How the iPad is extending the Guardian’s web day

Nine out of every ten visits to the Guardian website from tablet devices still come via an Apple iPad. This compares to 98 per cent two years ago and is despite the proliferation of Android-based alternatives since then (Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire are distant runners-up).

That was just one of the figures provided by Anthony Sullivan, the paper’s group product manager for journalism products during last Thursday’s Press Gazette News on the Move conference.

He also demonstrated how tablet usage was altering web consumption patterns across the weekday. Note the large green peak in the graph below which shows heavy tablet usage during the evening.

Guardian5

By cross-referencing the means of access (mobile network, WiFi, fixed network etc) the Guardian is able to make an educated guess that most of that tablet consumption is happening at home rather than on the move.

How? Well, according to Sullivan, 93 per cent is coming via WiFi which strongly suggests sofa/kitchen table/bed rather than train/bus/office.

Anthony intended to show this and four associated graphs during the session I ran at the conference but issues with the audio visual — familiar to any regular conference goer — meant he was restricted to describing what we couldn’t see.

Belatedly, you can see all five graphs over on the Press Gazette.

And you can watch the entirety of News on Move on this Google+ hangout. The panel session in question, starts at around 23 minutes and 50 seconds.

Finally, it is worth revisiting the FT graph I posted last week which shows some really interesting weekend consumption patterns brought about by increased mobile device usage. Both trends are reflected on other news and current affairs websites.

UPDATE: I was alerted to this analysis of tablet activity by the BBC based on access to the iPlayer. It was published a month ago but adds to the overall told above.

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Weekends are the new weekdays: how mobile is changing user habits

There was a really smart piece of analysis by Jasper Jackson over on The Media Briefing yesterday where he looked at the impact of mobile device usage and how it affects “when consumers access your content”.

His findings, based on data from the FT and the Guardian, mirror the experience of the New Statesman and the Press Gazette – specifically how heavy usage of smartphones and tablets at weekends is filling the deep Saturday and Sunday troughs previously typical of news-based websites.

The FT graph also shows clearly the pre- and post-work ‘check-in’ via mobile devices during weekdays.

FT weekly consumption where blue is desktop and orange is mobile

Jackson notes:

A key point here is that the bulk of this traffic is additive – the FT is seeing high levels of traffic to its website during times when there was previously very little, simply because people now have a way of accessing it.

Again that mirrors my own experience.

So what lessons can digital publishers draw from this data? For one answer Jackson quotes Tom Betts, FT’s head of data:

We are starting to see a number of changes to the way editorial teams publish. Obviously having someone working nine-to-five on mobile publishing doesn’t work.

And if you don’t have a weekend operation, perhaps now is the time to start. More over at The Media Briefing.

NewsNow ditches Telegraph, Guardian and Daily Mirror

News-now *Breaking* UK news aggregator NewsNow is pulling links to many of the UK’s biggest national newspapers after failure to reach agreement with The Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited (the NLA).

The NLA had threatened NewsNow with legal action if it did not change the way it does business or cease from linking altogether.

The aggregator’s managing director Struan Bartlett said: “We strongly feel that to accept the NLA’s terms would set a dangerous precedent restricting our customers’ ability to conduct their business freely.

“We see this as a ‘slippery slope’ towards any free-to-access website demanding licence fees from any organisation for circulating or clicking on links.”

Newspaper titles that NewsNow is to pull from its subscription service include The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and the Daily Mirror. NLA member publications will remain available via NewsNow’s free website.

For the background to this story see:

NewsNow: ‘End These Indiscriminate Attacks’

iPhone Apps Emerge As Possible Paid Solution

apple-iphone-appThe Spectator and the Guardian have seen the future of charging online – and it’s the Apple iPhone.

According to reports this week both are planning iPhone apps which will make their content available to mobile users on a pay-as-you go basis.

The Spectator will be the first out the traps with a “miniaturised, page-turning, iPhone version of the real thing“. It will cost 59 pence on an issue-by-issue basis, or £2.39 a month.

paidContent.org, meanwhile, reports that the company that owns it, Guardian News & Media, has a content app of its own “in the pipeline“.

