Industry experts have said the mobile platform is “the new internet” and mobile reading “the perfect growth market”.
According to Maureen Scott, c.e.o of “mobile first" company Ether Books, a social reading platform for mobile, the average adult checks their phone 221 times a day – while half the adult population has confessed to being “addicted” to smart phones.
Formerly of Openwave, the company credited with bringing in internet for the mobile phone, Scott has been active in the mobile space since 1998. She said Apple had “completely disrupted” the "previously fragmented" mobile marketplace when it shipped its “iconic” iPhones in 2007.
The smartphone industry now “dwarfs PCs”, which Scott owes to the triangulation of three company’s efforts: Google for its YouTube and android operating system, Facebook driving eyeballs to smartphone usage - at a rate of more than 834m daily visitors - and Amazon.
While you might be chained to your PC at work, “for entertainment, smartphones is where it's at,” said Scott. “90% of users’ time spent in apps. That's where the eyeballs are,” Scott added.
Untethered mobile access for users was “the big game changer," for co-founder of online publishing platform The Pigeonhole Anna Jean Hughes.
Providing tips for launching a successful app, George Burgess, founder of Gojimo, a provider of study assistance apps, urged publishers to “create content, don’t convert it”, since adapting already-published content for the small screen “more often than not … just doesn’t work”.
He also advised publishers to get out of the traditional publisher’s “ship once” mentality to think of apps as “a continual work in progress”. Burgess recommended updating “every four weeks”, which he said users as subscribers have come to expect.
Citing a 10-fold monthly user increase after launching a successful Facebook campaign, Burgess also highlighted the importance of finding a mobile-specific marketing expert as it was “so different”.
Freemium is a wiser choice over premium, in Burgess’ opinion, so as not to limit your market.
"If you're striving to be a top grossing app you really need to go down the freemium route," he said, while recommending publishers to use hard and fast data to support decisions.
Hughes added publishers must “test in the wild” their apps (on 3G and 4G, not only on company wifi) and to bear in mind good search engine optimisation (SEO) practices - Google will downrank your site if it is not mobile friendly, he said.