M-Publishing (1/6/10 #mpubs10)

I had high expectations for M-Publishing via the Camerjam guys as I had enjoyed their M-Football event in January so much.

Some highlights.

The keynote was given by the ever charismatic Jonathan Macdonald from This Fluid World. The presentation does not do the keynote justice, you need to hear Jonathan speak to get what I mean. Anyone that puts the South Park ‘Elephant tries to mount Pig’ sketch into a presentation and gets away with it must be a genius. Favourite quote “Just because it can doesn’t mean it should”.

Fireside Chat – Jonathan Macdonald and Richard Titus, CEO Associated Northcliffe Digital (AND)

AND is part of the Daily Mail Group. There is inherent value in mobile but as a business AND has to make money from it. Value = quality, engagement, loyalty, trust, identity. The Daily Mail has 40 million unique visitors a day – “data is the new oil”.

The group currently has two iPad apps, Metro and Prime Location. There are two other ‘mobile’ services, Teletext Mobile and Teletext Holidays. Teletext Mobile is is a web/sms based service and Teletext Holidays has an iPhone app. Because the current offering has been deemed a success there is a plan to produce 150 apps across multiple platforms in the next 12 months. iPad apps being developed internally currently. Costs per app range from £3k to £100K.

What about future proofing? Technology is an enabler so use it e.g. Jobsite, use Facebook as a distribution platform.

Models include free and transaction based. All apps have advertising.

Tim SmithEvening Standard

Are applications the saviour of the publishing industry?

As an example of how hard it is in publishing Tim gave the following example:

In April 2009 the Telegraph had a circulation of 778K. When the Telegraph broke the MP expenses scandal in May the uplift was only 1.5% and 0.3% in June. It is very difficult to change readership even with huge stories.

According to Comscore (UK)

– 23% of total handset owners own Smartphones, 3.5% of handsets are iPhones.

– 56% of iPhone owners have downloaded apps, of the other Smartphone owners this drops to 22%.

– 80% of iPhone owners read news on their handsets, dropping to 48% for the rest

– Average app spend is £6/month

Guardian had 70,00 downloads in its first month of release. It has currently generated £170K in revenue.

Sky have been quoted as saying thy would rather have 1M free iPhone apps downloaded than 10K paid <- but isn’t this more to do with the app complementing broadcasting which is the core business? Revenue is made from app via advertising.

Evening Standard has apps for iPhone, Nokia, Android and RIM. The apps are free to the consumer and have been created by Handmark. Commercial model uses advertising and sponsorship. Social Networking is part of the experience.

Message – its not just about the iPhone!

Comment during Q&A:

– Free iPhone apps are translating to paid iPad apps (US)

Nick Malaperian – Nokia

Usual Nokia marketing OVI presentation but some good point were made during the Q&A:

– Android and iPhones are sold with unlimited data plans. Is this the case with Nokia handsets? i.e. is this why there are less people using internet and using services on Nokia phones. Interestingly nobody knew in the audience, probably because they all had iPhones or Android devices or were on corporate plans.

– UK (from Nokia’s stats) is the number one territory in Europe for app downloads followed by Italy and then Germany.


Another great event from the Camerjam guys. The room was probably split in two with those that ‘got mobile’ and those that think mobile is iPhone. To be fair I completely get that these guys need to make money and they can do that with iPhone. What we all have to do is take the next step and prove that the industry is more than a Jobsian utopia. Although some OEM’s need to pull their socks up, you know who you are!

I think we would all get so much more done if we all stopped bitching about the merits of iPhone and Android and which is ‘best’. Each has success in its own right and are great platforms. There is a big market for everyone, please lets focus our energies on innovating rather than moaning. Embrace the challenge don’t fight it ;-)

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