Outsell Presents a Common Sense 360 View on Mobile Devices
Posted on October 9, 2010 by Melita M. Pereira
Outsell Inc., has released findings from a recent study in which it examined the practices of almost 400 consumers who use smartphones and/or e-readers in order to examine the way mobile device usage is effecting the consumer magazine marketplace. Importantly, the study also considered the mobile device usage of approximately 200 consumer advertisers.
The study considered various topics including:
- The investments of publishers in mobile;
- The potential for mobile magazine platforms to be used for advertising by marketers;
- The quantity of magazine subscriptions purchased via mobile devices; and
- The extent to which consumers would purchase magazine apps.
The study sought to focus on a “variety of topics critical to publishers migrating their content to mobile devices”, an issue that is becoming an increasingly integral factor in the face of technological innovations that are impacting and altering the publishing landscape.
While the full findings of the study will not be released until November 2010, the Outsell has released an excerpt of its findings in An Early 360 View on Mobile (4 October 2010), a presentation which was delivered at the American Magazine Conference Innovation 2010.
The highlights of Outsell’s findings create a fascinating snapshot of the current state of mobile device usage, the position it occupies in popular discourse and the possibilities it offers for the future.
The key findings indicate that while mobile e-reading remains in its infancy, with less then 10% of “‘highly mobile’ consumers” (this is the term used by Outsell and I look forward to the full report to see how this concept is defined!) accessing or purchasing magazine content through mobile devices, “mobile habits are forming”. Outsell contends that “mobile devices are becoming a ‘third hand’”, with some consumers “spending nearly 25% of their time using [mobile devices] for daily communications, along with social networking, finding products and services, and reading content”.
Contrary to what popular media outlets would lead you to believe, Outsell’s results indicate that the iPad is the undisputed “device of choice” with “little or no competition”. As for iPad’s future prospects, things continue to look up, as prospective iPad consumers found representation in 24% of those studied, compared with the 12% who opted for the Android and 11% who sought Amazon’s Kindle.
The research presents an interesting crossroads for the magazine industry and it seems that the race is on. According to Outsell’s findings, consumers indicated that while print remains their primary method for magazine delivery, “only the magazine brands that matter” will make the leap to generate sales on mobile devices.
While presenting the findings, Outsell CEO and Co-founder Anthea Stratigos made a very common sense statement that could probably do a lot to sober the buzz and fanfare that normally accompanies discussions on the web technologies. She commented that while we have a “handful of magazines on our coffee table, and our cable channels are chock-full of bundles … we [only] manage to watch the few that matter“. It seems that while the present boom in technology and social media is creating a frenzy of new possibilities and activity online, only the strongest and most resilient brands will remain standing, visible and profitable once the buzz matures.
Outsell’s research provides a great glimpse of the present state of mobile device technology and the behaviour it engenders. I look forward to reading the full report once it is released next month. The findings, however, seem to draw the same common sense conclusions that have pervaded advertising for many decades: If you want to make sales and turn over a profit, what you need, most of all, is a good product. If common sense predictions are correct, it seems that the current hive of consumer activity online leave us with just that – but not by default: This time it will be the result of consumer choice.
Outsell’s media release (7 October 2010)