Publishers Expanding, Monetizing Their Mobile Publishing Efforts – ABC Study

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL—Nov. 7, 2011—Magazines and newspapers in the United States and Canada are becoming more confident in their strategic mobile plans as they diversify their offerings and discover new ways to derive revenue.

According to a new survey—“Going Mobile: How Publishers are Maturing and Monetizing Their Offerings” — from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) and ABC Interactive, the number of publishing companies that say they have a well-developed plan for the mobile market rose to 59 percent, up from just 28 percent in 2009. And 67 percent said it was important to their strategic future to earn revenue from both ads and subscriptions. (Download PDF of Executive Summary.)


This is the third annual mobile survey from ABC and ABCi. The accumulated data provides a unique glimpse into the evolution of the mobile market from the perspective of print publishers that are hoping to capitalize on new platforms. The 2009 version of the survey provided a hint of publishers’ initial reactions to smartphones, and the 2010 results indicated a growing preference for tablets.

This year’s survey gives yet another update on publishers’ diverse array of consumer offerings and how they’re dealing with a fragmented device market and competition from other mobile content creators.

“With three years of data to analyze, the ABC/ABCi mobile surveys offer a behind-the-scenes look into the workings of magazines and newspapers as they address the promises and challenges offered by the rise of the personal mobile device,” said Neal Lulofs, executive vice president and general manager, ABC Interactive. “This year’s survey results show the great strides publishers have made during the last two years and how they are preparing for a future where smartphones and tablets are a ubiquitous part of everyday life.”

Survey Highlights:

• Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said they currently have mobile content for smartphones, eReaders or tablet devices, up from 76 percent last year. Newspapers (88 percent) were most likely to have mobile initiatives in place, followed closely by consumer magazines (83 percent) and business publications (79 percent). Publishers cite development and maintenance costs as the primary reason they did not have a mobile presence.

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