Mobile Apps and Small Screens

magazine cover imageApple’s iPad arrived on the scene in early 2010, and publishers knew that the possibilities for digital magazines were endless. With its large screen size and growing popularity, the iPad quickly assumed a dominant position on the tech scene.

Smart phones did not seem to offer much in the way of opportunities for magazines, as its small screen size seemed ill-suited to replicate the traditional reading experience. However, despite the challenges of working with such small a small space, a trend has emerged of adapting full magazine editions for the smart phone. The reason for the trend may have to do with recent data on the exploding ad market for mobile products:

Smartphone owners in Canada skew age 18 to 49 with a predominance of 18 to 34 versus cell phone owners who skew 35-64 versus the general population. Smartphone owners tend to have higher household income. Source: PMB 2012 Spring (1-year data) Also, the incidence of magazine reading among smartphone owners closely mirrors that of the general population although the volume of reading is above average, 4.2 titles per month vs. 3.7, a 14% increase. Source: PMB 2012 Spring (1-year data)

Of much interest to publishers, smartphone users are most receptive to coupons, ads for something they are shopping for, ads for favorite brands and ads that are location relevant. With most of Facebook’s growth occurring on mobile and figures pointing to a huge surge for the format over the next few years (analyst Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates predicts 88 percent of local advertising will be served on mobile devices by 2016), the market is simply too important to ignore.

In fact, when it comes to consumer appeal, a smart phone’s small size is instrumental in turning it into a viable medium for digitized magazines. It’s something you have with you all the time. The easy convenience provides users with the opportunity to use it at a moment’s notice—or rather, more importantly, a moment’s downtime. All the places people used to pick up a print magazine: hospital waiting rooms, airport lounges, on the train home—with a smart phone, consumers can browse just as easily.
Knowing that mobile apps are a necessary part of a publisher’s offering, the question becomes how do you differentiate your mobile business app from everyone else’s in such a busy market? One of the best ways to gain leverage is with an app which captivates an audience and provides a satisfying experience.
Working with and MediaWire ensure that you will get a mobile app which provides genuine utility and value for your readers.

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