|We hear a lot of predictions for what the "next big thing" in mobile will be, usually from a consumer perspective. But what about mobile's effect on publishers and what does it mean to publishers? Here are five quick predictions for 2012 about how mobile technologies can easily, and cost effectively, enable publishers to discover new revenue streams and tap into consumers' needs and interests.
Mobile isn't small, it's premium
Mobile has traditionally been about monetizing high availability because smaller experiences were seen as worthless to consumers. New thinking is more like your new favorite music services: "freemium" means tethered to your desk but "premium" means anywhere you want it.
What this means to publishers: Time to stop being so insecure. No newspaper publisher ever thought they would lose ad impressions to radio if they didn't give the paper away for free on every street corner. In 2012, publishers will discover revenue streams based on consumer value of mobile.
What you touch is what you get
Publishers typically see content as either digital or physical, not both. In the second half of 2012, the iPhone 5 with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will change that perception. The iPhone 5 will make every poster, newspaper box and airline boarding area a potential newsstand where consumers can just grab what they need on the fly. This will drive social sharing of content beyond links and increase publishers distribution one hundredfold.
What this means to publishers: Distribution reach increases in combination with the lower distribution cost. This will have real effects on traffic and circulation numbers.
QR codes are still not mobile (and that's OK)
Publishers and marketers consider QR codes to be the perfect mobile interaction. In 2012, the vast majority of QR codes will continue to be scanned at home from print publications and not as we had imagined, on the run, out and about.
What this means to publishers: Smart publishers will focus less on how the mechanism could work when a consumer is on the go and focus more on expanding "up-sell" opportunities of premium, multimedia experiences at home through video and QR-type technology.
Intermediation of content makes everyone happy
2011 focused on using a single device for purchase and consumption. In 2012, we will have many devices, some better than others for consuming content and, of course, we'll have "the cloud." A consumer's phone is a great tool for grabbing a piece of digital content on the go, but their tablet device is far better to consume the information on.
Intermediation of the content, between the point-of-purchase device and the consumption device, is easily automated in 2012 with the use of technologies like NFC and uploads to the cloud.
What this means to publishers: Making it easier for consumers to have the best consumption experiences on the best devices will promote more consumption and increase revenue.
Mobile drives growth - monetize it
In 2012, smart publishers will see real bottom-line growth from monitoring mobile device impressions. Tablet behaviour is very different than desktop behaviour. At our agencies, we're seeing tablet session times that are 3-10 times longer than desktop sessions. We are also seeing e-commerce ROI that is 3-5 times better.
What this means to publishers: All impressions are not created equal. Tablet impressions deliver the opportunity to value and monetize content in additional ways.