5 reasons local publishers should pay more attention to mobile news

Joe Amditis
Sep 28, 2016 · 4 min read

1. Most digital traffic comes from mobile.

According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 70 percent of the Washington Post’s traffic comes from mobile devices. Nearly half of the adults in the United States get their news from Facebook, and more than half of Facebook’s entire user base access the service entirely through mobile. It may seem obvious to us now that mobile would be the inevitable victor in the war for our attention, but it wasn’t always that way.

2. Mobile is where the money is.

Mobile now accounts for more than half of all digital advertising revenue. Pew’s latest annual survey of the news media says mobile consumption and platform domination continues to grow. Between 2014 and 2015, mobile advertising spending increased by 65 percent and topped out at $31.6 billion spent on mobile ads in 2015 — that’s 53% of the total spent on digital advertising for the year.

3. Long-form articles get more than twice the engagement of short-form articles on mobile

Source: Pew Research Center

4. Mobile users are incredibly platform-loyal.

Snapchat has more active users than Twitter, and that number was virtually unaffected by the introduction of Instagram Stories. This may not seem immediately relevant, but it shows that mobile users are incredibly platform-loyal when it comes to the apps and services they use. They aren’t as distracted by every new shiny thing as you might assume.

5. There are a million bad ideas for every good one.

Mobile labs like the Guardian’s and R&D centers at big publishing companies are focused on mobile for the masses. Local publishers, however, often don’t have the time or money to invest in chasing new mobile technology on their own.

What’s a publisher to do?

Most local publishers are overworked and don’t always have time to keep up with the latest industry think piece. Most local publishers are so wrapped up with advertising and editing issues that it would be silly to expect them to spend hours going through the latest Pew report or testing the latest mobile messaging apps.

NJ Mobile News Lab

Experiments in Mobile News Innovation from the Center for Cooperative Media

Joe Amditis

Written by

Joe is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and the host of the WTF Just Happened Today? podcast.

NJ Mobile News Lab

Experiments in Mobile News Innovation from the Center for Cooperative Media