Tablets Have Displaced Mobile And Web As Paid Content’s Great Hope

What’s the number-one priority for UK publishers in the next 12 months? Tablets, according to their Association of Online Publishers’ (AOP) annual Content & Trends Census.

Unlike last year, when most publishers said their websites would be the main way they will charge for content, now 42 percent of publishers say tablet apps and digital editions are the primary way they will charge.

Remember when publishers were all excited that mobile – which, unlike PCs, had no prior culture of free web consumption – was the device through which they would find paid content bliss?

Well, now publishers say the main mobile revenue opportunity is actually advertising inside apps and mobile websites.

It’s no surprise that publishers want to ride the iPad wave. But it is interesting to note that tablets are recontextualising smartphones, just as smartphones before them recontextualised the web.

Of those who plan to charge, most say they are likely to adopt freemium and micro-payment than subscription and metre. That’s surprising, since so many had seemed keen on the subscription model.

The census polled 37 AOP members representing over 1,500 publications…

Top 3 Opportunities/Major Opportunities:
1. iPad/other tablets (94%)
2. Adoption of smartphones (92%)
3. Mobile Web (81%)

Top 3 Threats/Major Threats
1. Economy (67%)
2. Government & Legal Restrictions (50%)
3. EU privacy directive (48%)

  1. “Eight in 10 publishers have invested in m.sites.”
  2. “Almost nine in 10 publishers have sites optimised for mobile.”
  3. “Digital editions are being published by 3 out of 4 publishers.”
  4. “Almost one in two are publishing via an eReader.”