Today I read something about myself that I already knew…that I have started to become completely dependent on my smartphone for news. In a new report called 2012 State of the News Media by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism we find that 27% of Americans get their news from mobile devices. I’m one of those folks, and you probably are too. There are some other interesting statistics but among those are that 100 newspapers are expected to join the already existing 150 daily newspapers that have a digital subscription model. The challenge for newspapers is to balance branding apps with those that maintain subscription revenue.
We have seen this from some of our customers, such as The Fiscal Times. The reality is that media companies, and newspapers in particular, need to reach their customers in the way in which the customers want to be reached. It is not a matter of which method, but a matter of finding solutions for all methods. One might say that using HTML5 or mobile website to cover all the “other areas” would be the solution, but you’re ignoring some basic facts. People are dependent on their apps to not only give them the information, but to do so in a unique way that is customized to them. They have become accustomed to being able to engage with their app…providing feedback, uploading pictures. You can’t accomplish this through a mobile website. In many ways you can’t accomplish it via the HTML5 app either…as with any “common” solution, you are forced into a lowest common denominator that works from everyone, but doesn’t work ‘well’ for anyone. Our customers understand that. They know that they want to give truly unique experiences that are specific to the environment and device that their customers are using. The beauty of this is that they don’t have to over invest in development resources but instead depend on our Smart Online platform to enable them to build applications that are unique, engaging, advanced, and to do so without the reliance on developers or external agencies. They understand their customers…why not let that understanding translate into the creative process of producing their own apps.