showing a download total of more than 400,000 times globally.

According to figures from the Guardian a total of 67,258 users have gone on to subscribe to the app, which is available to download for free, but requires subscription for further reading of content. The cost of subscription is £2.99 for six months or £3.99 a year.

In the US – where the Guardian is due to launch its new digital operation later this year and there is no subscription charge for the app – it has been downloaded 36,089 times.

Today’s figures are also said to show that traffic to Guardian.co.uk via its mobile site has more than doubled on the same time last year, from 4.5 per cent to more than 10 per cent.

paidContent: Seven more tablet titles on the horizon at Nomad Editions

paidContent reports that Nomad Editions, a US company which aims to produce magazines for tablet subscriptions, has more than half a dozen titles “in the pipeline”

In an interview with paidContent, Nomad Editions’ CEO Mark Edmiston, former president of Newsweek, claims 50 per cent of those taking subscriptions for existing titles are taking out a whole year.

Nomad is trying to prove that tablets can be platforms for new as well as existing brands. Rather than convert existing titles to tablet, it taps journalists to devise new titles along with it, with an interesting new model – for pay, each editor takes five percent of subscription income, whilst writers split 30 percent between them.

Read more here…

Google News mobile launches ‘News near you’ location service

Late on Friday Google announced the launch of ‘News near you’ for Google News on mobile, offering location-based news in its US English edition.

Location-based news first became available in Google News in 2008, and today there’s a local section for just about any city, state or country in the world with coverage from thousands of sources. We do local news a bit differently, analyzing every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.

See more on this here…

#media140 – Get messy with mobile journalism, says Adam Westbrook

Quantity over quality – that needs to be the mindset for mobile journalists, UK online video journalist Adam Westbrook said today at the #media140 conference in Barcelona.

While there are similarities between video journalists and mobile journalists, being the latter, by its nature, is about being in a particular place, he said, and the ability to get information out quickly, and in volume.

You need the drive to be where the story is and once you’re there to get as close as you can. You’re not restricted to being close to the action. There is also the mindset of speed … You have to have an ‘always on’ mindset, always carrying your gear with you and always be looking for a story. Switch on and get your phone out and get some coverage straight away.

Because mobile journalism is still so new, you also need to be very willing to experiment. This runs across all spheres of journalism. It is about getting messy, in a way, there is no roadmap, there is no path.

Westbrook opened his presentation with the great example of UK journalist Alex Wood and his colleagues’ coverage of the G20 summit in 2009, despite being kept in a containment area. Unlike the mainstream media, unable to get their tapes out of the area, Wood’s team were able to connect to wifi and report on what was happening using their mobiles.

They sent Tweets and uploaded photos from their phones. For Alex and his colleagues its became quite a landmark moment for their journalism. Because they were mobile they had the advantage over the mainstream media. It really shows the potential that mobile journalism has.

Another practical advantage was illustrated in a photo Westbrook showed next, of a broadcast team filming an interview with numerous members of crew, a camera, autoprompter, lighting and “miles of cable”.

In comparison, the typical mobile journalism setup consists of a camera which doubles up as a phone, a high quality microphone, a mifi connector and a small tripod, he said.

Technology has allowed mobile journalism to happen as it does. Also the infrastructure has improved, there’s wifi in more places and high speed broadband.”

So what could the future hold for mobile journalism? Westbrook’s ideas were:

  • Location based news
  • Geo-tagging
  • Mobile moving mainstream
  • More citizen reporting

Mashable: Online overtakes print as main news source

Mashable is reporting that a study in America, carried out by US journalism researcher Poynter, has found that for the first time more people are getting their news online than from a newspaper.

Online advertising has also overtaken newspaper ad revenue. According to Mashable, the web is the only medium to see a year-on-year growth, with radio, TV, newspapers and magazines all suffering a decline. Poynter’s research also shows that almost half of Americans got at least some of their news on a mobile device or tablet.

In surveys, 34 per cent of respondents said they read news online within the past 24 hours (as opposed to 31 per cent who favoured newspapers); and a full 41 per cent said they get most of their news online, 10 per cent more than those who said they got most of their news from a newspaper.

Full post on Mashable at this link.

Publishing Expo: Tablets, smartphones and strategies

Talk at this year’s Publishing Expo is rapidly taking on a back-to-basics theme, with some big names at this morning’s keynote session suggesting the industry took its eye off the ball and forgot about content.

With BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas in the chair, Neil Thackray from the Media Briefing, consultant Dominic Jacquesson and designer Jeremy Leslie from Magculture.com attempted to thrash out where the industry is going, and whether it’s in the right direction.

Jacquesson opened up with a summary of a report he’s just compiled for the Media Briefing.

“This shows that most of your readers will own a smartphone or tablet by 2015,” he told the crowd crammed into the session. Mobile apps, he said, were here to stay, with app downloads set to hit the 24 billion mark by 2013.

What’s also vital, Jacquesson said, is “the simple pay environment” that Apple has created.