The details are sketchy but the Guardian’s digital director Emily Bell was quoted saying:

It’s still in development, but we are working on an app which I can’t give you too much more detail on at the moment, although we are likely to charge.

Micro and one-off payments have always been more likely to succeed on mobile phones where you’re just a click away from adding a few pence to your operator bill.

That ease of use doesn’t guarantee success, of course, and doesn’t get us much closer to a paid solution for the much far, non-mobile web.

Related:
Why Moleskine Is The Model For Newspaper Survival
Scarcity, Abundance And The Misapprehension Of Online Advertising
Poll Shocker: Newspaper Readers Still Not Willing To Pay Online

Telegraph PM, Premature RIP For DIY PDF?

telegraph-pm

Call it serendipity or call it procrastination, every so often a browse through the internet in the name of research throws up something that makes you stop and think.

Late last week, it was this screenshot on the right.

Telegraph PM was launched in September 2006 as a downloadable afternoon edition of the Daily Telegraph.

A newspaper in PDF form, it was ‘published’ at 4pm each weekday with a further update at 5.30pm. It ran to 10 pages, made up of news, business, sport, entertainment, crosswords and – very 2006, this – a sudoku puzzle.

On launch, the Telegraph described it as:

Our commitment to being at the cutting edge of the new-media age.

Which sounds a little strange three years on.

Internet-enabled smartphones, WiFi and 3G dongles for your laptop have made the  printable take-away seem like an unnecessary indulgence. Why print when you can surf?

Telegraph PM was quietly dropped in January 2008.

In fact the downloadable PDF still lives on – and any Telegraph reader missing the ‘old’ form need only hold their nose, make their way across to the Guardian site, and print a copy of G24.

Perhaps G24 is still used in large numbers, maybe the overheads are small enough to sustain the remaining hardcore, or maybe the Guardian’s digital bosses have forgotten it exists.

Another alternative? Perhaps this is the future of print. Transfer the production costs to the user – or more likely the office HP LaserJet – and, hey presto the DIY PDF gives you the best of both worlds: the tangible value of print for the marginal cost of internet publishing.

‘No Branding Or Devotion – Only Utility.’

new_york_timesSo wrote Peter Preston in his weekly ‘Press and Broadcasting’ column for the Observer.

The piece by the former Guardian editor is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the future of newspapers in an online world.

Why? Because he challenges a key assumption about success online – namely the importance of the willy-waving “I’ve got more unique users than you” position.

Taking figures from the United States (“because Nielsen collects them with continuous, detailed authority”), Preston looks at the amount of time American web users spend online in the company of newspaper websites.

And it’s not a pretty picture: the average visitor devotes just 38 minutes and 24 seconds a month on one, or more likely more than one, newspaper site.

And remember only one third of the US universe of users visits a newspaper site at all.

As Preston points out this means “the average New York Times print reader spends roughly as long with his paper a day as the average NYT net user spends online in a month”. For the record, that’s 29 minutes 57 seconds.

Preston argues that this lack of face time is a reflection of user mode when surfing – clicking through in pursuit of some fact or picture: “no brand or devotion: only utility”. 

If these site visit times don’t strike you as too bad, consider how you would make money from them. In Preston’s words:

What price nine minutes and nine seconds over a month for average visiting time to the New York Post site Rupert Murdoch hopes to charge for? (Not much of a revenue stream at 19 seconds a day!)

Related:
The Future Of Newspapers, It’s In The Bag
The Wire’s David Simon: ‘Newspapers Must Go Behind Paywall’
Free is just another cover price
 – What if the business model for news ain’t broke?

A Year In The Life Of Newspapers

Two weeks of news-, laptop- and (thanks to my own incompetence) mobile-free living, I return with too many emails to contemplate and far too many items in my RSS reader to countenance.

But somehow this found its way into my consciousness. Made by my The Media Blog colleague Will Sturgeon, it charts the decline of newspaper circulation over a 12 month period – in a minute (well one minute, three second) video.