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Best Practices In Mobile Publishing


Best Practices In Mobile Publishing – Our Workshop at Publishing Business Expo 2012, NYC

Mobile was a key topic among the sessions at the Publishing Business Expo 2012, NYC. Ron and I conducted a 3-hour-session on ‘Best Practices in Mobile Publishing’. Below are some of the key points from the session:

The first session focused on the market overview – including how the market of publishing applications evolved, market overview on the types of apps that the publishers are currently releasing, the benefits of a mobile publishing system, and the key considerations while implementing a mobile publishing system.

The key points from this session can be summarized as below:

    • Overall print advertisement revenues are declining. Mobile and tablets may prove to be a great alternate channel.
    • Among the various publishing apps, children’s’ books have proved to be high on innovation, with apps being a bridge the two worlds of publishing and games.
    • Supplementary apps, that are either based on specific tasks like Gourmet Live or Golf Digest Tips, or based on specific content have proven to be of interest to publishers
    • Mobile publishing apps provide  a large number of benefits – convenience, usability, quality and social engagement among others for the consumer;  improved reach, cost savings, visibility into user behavior and better engagement for publishers.

The key considerations while implementing a mobile publishing solution can be summarized as below:

    • Tablet/Mobile is different from online, and requires a different mind-set and dedicated planning.
    • An effective tablet/mobile magazine should not just replicate print or online versions – it should leverage the possibilities provided by the new generation devices
    • Content required for an iPad/mobile magazine could be in formats that do not exist – You need a Content Management System that can handle this, as well as effort planning to convert the content
    • Subscription approaches require careful planning, as the app needs to subscribe to all App-Store related rules.
    • Capturing and analyzing behavior data is extremely important, and can be the key differentiator

The second session drilled down to implementation level details. Some of the topics discussed are as below:

  • Native vs. Mobile web vs. Cross mobile platforms – benefits and trade-offs – native provides better experience, though at a higher development cost.
  • Developing internally vs. outsourcing – Some of the mobile web platforms and cross-mobile platforms leverage traditional web based technologies and hence easier to handle development in-house. For native development, it may be prudent to get experts from outside, as the technology requirements will vary drastically over different platforms. In addition, testing may require external help to ensure all the devices have been covered.
  • A real-life case study of implementing a mobile publishing system
  • Key considerations for setting up in-app purchase: Setting up in-app purchase in the right way is imperative to ensure that there are no rejections on the app. Some of the considerations that were discussed are as below:
    • External mechanisms for pricing (like a website link to ‘Buy’) should not give a lesser  price than the in-app purchase.  In other words, user should have the option to buy the content using in-app purchase with the same or lesser price.
    • Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content.

Detailed presentations from the session can be downloaded from:

Session 1: Behind the scenes of a successful mobile publishing application

Session 2: Implementation Deep Dive Sessions  

Rajesh Padinjaremadam
CEO & Co-Founder
RapidValue Solutions

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