Facebook was also a major feature of the discussion. It’s set to be a predominantly mobile app-based service by 2012 and, with the average user spending one-and-a-half hours a day on it, “it is your major competitor said Jacquesson. He takes the view that circulations of print publications will halve in five years, with time spent on mobile devices eating into media consumption time.

Neil Thackray followed up by warning that it was wrong “to be seduced by the beauty and wonder of the iPad“. He said consumers would “get used to it” and so “we shouldn’t just spit out a magazine as an iPad app.” He urged the industry to “go back to first principles and ask ‘what can we produce that readers find interesting or useful. Then provide them with a suite of applications to enable them to engage with what you produce.”

Jeremy Leslie agreed. “Don’t forget to ask ‘why?’,” he said. “What is your audience? What do you want to give them? What is the best way of doing it?” he also took issue with Jacquesson’s view that time spent on social media eats in to traditional media consumption, using the example of his 15-year-old son who “organises his life on Facebook and watches TV at the same time”.

There was some discussion of the Daily when Thackray chipped in with the comment that “we need to do things that are simple, not complicated.” The Daily was “bloody complicated” he said. Leslie added that it was “too generic. You need a tone of voice in what you say and in your design.”

Thackray asked “Why do we think we can do what we did in traditional media on new devices?” His advice was to “go out and find out about all the different things that can be done with a smartphone or tablet app.” Jacquesson agred, saying: “If the print circulation is going down, the right solution cannot be to build an app version of the print product.”

But he also said: “Successful apps have been a continuation of a strategy already in place.” He used the example of Autotrader, which developed an app on top of its existing offer which used location services to put buyers in touch with dealers and offer them the chance to contact them in return for a slice of the completed deal.

Leslie closed on an optimistic note, talking of “natural readjustment” in a industry “where too many mags were chasing too few readers”.

“Even if the number of mags does fall 50 per cent, there are still 25 per cent more mags than there were 20 years ago.”

This may seem blasé, but Leslie’s point was echoed by the panel. Future success will be in innovation and quality content, rather than in simply embracing whatever technology comes along.

Image by curious lee on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

‘The tipping point is now’: BBC and Future outline mobile strategies at Publishing Expo

Engage with your readers, use your existing skills, keep doing what you do well – these were the messages coming from the big digital keynote debate at Publishing Expo. It was standing room only at a session which saw Rebekah Billingsley, BBC Worldwide mobile devices publisher, and Mark Wood, boss of Future UK, among those explaining how they were getting to grips with digital, multiplatform reality.

Billingsley opened by underlining the importance of mobile, saying “the tipping point is now” as she quoted research that showed access to material via mobile devices is set to outstrip access via desktop by 2013. BBC Worldwide publishes Focus and Good Food in tablet form and, said Billingsley, those titles have racked up 70,000 downloads. Her tips were;

1) Choose a technology which makes sense. “Several off-the-shelf publishing solutions bolt onto InDesign,” she said. That means you can use existing staff’s existing skills and minimise cost.

2) Experiment and innovate. “Analyse your feedback and use that to try things out, to experiment,” she said. It was another recurring theme of the day – Billingsley was not the first speaker to urge publishers to use the audience data they so often fail to gather or analyse properly.

3) Utilise your existing assets. “If you have brand, audience and talent you have an advantage,” she said.

“Analyse, test, improve – that’s the cycle we work to,” she concluded.

Future’s Mark Wood took the theme further, talking about how his company is using all available platforms “to engage with our readers who are passionate about the areas we cover”. This can involve breaking down traditional ways of thinking, and Wood used an anecdote to illustrate the point.

On the way to the event he’d popped into the Apple store. He spoke to a sales assistant about what he did, and the sales assistant said he was a big fan of Guitarist magazine. Wood asked if he would buy it on iPad. The assistant said no, he liked the physical magazine. “But,” he told Wood, “stop putting those CDs on the cover – I want that online.”

Wood said: “Digital means we can see what our consumers want so we can sell them things without wasting their time. And being able to target audiences means we can get into new geographical areas more easily.” In short, he said, “With digital, the economics are different to print; but the content and skills are the same.”

Nikolay Malyarov from Newspaper Direct agreed that “if publishers focus on content that will bring readers”, but also expressed reservations about relying on one device. Apple’s new terms hung over the discussion. Malyarov reckons the coming proliferation of mobile devices means Apple will be challenged commercially and the rigidity of its App terms will soften. But asked if he saw Apple as a constricting influence, Wood simply said “If they want 30 per cent, we don’t mind”.

Future has the scale to publish on all platforms, it knows it needs to be on them, so Apple’s conditions are an acceptable cost.

Android app update allows users to purchase Kindle newspapers

On Friday Amazon announced that its Kindle for Android app is the first of its Kindle apps to receive an update that enables users to buy, read and sync more than 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines.

Kindle for Android users can now buy a single issue or subscribe to the most popular newspapers and magazines, have them automatically delivered to their Android-powered device, and enjoy a full color reading experience optimized for the touch interface of Android-powered devices.