Tablet publishing fails to create habit with readers due to less frequent publishing rate

(l-r) Zachary King, Marcelo Silva, Angela Clark, Martin Wanless on stage at Publish

(l-r) Zachary King, Marcelo Silva, Angela Clark, Martin Wanless on stage at Publish

Publications on a tablet struggle to create a reading or viewing habit with readers due to it often being a weekly or monthly cycle of new content, ABC’s director of innovation Angela Clark has said.

Speaking at the Publish conference in Sydney today, Clark suggested publishers utilising tablet apps for longer form content need to pair it with sites with a more frequent content cycle as a reminder to readers to check the content released less frequently.

“Even a weekly cycle it’s not a daily habit where you’re looking at news a few times a day,” Clark said on the ABC’s The Brief app.

“We’re integrating The Brief into our flagship app which is our main app that four million people have downloaded,” she said.

The Brief will feature as an option on the flagship app as well as remaining to exist as a stand-alone app, with it featured in the flagship app in an effort to direct more readers to the content.

“Would you buy the Good Weekend if it was a standalone thing? It works because it’s part of a daily news site, there’s other reasons to go there but you still hunger for that sort of release of that kind of content that’s not time sensitive and you can get a broader sense of context in,” said Clark.

“Put your rich, longer form content alongside content that have a more frequent content cycle,” Clark recommended.

“Readers want that content but because there’s so much stuff happening, it is too much to remember to go and get the new edition or download it,” she said.

Clark was joined on the panel, which was discussing the future of tablet publishing, by Bauer head of mobile Marcelo Silva who said a further ability of tablet publishing was the ability to curate.

“It is once again relinquishing some of the control and letting the consumer feel like they’re driving some of the curation process, then you’ll have a true brand advocate,” he said.

“I think you’ll see more and more of it. You start with the on-boarding process, you try and find out as much as you can about that particular individual, and then with machine learning and data you evolve with them.”

Marcello said one of the best on-boarding experiences he’s seen recently is the Beats app which uses quizzes and content to build a user’s profile.

Clark said the ABC was currently trialling the concept with its new app Spoke.

“We’ve got another app in the market called Spoke which does that. It’s an on-boarding news and information app. You come onto it and choose your topics, you can promote and demote certain topics. Then it also looks at your location, and it starts to learn from what you read,” she said.

“What’s been really interesting it’s been about 10 weeks into that pilot is that everyone has an individual newsfeed, even though we have an algorithm for editorial value, many weeks into the pilot people are learning that their behaviour is influencing the content they are getting while still not missing out on breaking news.”

Clark and Silva were joined on the panel by Oomph commercial director Zachary King, with Mahlab Media chief content officer Martin Wanless moderating.

Miranda Ward



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