AAM digital publishing survey unveils how member companies are investing in the new digital platforms
A new study conducted by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations, shows that member companies have made tremendous strides in developing for mobile media, tablets and online, even while many members are struggling to maintain a positive bottom line.
The AAM survey, conducted with Roslow Research, showed that 90 percent of AAM member companies are now distributing content via mobile devices – with 85 percent having launched an iPhone app, and 87 an iPad app.
“This year’s survey results show that publishers have embraced tablets, smartphones and the Web as an integral part of their overall cross-platform publishing strategy,” said Eric John, AAM’s vice president of digital services. “They are meeting their readers where they live — in print, on tablets and smartphones, and on the Web.”
AAM members are also active launchers of Android and other platform apps, as well. 75 percent reported having an Android app, while 67 percent said they have Kindle apps. More AAM magazine member companies are producing native applications (80 percent) versus newspaper companies 69 percent).
Magazine publishers appear most satisfied with native apps, compared to newspapers and B2B firms – 58 percent said they prefer to stick with native app, version 30 percent who wanted to move to HTML5 solutions. Not surprisingly, I suppose, B2B media companies are the most confused on the issue with 60 percent not sure in which direction to go.
Almost half of newspaper companies surveyed by the AAM said they now have put their websites behind some type of paywall (48 percent), while only 22 percent of consumer magazine members have. The AAM business media numbers say 54 percent have gone behind paywalls, but it must be remembered that the AAM represents only a small slice of all B2B media companies, and of those, the majority use a paid circulation model versus a qualified circulation model.
In a sign that the digital platforms are still not assisting member media firms turn a profit, the AAM study said that only half of those surveyed said that their websites are currently profitable. Not surprisingly then, only 22 percent said their mobile and tablet apps are contributing to the bottom line, though 51 percent said they expected their apps to be in the black in the next two years.