Almost Half the Guardian’s Web Traffic is Mobile

44 per cent of the Guardian’s global web traffic in April came from smartphones and tablets. The figure was revealed a few minutes ago by the Guardian revenue director, Tim Gentry, at the IAB’s Mobile Engage event.

Gentry also revealed that at the weekend, 55 per cent of the Guardian’s football content web browsing takes place on smartphones and tablets, and that in the last quarter, 11 per cent of the Guardian’s advertising revenues came from cross-platform solutions, all of which had mobile at the heart of them, across many sectors, including fashion, retail and mobile. He told delegates: “I think the reason mobile is at the heart of these packages is because it is at the heart of our business.”

Earlier, kicking off the event, IAB chairman, Richard Eyre, issued a rallying call to brands to get their mobile act together. He noted that too many brands’ websites are still not optimised for mobile, and told delegates:  “We need to fix this. Look at your company’s website on a mobile device, and if it doesn’t work, go back and shout at someone. Mobile first is not creativity; it’s hygiene.”

Eyre then said that we are seeing “the end of advertising as we know it”. He explained that, with the advent of mobile, advertising is “no longer a tool for dealing with remote audiences firing messages from beyond enemy lines”.

He said: “For the last 100 years, almost all promotional messages have been separated from a purchase opportunity by time or place… The recipient had to act upon the message at another time. Now, the message lives next to the purchase opportunity…It means brands can be part of the conversation, talk in a normal voice. We have been upgraded from shouting down potential customers to working with them, having a laugh with them.”

But Eyre cautioned that success on mobile hinges on permission, and that a precondition of this is trust. “Every brand should be doing what it needs to do to become the most trusted brand in its sector,” he said. “The opportunity is all there, unless a brand betrays that trust, and then it’s gone.”

He ended by urging brands to ignore the temptation to think of mobile as just another screen to stick ads on.

We’ll have more from the event through the day, subject to hearing interesting stuff from the speakers of course.