Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

Don’t wait to compete for mobile ad revenue

The global mobile internet advertising market is forecast to almost double this year from $8.8bn in 2012 to $15.82bn, according to eMarketer, and Google is the undisputed leader, capturing 56 percent of all global mobile advertising revenue.

No other company is even close to Google. The survey saw Facebook take second place, having captured 13 percent of worldwide mobile ad revenue in the two years since it began running mobile ads. That means that these two companies alone capture just shy of 70 percent of all mobile ad revenue.

In countries like Bangladesh, Senegal, South Africa, Ghana and Indonesia, a report last year by mobile browserBrowserA software program that can request, download, cache and display documents…

Also statistics show that mobile audiences are younger audiences, and this is just another example of how digital platforms allow you to reachReach1) unique users that visited the site over the course of the reporting period,…

Initially, the opportunity to earn revenue from mobile advertising seemed even less than internet advertising, which has seen rates plummet over the past few years. However, as we have seen with the desktop internet, major players have been earning vast sums of money. The challenge for news organisations is that they haven’t enjoyed the same dominance in digital that they enjoyed in print and still in enjoy in broadcasting.

The major internet players are already aggressively growing their mobile advertising revenue and news organisations cannot afford to wait to pursue their own mobile revenue strategies.

Building a staged strategy

The first step is to make sure that you are doing your best to serve mobile audiences. Fortunately, making your sites mobile friendly is now easier than ever with mobile themes and plug-ins for popular platforms such as WordPress and many development frameworks that allow you to create mobile and tablet editions for your sites.

In terms of monetising mobile audiences, while eMarketer looked at global mobile advertising revenue, most news organisations do not operate globally and must instead focus on their local or regional market. You will want to first evaluate where both your consumers and your advertising markets are in terms of mobile adoption. If your consumers have already flocked to mobile but your advertisers are still reluctant, initially, you’ll need a low-cost solution but one that scales as the opportunity grows.

Start with mobile ad networks  – Just as ad networksAd networksAd networks provide an outsourced sales capability for publishers and a means…

Just as with your traditional internet advertising, you’ll want to develop premium advertising options as quickly as possible. Ad networks can help you with that and as the digital advertising networkAdvertising NetworkA company that provides sales representation for multiple independent websites…

When you’re developing your mobile site, you’ll want to make sure that you can easily integrate ad networks and standard mobile ad formats.

Explore local advertising opportunities – For local media, there are unique opportunities. Google has found that about 50 percent of all mobile search is local, and that means that often your audience is looking for nearby businesses or services. Local media already have the sales relationships with local businesses, and this can be a great competitive advantage. You’ll want to explore what options mobile allows for targeted local advertising.

With the rapid rise of mobile, advertisers and marketers see a huge opportunity, which means that there is a lot of money pouring into innovation in this space. For instance, in Malaysia, telecommunications provider Maxis has launched a mobile deals service targeted at 15 shopping destinations that will send subscribers to their myDeal service offers when they are shopping. The service doesn’t require an internet connection but instead relies on determining the location of the customer based on mobile phone masts (cell towers). The deals are delivered by SMS.

Tablets offer unique revenue opportunities – When thinking about mobile content and revenue strategies, it is also important to consider tablets, especially phablets – large screen smartphones – such as Samsung Galaxy Note or Asus FonePad. These devices are competitively priced when compared to smartphones and an absolute steal with compared with laptops or large-screen tablets. For emerging markets, this is the perfect option for someone who doesn’t want or simply doesn’t want to pay for both a smartphone and a laptop.

Tablets or phablets open up all kinds of opportunities if they are popular in your market. For one, numerous studies show that tablet owners engage with content almost as heavily as print readers. That’s definitely something to remember when pitching to advertisers.

Of course, advertising in not the only source of revenue to consider. As we noted in our April Digital Briefing, Folha in Brazil introduced a paid-content strategy that charged for tablet and mobile app access. In most markets, tablets are initially bought by affluent members of your audience, and this type of strategy allows you to add a new revenue stream from those who can afford to pay for your content. Note that less than six months after Folha started charging for their tablet and mobile apps, they also added a metered paywallMetered PaywallThe metered paywall allows users to view a specific number of articles before…

Launch a mobile division – As your mobile market grows and the commercial opportunity will support it, larger organisations should consider launching a mobile division to create mobile products and generate mobile sales. The Media Briefing in the UK recently profiled how Norwegian publisher VG has done just that and is on track to dramatically increase the group’s mobile revenue. Norway is a very advanced digital market, but in major emerging markets, mobile use may quickly catch up with developed markets in ways that the traditional internet won’t for years to come.

This staged strategy will help you grow are your market and your organisation develops. However, no matter the size of your organisation or the state of your mobile market, it is an opportunity that news organisations cannot choose to ignore. The major internet players are moving aggressively to dominate in mobile just as they have with the desktop internet, and news organisations must make sure that they do not wait until Google and Facebook come to dominate your mobile market.

Article by Kevin Anderson

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