The transition to digital allows publishers to target readers who have abandoned print whilst also targeting new ones to achieve growth. In fact, people are more informed today than ever before. They have the accessibility to the most effective tool: the internet. They read, but they refer to do it on the web, mostly via smartphones. In fact, in 2016 consumers downloaded worldwide 149.3 billion mobile apps to their connected devices. In 2021, this figure is projected to grow to 352.9 billion app downloads. If advertisers are already benefiting from the added value of digital media, publishers must understand that they are in a completely new collaborative relationship with both advertisers and readers. Statistics shows that is especially the smartphone the tool that will allow publications to come back to life.
7 reasons why mobile is the answer to growth
The use of digital devices is increasing rapidly and are now the preferred choice for readers. Mobile platforms bring an ease of accessibility as the device is portable, easy to use and integrated in everyone’s daily life. Apps can be optimized for the small screen and used offline which brings increased accessibility and benefit to the reader.
- The number of smartphone users has reached 2.1 billion in 2016
- The ease-of-use and accessibility of a mobile app reduces the time required to turn a process into a habit.
- Our society demands speed in our every step. No waiting, no lingering. It all has to come at once. When it comes to quickly accessing data, mobile apps are the perfect choice.
- Smartphone-users will only interact with branded content when it is optimised, or appropriate, for the smaller screen (Mintel).
2. Extend the Story
The use of a digital platform allows for the story to be extended through the use of a wide variety of digital media. For example, videos, external links, pictures and user generated content. Also, SNS (Social Network Sites) are the main platforms through which readers share content online. Consequently, digital formats extend beyond the limits of printed paper, making the experience more engaging for the user
- Mobile apps provide additional features that are not available on mobile websites. In 2016, consumers downloaded worldwide 149.3 billion mobile apps to their connected devices.
- In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.
3. Increase Audience Reach
The smartphone is a tool that allows publications to broaden the size of their audience by providing content that is always available and updated. By incorporating digital platforms more readers can be introduced to the publication. For example NME publisher IPC Media pointed out its reach across all platforms, print and digital, including its website, reached 3.6 million, making the brand “bigger than it has ever been” as the title’s print sale peaked at more than 300,000. Traffic on the NME mobile website grew 85% year on year, with nearly 40% of its total online audience now reading on mobile.”
- The National Readership Survey 2016 demonstrated the consumption from mobile and online adds a further 107% audience reach to individual news brands and 68% for magazines.
- As of the most recent reported period, the number of internet users worldwide was 3.58 billion in 2017, up from 3.39 billion in the previous year providing an increased opportunity to broaden readership.
- The estimated total number of internet users in the UK in 2017 is 57.3 million people.
Today, people are exposed every day to thousands of advertisements coming from a multitude of digital channels. Readers, most specifically millennials are now most reactive to personalized forms of communication. Digital is different compared to traditional communication methods and the readers are far more demanding. However, the opportunities offered by the Internet are revolutionary. With PCs and smartphones, publishers can collect data to personally get to know their buyers. Publishers can discover habits, tastes, opinions and even where they are using for example, geo location. This data is then used to deliver personalized messages to the readers.
Personalization is effective because:
- Builds loyalty and affinity – 83% of consumers would have a more positive view of a brand that delivered personalized loyalty messaging.
- Consumers prefer human interaction – Consumers do not like the feeling of an “automated” interaction. 41% of consumers interviewed by Ricoh prefer mail as a means of communicating with companies.
5. Increasing Reader’s Engagement
It is increasingly important to cater to readers changing habits and the new generations that are rising. Millennials make up 25% of U.S population and 21% of consumer discretionary purchases. It is estimated to be over one trillion dollars in direct buying power, a huge influence on publications. Today’s readers want to interact, review content and contribute to discussions on the internet.
- 40% of consumer want to participate in the co-creation of products and brands on the Internet.
- 70% feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience.
- 80% of millennials want brands to entertain them
6. Increase Revenue
Digital platforms can be an effective way to increase revenue. With quality data provided by digital platforms and mobile connectivity, advertisers and publishers succeed in targeting their market. Global digital magazine advertising revenue is set to grow to $13.4 billion, making up more than a quarter of publishers total advertising revenue.
- iBeacon Ad Network: the global market of the iBeacon ad Network is set achieve growth of a staggering CAGR of 200.3% between 2014 and 2019.
- Geo location: location-targeted mobile ad revenues in the U.S. will grow from $6.8 billion in 2015 to $18.2 billion in 2019, according to a report by BIA/Kelsey.
7. Reduce Costs
The traditional publishing industry, specifically printed publications are experiencing a period of crisis. The Western European magazine industry saw a steady decrease in print circulation revenues of consumer magazines. From 17.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 to an estimated 14 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Some publishers are slowing their publishing pace as they face a constant struggle to make ends meet. By transitioning a proportion of content to digital, digital mobile platforms appear to be the best solution to decrease cost of printing and distribution.
- 46% of publishers waste valuable time on paper intensive processes.
- In 2016, 29% of citizens in the EU stated they read print media every day or almost every day, a decrease of 7% compared to five years earlier in 2011.
- Magazine advertising expenditures in the EU are declining as a result of an increase in cost effective, digital platforms as an alternative. Expenditures dropped from 10.1 billion euros in 2009 to 7.1 billion euros in 2015.