Mobile platforms offer a lot. The variety of platforms and the freedom of customization can lead to award-winning strategies, such as the Economist's engagement strategy. These platforms will gain a status of increasing importance in the next few years, and the media industry is reacting to the rise.
In article titled “Why Mobile Will Dominate News Media by 2020” on journalism.co.uk, the author looks to Glen Mulcahy, head of innovation at RTE Tech. Mulcahy spoke at mobile journalism conference Mojo Meetup to explain why mobile is the dominant position for the future.
"Processing power is getting faster, cheaper and a hell of a lot more powerful," Mulcahy said.
"Very quickly, you'll probably see Apple release a 4K Apple TV, so you can stream that content to your super high-resolution television in your home without going through the broadcast chain – for me as a broadcaster, that is a very scary proposition," Mulcahy said.
Mulcahy is right when it comes to video content. With an increasing number of phones able to use 4K video capture and display, many traditional broadcasters realize that this creates a challenge to immediately bring 4K without massive changes in infrastructure.
It would also force a reliance on the consumer to purchase “future-proof” 4K home TVs that would be quite costly.
Mobile then becomes the dominate platform for the shift. Even large publishers have shifted their focus, such as Time Inc’s recent shift towards video and online content.
The problem then becomes the quality of the video content, as an article by Marilyn Wilkinson of Mobile Business Insights points out. The strategies of attack, so to speak, must change to adapt to video content that is easy for the consumer, useful, new, and innovative. Some of the advice that MBI recommends is investments in 360-degree video and VR.
This isn’t necessarily anything new, but it is something that many publishers have been eyeballing, waiting for the right time to move into that sphere of content.
A while back News & Tech reported on augmented reality being used specifically for a news platform. That still hasn’t changed, however, the technologies of virtual reality are becoming more and more of a viable possibility, as well.
Watch video length
Another major thing to watch out for is the size of the content. Though a 20-minute expose might be useful and very informative to some, succinct and good content will always beat out the former.
“Research shows a correlation between video length and engagement — according to Invisia, 45 percent of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute, and 60 percent will stop after 2 minutes. These findings align with what is likely a strategic move from major social media networks that encourage shorter videos, with a time limit of 60 seconds for Instagram and 10 seconds for Snapchat,” Wilkinson wrote.
This shift will not come easy, but is happening regardless of preference, as Bloomberg writer Gerry Smith elaborates.
“Publishers are heading in this direction even though polls show consumers find video ads more irritating than TV commercials. Google and Apple Inc. are testing features that let you mute websites with auto-play videos or block them entirely. More young Americans prefer reading the news than watching it, according to a survey last year by the Pew Research Center.”
Content creators must walk a fine line in order for their mobile strategies to succeed. They must juggle the ability to create quick, present and meaningful content for the on-the-go user and maintain a space for advertising in that same sphere.