It’s been quite a week for news publishing with three landmark newspapers. The Washington Post, Newsweek and The Boston Globe all sold to new owners (Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos, International Business Times and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, respectively.) It’s clear that traditional news publishers are at a crossroads, challenged to create profitable business models in an age when news is increasingly consumed in real-time and on mobile devices.
It seems to us that figuring out how to design for and engage mobile users will be news publishing’s saving grace, especially now that more than half of the U.S. population owns smartphones and tablets are outselling PCs. Bezos, International Business Times and Henry should all take note of our new research, which underscores how mobile news apps are increasingly important for reaching and engaging audiences.Offering content mobile-friendly, easily digestible and highly social is something that new news publishers like Circa and Pulse are already doing.
We studied the behavior of people users of more than 500 mobile news apps from July 2012 to July 2013 and found that:
News isn’t going away. Publishers just have to figure how to – profitably – adapt to the new normal, which is mobile. The key to unlocking monetization for mobile news apps – such as paid subscriptions and in-app advertising – lies in having deep insights about your users, their lifetime value, and how they engage with your content and then personalizing the app experience. Jeff Bezos, International Business Times and John Henry: Are you listening?
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