27 July 2009

Mobile Seen as Key to 'Future-Proof' Strategy

A "future-proof" strategy for newspapers requires a strong mobile presence, according to the Winning Mobile Strategies report recently released by the World Association of Newspapers.

Mobile usage is soaring, with 3.9 subscribers expected by the end of 2009 and a billion more in 2012, according to estimates by Portio Research. Global wireless online access also is growing very rapidly -- from 70 million to 920 million in 2008. The growth is occurring in both developed and developing nations.

"There is no question mobile, although currently a small slice of the digital pie, will increasingly be a key platform audiences turn to, and newspapers must be there to meet them," the WAN report says. It quotes Anders Børde, marketing director for Oslo-based More Mobile Relations, who warns that "newspapers, as well as any other type of company, cannot take the risk of not communicating with customers over the mobile platform. It will simply be expected."

Experts cited in the report say mobile is "ripe" for the development of advertising to suit the platform, as well as offering the ability to develop micro-payment opportunities.

Mobile tagging is another promising revenue stream, the report says. By digitally linking a 2-D barcode and a mobile device, users can obtain complementary information such as coupons, product details and contests.

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