Mobile devices have become the go-to platform for consuming digital media. In June, mobile accounted for two out of every three minutes spent consuming digital media in the US, according to comScore data. As readers spend more time consuming media on mobile devices and less time reading on newspapers, magazines, and desktop computers, publishers must adapt their distribution strategies to align with the mobile shift.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we examine how both traditional and digital-native publishers are adjusting their strategies in the face of rapidly increasing mobile media consumption. We will also discuss the role of social platforms in driving a growing share of publishers’ referral traffic, focusing on the leading platforms and mobile apps that offer publishers a direct avenue to reach mobile audiences: Facebook Instant Articles, Snapchat Discover, Twitter Moments, and the Apple News App. Finally, we address how the continued mobile shift has the potential to alter the direction of the publishing industry.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Mobile users are choosing mobile apps to consumer digital media. This June, total time spent consuming digital media via mobile apps reached close to 779 billion minutes, vs. nearly 551 billion minutes on PCs, according to ComScore data.
- Facebook’s Instant Articles and Snapchat’s Discover allow partnering publishers to directly reach growing audience bases with native content, while Twitter’s Moments is less of a purpose-built distribution channel. These social platforms are increasingly popular because of their built-in audience bases, and mobile first nature.
- Alternative distribution channels are essential for publishers trying to reach growing mobile audiences, but are not without drawbacks. By relying on other channels to push content to viewers, publishers are giving up control over content and in many instances are handing over a portion of the ad revenue generated.
In full, the report:
- Illustrates the rise of digital media consumption on mobile devices and mobile apps in particular.
- Maps out the global decline of direct desktop traffic for top news publishers in the US.
- Examines how leading social platforms including Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, and various mobile news apps are offering publishers a way to distribute content.
- Lays out what the benefits and drawbacks for publishers for each distribution channel.
- Considers what the future will look like for traditional and digital-native publishers as the shift to mobile continues.
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