local media insider

Mobile media is read everywhere - even at 10,000 feet

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Since this week we have a number of reports on mobile, I thought I'd share a few insights from the recent NAA conference. 

One of the slides that stuck in my mind was a map of where people were while accessing the Denver Post on a mobile device. 

Apparently large numbers of folks are consume the Denver Post while in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Just take a look at this map, supplied by Allen Klosowski, now with Digital First Media:




So where are all these people forming a red blur between California and Hawaii? Or sitting, apparently, on a ship between South Africa and Australia?

They are, actually, in the air. And the question that Klosowski aptly raises, is this: When we know that someone is, say, on their flying toward Hawaii, what kinds of mobile ads could and should we serve?

Put another way, if a large part of the Denver Post mobile audience is not in Denver, why should we be selling that audience to the local Poppa John's?

And if we know that someone is consuming the Denver Post, from, say Washington D.C., couldn't we be selling advertising to D.C. restaurants, too?

These questions are not new in the digital world - they are the same ones we have with PC-based sites; the best companies are getting better and better at optimizing campaigns - starting with cutting out geographically undesirable traffic - or conversely targeting say, people out of market for a variety of other reasons (selling homes to snowbirds, for example).

But the new apps Klosowski is developing at Digital First Media will know a lot more about a person using the app: Purchase history, where they are standing now, and where they are likely to be "tonight, tomorrow or next week."

This means, additional targeting opportunities that will de-commoditize the mobile audience and make audiences highly valuable.

So for example if the goal is to sell a lunch special to people who work downtown, but are from a high end neighborhood and have a preference for Mexican food, you can find them. Plus show the ad in the morning on the iPad with a time-sensitive coupon for lunch.

The answer to creating scarcity in a universe of exploding mobile ad impressions? Maybe so. 

In the meanwhile, our coverage of mobile this week includes more basic stuff:

*How to get started selling mobile if your media company is falling behind

*How to evaluate your site's mobile revenue potential (worksheet included)

*Four hottest mobile ad categories and how to sell into them (with samples)

*A case study on a top-mobile selling broadcast market in Springfield, Mo

*My conversation with Sandy Martin on why broadcast is selling 89% of total revenues at Schurz - even though there are more newspapers in the chain

*A copy of Apple's App Review Guidelines for anyone who is interested. It's pretty dry stuff, but mobile developers should be looking at these every quarter or so. 

Finally, I'll share a story Sandy Martin told about arranging a photo shoot of a 21 year-old holding both a smart phone while reading newspaper. She set the newspaper in front of the relative youngster, who asked, no kidding, "How do you read it." 

As Martin put it, "She does not understand column inches; the column flow and pattern that we all know how to read. The mobile format is clean. She does not have to wonder where to look." 

There you have it. We see a huge advantage in redesign of newspaper to magazine and tabloid sizes, as the Columbus Dispatch has done, simply to make the news simpler to read and faster to access. Don't shoot the messenger.  

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