Media's Mobile Presence Doubles, Ad Presence Still Low
The rapid acceleration of mobile Internet use is not restricted to consumers. Media companies are responding just as quickly, if not comprehensively, according to new research from Company Data Trees that shows a near doubling in the share of publishers that have mobile-ready presence.
In January, the researchers found 14.67% of publishers among the top 10,000 sites to have mobile-friendly sites, measured by Alexa. By early September, that share had escalated to 25.67%.
According to Company Data Trees CEO David Engel, the company used its proprietary technology called Mobile+Positive. "It loads each Web site on five different mobile OSes and on 10 devices," he says. In this context, "publishers" were defined as any mobile site that sells ad impressions, and it netted about 66% of the total universe of top 10,000 sites as measured by Alexa.
The jump in the number of publisher sites with mobile destinations rose 75% between January and September. The rate at which publishers are adopting mobile outpaced the full range of Web site providers, which rose 66% in the same period. According to Engel, once you move outside of Alexa's top 10,000, the rate of mobile adoption descends.
Despite the rapid growth in sites that kick the mobile browser over to a handset-friendly experience, however, the rate of ad presence on these sites remains low: 38.6%. "My theory is they haven't gotten around to it yet, and that it requires an education about mobile," says Engel. "Or they may not have been approached by any mobile ad network yet."
Clearly, there is room for tremendous growth in mobile advertising on these under-utilized media sites, both for banner and for pre-rolls. In Company Data Tree's analysis, nearly 14% % of all of the publishers in the top 10,000 were already running video at their sites, and about 10% of the publishers that had come on in the last nine months included video.
For publishers and for brands, the trend is obvious. Consumers can bring to their mobile browsing an expectation of a mobile-optimized experience. Despite the incredible growth rates of mobile Wen adoption among publishers, too many media sites are popping into the mobile browsers in their full and relatively useless Web iteration.
Ironically, it is that full Web experience that Steve Jobs initially touted as a leading feature of the iPhone Safari browser. The site Apple used to demo the original full Web experience, NYTimes.com, still comes up in its full version on the iPhone. Mobile.nytimes.com is what users need.