April 21, 2015 Last Updated 11:02 am

Smartphone publishing on the rise, but publishers more cautious concerning wearables

PageSuite shared their findings from a survey on digital publishing trends, writing this report that first appeared in the April issue of App Publisher magazine

With the increasing interest in wearable devices and the continued rise of multi-channel news consumption we decided to run a survey on digital publishing trends to see what 2015 may hold.

Our survey consisted of three main areas, ‘Devices & Cross Platform Publishing’, ‘Content’ and ‘Wearables’. We sent the survey out to our client base and here are the results…

Devices & Cross-Platform Publishing

The most popular platform that our respondents publish content to is desktop with 38% stating that they make their content available on this platform only. Only 28% stated that they currently publish to smartphone but 33% expressed that they were looking to push content to this platform within the next 12 months.

1a-Planning-to-publishAccording to Deloitte’s 2013 Consumer Media Survey mobile is gaining momentum. The survey stated, “Of smartphone users, 32% say they use their device to read news articles every day or at least once a week, and that figure rises to more than half for tablet owners”. It’s therefore important that publishers cater for readers across all platforms.

Of the people surveyed, 16% had a publication that was ‘digital only’ whilst 77% made their publication available in print and digital formats. Just under 14% stated that they have plans to make their publication ‘digital only’ at some stage.


We also looked at the format of our respondent’s content as more and more studies show a desire by readers to access more up-to-date content as opposed to the regular PDF replica content.

2a-Planning-to-implement40% of our respondents only had their content available in a PDF format which means 60% will have the ability to use more up-to-date feed driven content to provide reader’s with an enhanced viewing experience.

65% stated that they would be interested in combining content in PDF format with content in feed format. This is a format that many of our clients have adopted. You’ll find live feed content in The Independent, London Evening Standard and amNewYork apps, alongside the regular PDF editions, offering readers the best of both worlds.

Wearable Technology

We’ve been looking at wearable devices for the past 6 months and we recently demo’d our latest developments at the Publishing & Media expo in London. You can see our initial wearable development work here. Along with many other people we’re eagerly anticipating the launch of the Apple Watch so we thought we would find out whether our clients had considered utilising this platform yet.

3a-wearable-updates17% of those surveyed said that wearables ‘may’ feature in their plans over the course of the next 12 months, whilst 13% said that wearable devices ‘will’ feature in their plans.

Of those who stated that wearables will not feature in their plans this year, the main reason stated was that ‘wearables aren’t right for them’ and 9% stated that they had ‘no budget for this platform’.

We delved a little further into this topic by asking those that stated they will be working with wearables whether they had any specific projects in mind. 57% stated that at this stage they didn’t have a particular topic in mind, whilst 43% do have a project in mind.

The most popular projects involved ‘breaking news alerts’ and ‘audio or photo updates’.

Finally, we wanted to see what percentage of people surveyed would be interested in owning a smart watch on a personal level, 62% stated that they would be purchasing a smart watch in the next 12 months.
We are going to be continuing our work with smart watches and can’t wait for the Apple Watch to launch.

Lucy Penn is Marketing Manager at the digital publishing software company PageSuite.

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