In the June 2010 issue of eContent Magazine, Newstex president Larry Schwartz and a number of content publishing and technology professionals discussed the current state of mobile apps and the future of mobile content for business growth.
The Apple App Store launched in July 2008 with Apple’s iPhone becoming the market leader in a new category that grew faster than anyone could have imagined. Today, businesses and content publishers are desperately trying to find the right recipe for success in the world of mobile apps — a world that now includes multiple players, including the BlackBerry, Google Android, Palm, and more. The first step — defining a mobile strategy — is proving to be difficult to nail down with businesses and content publishers unsure whether they should have an app and which device (or devices) to focus on.
Schwartz is quoted in the article explaining the reasons why having a mobile app strategy is so important but also acknowledging that businesses and content publishers have more questions than they have answers at this point, simply because it’s still so early in the mobile app lifecycle. Schwartz says:
“For our customer’s the appeal is extending the brand and content onto mobile, and creating a new revenue stream,” Schwartz says. “But I really see it as extending the network from the desktop to mobile. The current generation of B2B content customers are primarily desktop-oriented. The next generation will be mobile.” He believes the real battle for publishers as they move to mobile is finding the right business model. “Do you pay a one time fee? A monthly subscription? Does that entitle you to use the content on any device? Does the iPad have a different pricing model then the iPhone? All of these questions need to be sorted out and answered and that’s going to take time. … By 2011, we’ll have good metrics and a much better idea what content people are willing to pay for. We know the appetite is there, and I think the iPad will become a very important product for content companies.”
A study by Chetan Sharma Consulting and GetJar revealed recently that 7 billion mobile apps were downloaded by consumers in 2009, and that number is expected to increase to 50 billion by 2012, equating to a $17.5 billion market. Consumers have already demonstrated that they want to access content via mobile apps. The onus now lies on businesses and content publishers to try to discover the elusive recipe for success that delivers the right kind of content and features to the right customers at the right price point and via the right distribution points (i.e., iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Android, etc.).
Does your business have a mobile app to deliver your content yet?