Publishers: Mobile and eReaders/Tablets Important Distribution Platforms

The North American Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) recently surveyed its 4,000-strong "U.S. and Canadian newspaper, magazine and business membership to learn more about publishers’ current mobile initiatives, their strategic plans, and ABC’s potential role." What the organization found was the there's growing interest in mobile and most publishers increasingly see it as a critical distribution platform. This includes the emerging eReader/Tablet segment.

Here are the survey's key findings:

  • More than 80% of respondents believe people will rely more heavily on mobile devices as a primary information source in the next three years.
  • Nearly 70% agree that mobile is receiving more attention at their publication this year than last.
  • More than a third believe their publication already has a well-developed plan for attacking and conquering the mobile market.
  • 44% of respondents who track mobile’s impact on their Web site traffic said the devices increased visits by up to 10% today. Half believe mobile traffic to their Web sites will increase by five to 25% in the next two years.
  • Among senior executive respondents, 56% said their publication has plans to develop a smartphone application in the next 24 months, in addition to the 17% of respondents who already have an app in production.
  • Regardless of mobile’s anticipated rise, ABC publisher members do not plan to abandon their print publications in favor of a digital-only product in the near term.
  • While 55% believe that digital delivery of their publication is important to their strategic future, three-fourths believe that their publication will be available in a print form five years from now.
  • More than 50% of survey respondents believe the future business model of mobile content will be supported by both advertising and subscriptions.
  • Nearly a third believe that mobile will have a significant impact on their publication’s revenue in just three years.

Here are some charts from the report:

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Souce: All Charts ABC

In terms of the eReaders or tablets that publisher-respondents thought would have the greatest impact on the market:

  1. Apple (tablet is still a well-established rumor)
  2. Amazon
  3. Sony
  4. Plastic Logic
  5. First Paper
  6. Other

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Related: Microsoft to make "another run" at the tablet. And Archos' Android Tablet is about to hit the market.