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Is an app right for me?

Is an app right for me?

Readers access digital content throughout their day and across different devices. What does this mean for publishers?   There is a potential need and audience for native and non-native solutions. So let’s look at the top three benefits of utilizing a non-native solution like HTML 5 and a native app.   Top 3 benefits of an HTML 5 non-native solution No app download required – Readers are not required to download an app in order to access your content. No issue download required – Your audience can jump right in to an issue and begin reading with no need to download an issue. Publish once, distribute widely – Content is automatically compatible with most modern devices and browsers without extra work.   Top 3 benefits of a native app solution Offline reading – readers can download content for those times they don’t have access to an internet connection. Built-in marketing – Generate exposure by having your app appear in various app market places. Push notifications – Publishers can alert their audience to updates and new content through push notifications.   Clearly, both solutions have their distinct benefits. But how does this translate into real-world usage by readers? While native apps have the capability to actively reach out to an audience, 53 percent of consumers still access publisher content via non-native platforms like HTML 5.   With such an even split between platform usage, having a strategy that combines both platforms with familiar design aesthetics and experience improves your level and quality of reach, helping you build stronger relationships with your audience. Both platforms play important roles in the way your...
Digital consumption journey: When do readers engage with different devices?

Digital consumption journey: When do readers engage with different devices?

The number of mobile-connected devices grew to 7.4 billion in 2014. Are you meeting the demands for delivery and engagement with this growing audience? Content consumption is fluid and continuous. Readers may begin reading your digital edition on one device and then jump to several other devices throughout the day. As a result, publishers need to make their digital editions viewable from as many platforms and devices as possible, while ensuring a consistent and reliable reading experience. The chart below illustrates how readers switch between devices throughout the day.   Clearly, making your digital edition available on multiple platforms is essential to ensuring the highest-possible level of engagement for your audience. How can you tell what devices your readers use most? BlueToad’s Thermostats™ analytics allows you to uncover content preferences and audience growth for various devices, operating systems, and browsers.   What does this mean for publishers? Use analytics to discover new audiences, measure overall engagement, and technology preferences. How does your audience interact with your digital content most? How does your content perform on those devices and browsers? With a digital solution, you can regularly evaluate your publication’s performance. Take advantage of this information and ensure that your publication is effectively reaching your audience....
App downloads are growing

App downloads are growing

Over a two year period, BlueToad has seen average monthly app downloads grow for most publishers. The chart below compares average monthly downloads in 2011 and 2014 across various publishing segments, including business, consumer, journal, and resource/advertising. Clearly there is growth in app engagement, and native Apps should be a key part of your digital content strategy. This is all part of what we call the consumption journey. Throughout the day, your readers may interact with your content across several devices and multiple platforms. The following graphic illustrates how readers consume content throughout the day. Multiple devices can play an important role in how and when your content reaches your audience. Having a strategy that combines various platforms with a uniform design and experience improves your level and quality of reach, helping you build stronger relationships with your audience. Experience the key benefits to having an app: Your readers can download content for offline viewing – you have the opportunity to maintain your reach at all times. Have your app appear in app market places – expose your content to anyone accessing and searching these app stores. Send push notifications to readers – actively alert your audience to updates and new content. Utilizing an app as part of your digital strategy allows your audience to have access to your content at their convenience. Build better audience relationships by meeting their...
Native vs. Non-native digital solutions

Native vs. Non-native digital solutions

The following is a blog post from our President and CEO, Paul DeHart, written for Talking New Media, a news, information, and commentary website for the digital publishing industry. Wednesday column: Which digital strategy is best for your title: native or non-native? by Paul DeHart Each Wednesday, Talking New Media invites digital publishing leaders to discuss industry topics, or explain and demonstrate the latest solutions involving digital media. This week’s columnist is Paul DeHart, CEO and President of BlueToad.  This is the conundrum confronting many publishers who offer digital versions of their content.  Offering both options to our customers and having handled thousands of publications on both platforms simultaneously, we at BlueToad have unique, nonpartisan perspective on the question. Within the publishing industry, there are just as many ambassadors of native-only solutions as there are of non-native and hybrid solutions. With so many conflicting opinions, publishers remain confused and uncertain. To help gain clarity on the question, publishers may want to look beyond the inherent advantages and short comings of each platform and focus their efforts on developing a digital strategy that takes into account the entire content consumption journey.   As a result of mobile technology, a consumer’s content consumption journey may begin on one device and end on another. Readers often use phones to browse and “taste” content.  Laptops and desktops are still used to engage more fully with content while working.  Tablets and print are great for consumption while traveling, on the couch, or in bed.  Over the course of this journey, many devices and platforms might play a role in the big-picture consumption of content. For example,...

Native Apps “Versus” HTML5 (Part 2)

What are the pros and cons of using either environment for tablet and smartphone publishing? By John Parsons In Part 1, I explored some of the strengths and weaknesses of using native apps for content publishing. The browser approach has a different impact, but neither “side” is categorically better or worse for publishing professionals. The HTML5 Approach HTML5 is not all that mysterious. It’s simply the latest version of the markup language for rendering human-readable content on the Web. Managed by a working group of the W3C (www.w3.org), the not-yet-official standard will address a host of functional and aesthetic issues common to Web sites using HTML 4.01 and XHTML. For publishers, it represents an improvement in visual layout quality over ordinary HTML. Combined with CSS 3 (another pending Web standard), JavaScript, and Web fonts, HTML5 will provide greater typographic flexibility and control. Like previous versions, HTML5 is highly flexible and can re-flow at multiple screen sizes. It is also central to the “responsive design” trend on the Web, allowing content to be designed once, and then dynamically re-sized and even reformatted using CSS 3, to display well on any device. Unlike its predecessor, HTML5 includes native support for audio, video, and other elements previously supported by plugins like Flash. There are video file format issues still under discussion, but these will be ironed out as the standard evolves. A very important strength of HTML5 is its ability to handle constantly changing, need-to-know information. While this can potentially be done in an app—using a browser-like window or as a transparent overlay—a browser environment is often better suited for publishing live, constantly...