After almost 11 years in mobile content and advertising, I think I can finally stop apologizing about mobile ad spend. No longer will I endure the the snide question: “Is THIS the year of mobile, Nevins?” I was definitely too early – which is the same as being wrong – but I was able to peek around the corner a little earlier than some. The insights that peek provided helped me help a few companies convert very well on the mobile opportunity. Maybe I was prescient? More likely, I was just lucky. Now I’m wondering: What’s the next thing?
Here are some charts on mobile ad spend in case you still haven’t gotten the message yet. If you still don’t believe me, there’s nothing more I can do 😉
I’ve written about the FT’s excellent HTML5 web app previously here.
After a concerted effort by FT to get its subscribers to switch from their native ipad/iphone apps to the paper’s HTML5 web app, they have now pulled those native subscription apps from the App Store. Bravo!
While this approach won’t work for all content owners, it clearly sets the stage for others to follow suit. Those publishers that own – and want to continue to own – direct subscriber relationships, can provision HTML5 web apps that deliver an excellent customer experience directly via their desktop and mobile websites. No percentage paid to Apple, more fluid development/upgrades, no review process and all the customer data a publisher typically enjoys.
I can’t be sure how many subs the FT has via the HTML5 web app. PaidContent and Mediapost both speculate in recent coverage, but I can’t glean a clear answer (please help me out if you can). The FT decision to pull the apps from the store certainly suggests they are happy with the numbers and how they are trending.
It will be interesting to see which publishers follow FT’s lead here. The NYTimes has a great Chrome web app and others are working away on HTML5 executions of one kind or another. Apps are not going away, but I predict HTML5 web apps will be a priority for many over the next twelve months.
Eric Litman makes some interesting comments to Carla Rover on mobile rich media on Digday. Litman is, of course, the CEO of a mobile rich media ad company, but his comments are on-point and not just self-serving.
I agree wholeheartedly that It’s time for mobile rich media to scale. The slapping-banners-on-phones business has become one of arbitrage…Networks buying and selling from each other like low-rent real estate brokers. The proverbial race to the bottom. Haven’t we seen this movie before?
There is an excellent story to be told about engagement rates from rich media ads on mobile. A beautiful experience with high engagement will be attractive to brands if they can get it at scale. Getting away from proprietary SDK’s and other obstacles to scale is critical to that end. Using HTML5 for mobile rich media ads should help this happen.