Advertising in this day and age isn’t the somewhat simple task it once was. Whereas it used to be you had 2 main mediums, Newspaper and TV and you just had to bombard your readers and viewers, now things are quite different. Keywords, SEO, targeted advertising and the rapid expansion of the web search and mobile sectors have complicated matters hugely. Now a website or business can be pulling in thousands of pageviews, but still getting very little in the way of actual revenue from their customers.
A short while ago, IREP released data on the advertising revenue for all media in 2012:
All media……….. €13,300m……-3.5%
Print press (all)….€3,209m…….-8.2%
National dailies…..€233m…….. -8.9%
The numbers are quite telling
Print media is spiralling, flaming and smoking, downwards across the board. TV advertising is also starting to see quite noticeable drops as users move from television as being their main screen. Internet search is, predictably, on the rise; with Google snapping up massive sections of that income from every other search provider out there. Of course, the biggest rise in ad revenue goes easily to mobile, with a 29% increase over 2011. That said though, mobile ad revenues are only some 2% of the entire media revenue spectrum.
The numbers of translations in mobile advertising are also very low still. Despite there being an over 100% increase in the number of pageviews and an almost 70% increase in the number of regular site visits, the revenue pulled in has only grown by 29% overall. That’s a massive disparity between the number of “users” and the monetisation of said users.
This, however, is sadly nothing new in the world of mobile
The world of monetisation in mobile apps is a constant problem. Making an app free to download does mean that you are likely to be able to pull in a good number of users quite quickly, but the problem is getting them to stay and getting them to pay.
After all, how do you get people to pay for something they initially used for free? A subscription? Microtransactions? Paygates? Each one of these methods poses its own problems.
The same is true for the modern advertising world, especially in mobile.
There are a massive number of users flocking to websites that are currently not optimised for mobile viewing and can’t target mobile users effectively with advertising because of this. So what to do? Well, they can take the route of the Washington Post, who have been reported to be considering adding a paywall to access the majority of the website, but paywalls tend to act like diversions and they are likely to lose readership. Freemium subscriptions work better, but they tend to have low uptake.
Many websites have started to move towards responsive design, where webpages automatically resize themselves depending on which device accesses them. This is heavy duty work for a CPU though, and whilst cutting edge smartphones are getting much more powerful, the majority of people do not own something that’s bleeding edge and so this will still cause problems.