News Media is Dead: Why Mobile Strategy Matters

October 16, 2013

2:00 pm

Hey, news media, here’s a reality check for you: improve your mobile strategy or die.

In March of this year, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism published its annual report on the “State of the News Media.” Unsurprisingly, the report shows what most of us already knew: news media is dying, and it’s not dying gracefully. Declining revenues at news publications and networks have led to significant cuts in costs and have affected the overall readership; yet, despite such major setbacks, the media continue to be reluctant toward a more digital approach to news.

According to the Pew report, despite an overall decrease in the consumption of news media (newspapers, local and network TV news, radio, and magazines), total digital news consumption increased 7.2 percent, with 39 percent of responders claiming to have read “yesterday’s” news from their mobile devices. In addition, the report showed that 37 percent of tablet owners read the news from their tablets daily.

These findings are important for the folks over at Rumble – indeed, it’s these kinds of media industry predicaments that encouraged them to create their mobile-first publishing platform. A company that’s made up of people with backgrounds in media and publishing, Rumble’s mobile platform gives publishers a full solution for their mobile strategy – a tool that allows for easy implementation, provides great user experience, and utilizes different methods of monetization.

“[News media] need to focus on creating and publishing content. There’s a huge space for [them] to get on mobile; Rumble gives them a full solution without the unnecessary difficulties,” says Jennifer Eident, director of marketing for Rumble.

Once news publishers get over the initial issue of adapting to this idea of digital consumption of their content, it all comes down to whether they have the necessary resources (both in terms of money and human capital) to pursue a truly great mobile strategy. For many, this comes down to either hiring freelancers to design their mobile platform or building a mobile solution in-house.

Eident, who has a background in publishing, thinks that a freelance solution is only a temporary solution, and that it won’t work for large news media companies. Large media companies require long-term strategies to their mobile approach – something that a freelancer simply can’t provide. In these cases, they often settle on creating something in-house; however, even that strategy has its issues.

“From a profitable standpoint, it really doesn’t make sense to build that in-house, and would typically require resources similar to the New York Times.” And even when such mobile platforms are built in-house, they don’t usually offer the kind of user experience that Rumble offers, nor the kinds of monetization and marketing engagement features available through its platform.

This marketing and monetization feature is important because while there is this trend toward moving content to mobile, digital advertising only increased by 3 percent (from 20 percent of the total U.S. advertising market in 2011 to 23 percent in 2012, per Pew report), with mobile only accounting for 7 percent of total digital ad spending. This is a huge opportunity for news media to formulate their mobile strategies in a way that allows for increased mobile advertising, without sacrificing the user experience – something that Rumble can easily provide.

Rumble was recently featured at last month’s Tech Cocktail NYC Mixer & Startup Showcase

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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