Claravine 2

Mobilising the Publishing Industry

David Murphy

Jeremy Copp, CEO of Rapid Mobile Media, argues thats its time for the publishing industry to start monetising their content, which is perfectly suited for mobile consumption

Newspaper and magazine publishers were some of the pioneers in delivering content to consumers on the web. Yet curiously, those who were earliest and most innovative on the web are the last to make the move to delivering and monetising through mobile services.
The news and entertainment content produced by the publishers is ideal for mobile consumption: much of it is time critical and most fits the snacking usage scenario of consumption on phones users tend to fill time interacting in short bursts (whether creating or consuming content) in periods where they otherwise have nothing else to do. Delivery of services to mobile phones therefore represents an ideal medium for publishers to reach consumers when they do not have access to the web through a fixed terminal their phone is a highly personal device that is with them at all times of the day (and sometimes night)!
The keys to enabling such services lie firstly in making it easy for the publishers to deliver to the complex mobile environment, and secondly in providing efficient monetisation mechanisms to fund the services through advertising.

Diverse landscape
The mobile phone landscape is an
incredibly diverse one, with many thousands of handset variants to be
supported, compared to perhaps three or four browser environments for
web service delivery. Publishers should not have to be concerned with
such complexity, but rather, they should be able to focus on their core
business of delivering great content. Solutions exist that will
automatically optimise the presentation of content and services for all
handsets, ensuring not only that the end user has the best possible
experience (and therefore will be more likely to use the service) but
also that the publisher need not be concerned with the delivery and
presentation aspects of the content, only with the quality of features
and editorial.
These delivery platforms open the possibility, not
only of providing rich mobile Internet experiences, but also, of
deploying applications to handsets to enable richer interaction
experiences through games and puzzles, transactional services such as
sports betting, classified advertisements for jobs, homes and cars, and
even the mobilisation of dating services.
Most of the publishing
industry has extensive experience of selling advertising space within
their properties - both online and off - so display advertising is an
obvious revenue generation mechanism for mobile services. It could be
argued that it is the media owners that have driven the advertising
industry for existing media channels (print, radio, TV and online) and
that they will do the same in mobile: the infrastructure already exists
within their organisations to sell and manage advertising delivery
within their own inventory.
Crucial to the successful monetisation
of the mobile services is the ability to manage the delivery of high
quality, relevant and unobtrusive yet unmissable advertising.
Advertisers must be assured that their branding and messages are
presented at the highest possible quality, which if achieved, will
generate premium impression rates for the publisher; the user must feel
the advertising is adding to their content consumption experience. He
or she will demand relevance, unobtrusive presentation and an easy
interaction mechanism. The mobile advertising delivery platform must
also fit with the publishers existing advertising sales workflow,
whilst automatically managing the delivery into their mobile properties
across all of the diverse device types.
Just as for mobile service
delivery, so the publisher must be freed to concentrate on the business
of planning, selling and reporting ad impressions, without having the
complexity of considering how to reach every phone type (and not having
to have multiple versions of the ad creative to do so), which is
necessary to avoid artificial segmentation of the target audience based
on phone model.

Ideal position
The publishing industry is in an ideal
position to engage consumers through their mobile phones, interacting
with them all through the day, not just when they have the opportunity
to sit in front of a PC or read a newspaper or magazine. Furthermore,
they have content that matches the typical usage models of mobile; the
marketing channels through their existing properties to drive a
significant volume of users to their mobile service; and the existing
advertising sales infrastructure to be able to derive revenue by
delivering impressions to the mobile audience.
Perhaps the move to
mobile to date has been slowed by the technical complexity of delivery,
but platforms do now exist to ensure that compelling, easy to use
content and services can be broadly deployed and monetised through high
quality display advertising. Publishers should not be afraid to use