Canadian Magazine Industry News
17 December 2012,     ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL
AAM survey shows upsurge in mobile content and digital publishing
New numbers indicate that 90% of magazine, newspaper and business publications in Canada and the U.S. have adopted a mobile media presence, up from 51% three years ago. Survey respondents that did not currently have a mobile presence plan to launch one within the year.

The "How Media Companies are Innovating and Investing in Cross-Platform Opportunities" survey was conducted online in October by the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau of Circulations) and Roslow Research.

"This year's survey results show that publishers have embraced tablets, smartphones and the web as an integral part of their overall cross-platform publishing strategy," said Eric John, AAM vice president of digital services, in a release.

While most companies are on board with the sea change, they are still testing the waters when it comes to using native apps for individual devices versus using general web apps that work for all. According to AAM, 70% are publishing native apps and 67% are publishing web apps.

As for how HTML5 is figuring into company strategies, over 40% of respondents plan to hold off on the latest HTML revision and continue with their native apps in 2013. Around 30% plan to give HTML5 a try over the next year.

In related findings, the survey revealed that respondents are producing multiple apps for each mobile device. Publishers offer 3.4 apps on average for Apple's phones and tablets, compared with 3 apps for Amazon's Kindle and 2.4 for Barnes and Noble's Nook.

Almost 75% of publishers are using exact replicas of print content for mobile; 63% are using a non-replica with some print content, and over 20% produce unique content unrelated to the printed edition.

Most survey participants agreed that using an advertising/subscription dual revenue stream was necessary to make a profit on mobile media, said the AAM release. Almost 55% of participants said mobile platforms comprised 9% of advertising revenue; 56% said mobile represents 9% of circ revenue.

Also, 22% of consumer mags and 54% of business publications are using paywalls to charge for website content. For newspapers, consumer and business publications combined, metered paywalls (with a set amount of articles available for free before fees kick in) were most popular at almost 40%; hard paywalls were used by 17%, whereas 33% are using a combination paywall for access to premium content.

Other findings show that while mobile is being embraced across the board, publishers aren't planning to abandon print anytime soon. Under 3% can see their property going digital-only within five years, and less than 15% currently have plans to cut back their print publishing.

The full survey summary is available at the AAM website.
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