Smartphones Are the New Print

A number of years ago I thought that print newspapers would remain relatively "safe" because commuters still found them more user-friendly than trying to read news on a laptop on a train or standing on public transportation. Cut to 2009 when smartphones are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance. (See also, the Kindle and forthcoming e-readers from all quarters.)

Over on Screenwerk I posted a link to a video interview with Rob Samuels, director of mobile product development for the NY Times. Samuels says there were more than 60 million mobile page views for the NY Times in April, 2009. The Times has an iPhone app (1M downloads and "tens of millions" of monthly page views) and a couple of mobile Web sites (40M monthly views). 

News is already a huge category on mobile and represents a critical opportunity for publishers to extend their reach and the reach of their advertisers. It also represents a more viable subscription or paid opportunity than trying to turn back the clock online and get people to pay that they're used to getting for free.