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Print Publishers Capitalizing on Mobile Market, ABC Survey Finds

November 5, 2010

• Survey respondents continue to list Apple as the number one e-reader manufacturer expected to impact the publishing market, but Google/Android makes a strong survey debut in second place, followed closely by

• Despite Apple’s high ranking, publishers are concerned about its app business model and the way it shares data. Only 11 percent of respondents indicated they were satisfied with the analytics and subscriber information they receive from Apple. Nineteen percent said they were satisfied with Apple’s app business model.

• All of ABC’s publisher members are experimenting with charging for mobile content. Forty-three percent of consumer magazines said they currently charge for mobile apps, followed by 39 percent of business publications and 21 percent of newspapers.

• Publishers are optimistic about their ability to monetize mobile content. Thirty-seven percent expect mobile to significantly impact their revenue in just two years.

Survey Conclusions:

• Publishers are beginning to solidify their mobile strategies while gauging how to adapt to a rapidly shifting market. The mobile market continues to receive more attention this year than last. More survey respondents are entering the space with websites formatted for viewing on mobile devices, apps designed for smart phones and e-readers, and clear plans for monetization. The larger publications are more likely to have launched their first round of initiatives, but small to midsize publications are not far behind.

• Mobile continues to drive website traffic. With more consumers accessing the Internet via a mobile device, publishers are jumping at the opportunity to increase their overall website traffic. Seventy-five percent of survey respondents believe that mobile will be responsible for a five to 50 percent increase in their website traffic in the next two years.

• E-readers and tablets begin to edge out smart phones. Publishers continue to explore distribution opportunities on both smart phones and e-readers/tablets. Last year, survey respondents were most hopeful about the potential of smart phones, likely related to the popularity of the iPhone. This year, with the iPad making its debut, more publishers expressed confidence in e-reader and tablet devices.

• Apple currently leads the pack of manufacturers offering e-reader and tablet devices, but some concerns may drive publishers to other devices. Eighty-six percent of respondents said that Apple is the e-reader manufacturer most likely to impact the publishing market. However, only 11 percent of survey respondents said they were satisfied with the analytics and subscriber data they receive from Apple. Only 19 percent said they were content with Apple’s app business model.

• Publishers are counting on both ad and subscription revenue. Many plan to charge one price to access a brand on multiple platforms. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said they believe that a combination of ad and subscription revenue is still the right strategy for monetizing the mobile market. Respondents said sponsorship, search, video and banner advertising have the greatest likelihood of success. Many plan to offer consumers the option of purchasing a bundled subscription that may include a print publication, mobile app and website access all for one price.

• As ad spending grows and advertiser demand for accountability increases, publishers plan to offer audited mobile metrics. Nearly three-fourths of survey respondents believe advertiser demand for accountability will continue to grow as ad spending in the mobile market increases. The majority of publishers agree that reporting independently verified digital edition and website metrics on ABC reports would benefit the industry.

About the Survey
More information, including an executive summary of the survey findings and downloadable graphs, is available on ABC’s website.

The research for “Going Mobile: How Publishers Are Solidifying Strategies and Adapting to the Mobile Market” was conducted via a voluntary web-based survey held between July 19 and July 30, 2010.

About ABC/ABCi
ABC is a forum of North America's leading magazine and newspaper publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies. The organization provides credible, verified information essential to the media buying and selling process. ABC maintains the world’s foremost online database of audited circulation information and a growing array of readership, audience and website usage data. ABC’s digital arm, ABC Interactive, is one of the world’s leading independent auditors of websites and digital ad-based technology. To learn more, visit

Source: Press release.


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