“Tablets are accessories,” said industry analyst Thad McIlroy, leading a workshop on mobile strategies for publishers at Digital Book World 2015 in New York City last week. “They’re not going to be the primary driver of the content we market and distribute.” Smartphones, on the other hand, “are mission-critical.”
Yet even clear-cut shifts like that one are just one side of a multifaceted mobile landscape, where an array of other, often countervailing trends in devices, platforms and usage make it difficult for publishers to convert any given feature of the current market into a straightforward strategy prescription.
As McIlroy outlines in his new report, Mobile Strategies for Digital Publishing: A Practical Guide to the Evolving Landscape, published today by Digital Book World, the mobile market is a complex hybrid of established and emerging platforms, each of which publishers must leverage strategically as the ecosystem evolves.
McIlroy’s report takes a deep dive into the latest sales and usage data on the most prevalent devices in North America and beyond to identify the biggest changes likely to impact publishers in the short and long terms.
Analyzing the current landscape, McIlroy proposes a comprehensive set of steps publishers can take to confront a variety of mobile-related issues—including operational and staffing considerations, content development and optimization, innovative marketing approaches, mobile apps and content delivery systems, new mobile retail opportunities, the role of carriers and more.
Speaking on a Digital Book World 2015 panel on mobile strategies moderated by McIlroy, CJ Alvarado, CEO of Snippet, Inc., summed up the overarching objective for digital publishers this way: “Our number one goal is to create a connection.”
Depending on your point of view, the fact that there are numerous ways to do that in the mobile universe represents either enormous challenges or enormous opportunity.