are magazine apps dead?

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  • Apps: alive or dead?

    Michael Kowalski

  • Contentment is an award-winning platform for mobile publishing

  • Contentment is an award-winning platform for mobile publishing

  • 90%

    of mobile time spent in apps


    of world population owns a mobile


    of all web traffic, and rising

    More mobiles than people on the planet People look at their phones 150x a day Over 50% of Google searches on mobile

  • Three ways to mobile

    Mobile web Apps Platforms Apple News, Facebook, Snapchat, etc

    All have their pros and cons

  • + Web is discoverable and shareable + You probably already have a website + You control your own analytics and data

    + People spend little time on web in mobile + Your website gets lost in a sea of tabs + Poor monetisation: adblocking, no built-in

    payments or subscriptions + Doesnt work offline + Might require website redesign and build

    Mobile web

  • + Preinstalled on phones + Huge audience, good for discovery + Low/zero cost

    + You lose control over audience, monetisation, analytics & functionality everything!

    + No controlled circulation, & weak monetisation through platform advertising

    + Your brand is disaggregated into a sea of other content


  • Apps come in two flavours

    Replica (PDF) Responsive (HTML)Replicas suck on mobile We shall not speak of them again

  • + Push notifications keep you connected with your audience

    + Your icon on the home screen + Good monetisation through subs and IAP + Less vulnerable to ad blocking

    + Additional production costs (time & money) + Closed ecosystems (Apple, Windows, Android) + User has to install your app


  • App discovery is getting much better

    Universal links open directly in app

    App content is indexed for search

    Deep links open on a specific page

  • Strengths & weaknesses

    Mobile web

    Audience relationship MonetisationDiscovery

    Mobile native

    Platforms AppsNo controlled circulation

  • + Focus and clarity of use + Overnight downloads & offline use + Useful added functionality (e.g. save for later,

    personalisation, integration with calendar)

    + Icon on the home screen

    Why would a consumer want an app?

  • There are many providersTechnology choice

  • Evaluation checklist


    Supports third party authentication (for upsells or controlled)

    Supports universal links

    Supports app indexing for search

    Not replicas!

    Business fitMatches your skill set (eg. do you have design or developer resources available in-house?)

    Integrates with your existing technology (CMS, CRM)

    Running costs

    Low ongoing production costs: single workflow for all channelsCost of change: cost to change design? Add new features?

    Supplier competence

    App store reviews & customer endorsements

    Support level, including support for OS upgrades

    Solid future roadmap

  • Apps, mobile web, and platforms all have their uses. Apps are strong on building audience relationships, controlled circulation, and monetisation. The best technology fit for you will depend on your content, resources, and existing systems.

    Apps are not dead!

  • Dont be a stranger

    Michael Kowalski