Finally, Here's A Way To Make Serious Money In Mobile Publishing

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Photo: Flickr / velo_city

Consumers may soon score a free song while waiting for a movie to start, a Starbucks coupon while killing time at the airport, or the latest Malcolm Gladwell essay while waiting for the bus.The freebie arrives seamlessly: the offer pops up on the smartphone screen and users click “yes” or “no,” then move their device towards a given location, maybe a seat cushion or nearby poster. No uploads, photos, or tedium. It’s easy.

Or, as marketers say, “frictionless.” The technology enabling these simple promotions, near-field communication (NFC), is now being touted as a the next big thing in interactive marketing in a recent Forrester report and elsewhere.

And it could be huge in mobile publishing (explanation below), finally enabling mobile publishers to cash in on the growing scale of mobile, always-on consumption habits, and consumer migration to the “second screen” during TV or desktop viewing.

It works like this: phones are built with an NFC chip, which can “talk” to other small, cheap NFC chips called “tags” embedded in nearby objects. (They usually look like stickers.) Only a handful of smartphones are currently built with NFC, but more are expected in the coming few years.

So far NFC has mainly been touted as a digital wallet solution and researched by hardware makers like Google. But NFC could also be huge for content publishers, from brands like Coke to editorial houses like the Wall Street Journal, enabling them to interact easily with a mobile audience.

Publishers could embed NFC chips into books and magazines, allowing them to link content to commerce offerings — a restaurant coupon, say — and claim a share of the resulting revenue from the merchant. Purchases can be directly tracked, via communication between the phone and tag.

Can micro-payments and revenue partnerships finally monetise mobile publishing in a way that measly advertising revenue and modest subscription metrics have not?

Find out more at the third-annual IGNITION: Future of Digital conference, taking place November 27-28, 2012, in New York. The event focuses on digital-media business models and attracts executives like Facebook honcho Sheryl Sandberg, virality expert Jonah Peretti, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, curmudgeon and media maverick Glenn Beck.

Early-bird tickets are on sale now, at a nearly 66% discount off the full ticket. Grab yours here.

Here are some of the speakers who are confirmed for 2012:

  • Rob Grimshaw, Managing Director,
  • David Kenny, CEO, The Weather Channel Companies
  • Jon Miller, Head of Digital, News Corporation
  • Rio Caraeff, CEO, Vevo
  • Bob Pittman, Founding Member, Pilot Group, and former CEO, MTV
  • Alan Patricof, Managing Director, Greycroft
  • Mark Bonchek, SVP Communities and Networks, Sears
  • And more to be announced!

IGNITION: Future of Digital will closely examine digital business models. In addition to NFC, topics on the agenda include:

CMO SECRETS: How I Approach Digital Storytelling
In a post-display world, whither advertising? CMOs reveal which platforms and practices they’re employing to reach digital consumers. 

Consumers have a finite attention span. Content, ads, and gimmicks are infinite. How do you break through?

INSTAGRAM, TUMBLR, PINTEREST, Facebook And Beyond: Making Money On The Visual Web
The Visual Web is booming. Instagram’s addictive photo-sharing service was snapped up by Facebook for $1B in April, Pinterest and Tumblr have reported noteworthy growth, and Facebook IPO’d at a $104B valuation. Publishers like Business Insider, Cheezburger Network, Buzzfeed are harnessing the attraction of slideshows and pictures. What are the best strategies for making money on the rise of the Visual Web?

AGENCY BIGSHOTS REVEAL: What’s Really Worth Buying In Digital Media
Which emerging media platforms are worth the spend? Is real-time bidding going to make content irrelevant? Will terminals and machines replace custom campaigns?  

Follow @BI_Events on Twitter for IGNITION updates. Meanwhile, don’t wait to buy a ticket, because the price goes up fast, and ex-post-facto discounts will not be offered. Reserve your spot now. See you in November!

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