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Mobile first: Why mobile is of such importance for publishers

Overall mobile publishing is an important digital strategy component for any modern publisher, especially since the young user-group of 19 to 35 already thinks, lives and acts mostly digital on their mobile devices.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s largest mobile industry summit, taking place from 22nd – 25th February 2016 in Barcelona. Once more MWC is going to feature the most innovative product highlights as well as the latest trends and developments among the mobile Industry. The major topic is going to be as always the constant change in user-behavior. Because information nowadays, regardless of whether social-media or news-portals are going to be consumed compact, at short intervals and mobile. Today more than half of all Google-searches take place on mobile devices. Therefore websites need to fulfill „mobile friendliness“ which means they need to provide accordingly adjusted feed to get ranked higher. Overall mobile publishing is an important digital strategy component for any modern publisher, especially since the young user-group of 19 to 35 already thinks, lives and acts mostly digital on their mobile devices.

Many publishers have to leap the hurdle yet

In order to “Reuters institute digital news report 2015” 33 percent of the German population uses their smartphone to stay informed about latest news. Nonetheless many publishers are not able to keep up with technical app innovations. Yet publishers have not found a viable payment-system or still encounter current usability problems: bad user-guidance, outmoded content editing as well as the fact that many of the apps are still not usable on all devices show the bad shape of the mobile publishing branche in Germany. That certainly leads to frustration among many mobile customers, whose spending capacity is already as high as the purchasing power of print readers.

Paid-Content sets the trend

Due to the continuing decrease of print circulations, a paradigm-change has taken place among publishers, which sets the objective to generate the missing revenues with digital readers. Currently there is barely no way around the paywall trend. The paid-content model is suitable especially for regional publishers, since their subscribers can hardly exchange the provider who covers similar regional content.

Mobile advertisement is having a hard time in Germany. The user nowadays share the opinion that paid content offers should not contain any advertisement whatsoever since one has spend money on the premium content. In order to the consumer’s negative attitude upon mobile advertisement in general the need for a carrying payment model, to avoid the primary financing by advertising revenues, is even more important.

Usability and individualization as key success factors

The user guidance of mobile publishing apps nowadays should be easy and intuitive as well as it should quickly take the reader to the content he is interested in. If the app is not able to do so the user punishes it consequently since he is accustomed to a better usability. Nowadays, many users do not find it sufficient to only read E-reader or only within the mobile web.They want appealing designed apps which enable an uncomplicated consume of content on all devices. Today, the implementation of middleware software eases publishers to adjust edited content, which can be played out individually with only one click on the content-management-system. Furthermore this technique enables the app on all devices to be always at the state of the art.

Especially the younger user groups, between 19 to 35 think, live and deal digital on their mobile devices. Those users excuse mistakes barely – and then change the provider radically. Besides usability, payment models and payment processing are the most challenging hurdles on the way to a successful mobile solution. Publishers have to adjust to the fact that mobile publishing has nothing in common with the realization of print media. Moreover the developments originate the need for creating new internal structures as well as external consulting.

If you need more informations about mobile publishing, read our free whitepaper „Mobile Publishing for Publishers“. Please send us an e-mail to


About the author
Stefan Gerstmeier, born in 1968, Stefan studied economics at Freie Universität Berlin. Since then he worked as project manager, vice president and director of different tech companies in China and Japan. He also co-founded an app company based in Japan and Brazil. Stefan ist part of Neofonie Mobile´s management team since 2013.