Oct 2, 2012

Five trends to watch for content owners: Mobile and the demise of the content schedule

Ansley Kilgore

managed hostingThis is week four of a five-part series on trends for content owners. Catch up on the rest of the trends here.

Humans are creatures of habit. We are hard wired to build routines and establish schedules, even subconsciously. It’s nice to know that on Thursday night at 9:30 PM ET you can sit down, turn on your television and see the first run of Parks and Recreation. Deloitte echoed these tendencies by recently predicting that in 2012, 95% of television programs would be viewed within 24 hours of broadcast.

But anyone who has used a DVR can attest to the satisfaction of not only replaying that episode you missed but also avoiding irritating commercials. In several major TV markets, DVR penetration rates are already above 50%. Although not officially classified as such, tablets and smartphones are in many ways, just portable DVRs. These devices enhance content replay by adding a view-anywhere element (dubbed “place shifting”) to the mix.

Music streaming services like Rhapsody and Spotify recognized this value to consumers early on by rolling out mobile versions of their streaming applications. Consumers quickly signaled they were willing to pay for this convenience. Spotify’s introduction of its mobile product drove 2x conversion ratio from free to paying subscribers.

Online publishers face a similar trend. According to Pocket, the developer of the Read It Later I/OS app that allows users to tag content they wish to read later, mobile users defer reading content at much higher rates than PC users. Regardless of when the news was published within a particular day, iPhone and iPad users shifted reading times back to the most convenient times for them — during breakfast, the morning and afternoon commutes, and right before bed.

How are content owners responding?

Mobile is hastening the move away from traditional viewing schedules. This changing landscape is driving publishers and advertisers to carefully consider when and where the user interacts with content. To get a fuller picture of the media consumer, content owners are analyzing device and location-based information as well as more traditional demographic and time-based metrics. It follows that the emergence of mobile payment services like Square and Google Wallet present huge monetization possibilities for content owners that understand where their media are consumed.

From an IT Infrastructure perspective, digital publishers that want to enhance their audience targeting are looking for service providers that have a full range of capabilities. In addition to having public cloud, managed hosting and enterprise-class colocation to effectively manage and store large location-based and customer-specific media libraries, content owners are also looking for IT vendors to provide native content delivery network capabilities that include geo-fencing and deep analytics to round out their content targeting requirements.

Stay tuned for our last trend on the list next week: HMTL5 versus Flash. While you wait, check out how AudienceScience leverages IT Infrastructure to deliver online advertising solutions.

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Ansley Kilgore

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