A large majority of newspaper and magazine publishers have introduced iPad apps for their publications, with 87% offering content to Apple’s popular tablet computer this way, according to a new survey by the Alliance for Audited Media (the newly rebranded Audit Bureau of Circulations). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: the AAM survey found that publishers are bullish on tablets across the board.
Most notably, 63% of publishers surveyed by the AAM said they believe “tablets are the most important digital channel for their publication’s future.” And they’re looking beyond Apple: the proportion of publishers developing apps for Amazon’s Kindle devices jumped from 24% in 2011 to 67% this year, while the proportion developing for Nook soared from 14% to 57% over the same period.
In terms of delivery mechanism, native and Web-based apps are both still popular, with 70% of publishers producing native apps, and 67% producing Web-based apps. The proportions vary noticeably between magazine and newspaper publishers: magazine publisher favor native apps over Web-based apps by 80% to 50%, while 69% of newspaper publishers use native apps, compared to 74% using Web apps. Looking ahead, 31% said they plan to continue using native apps next year, while 41% said they will experiment with HTML 5, and 44% said they are undecided.
Most publishers are also developing multiple apps for each device, producing an average 3.4 apps for the iPad and iPhone, three apps for the Kindle, and 2.4 apps for the Nook.
Turning to the all-important question of monetization, 77% of publishers surveyed said their mobile businesses will have to rely on both circulation and advertising revenue; that’s up from 52% in 2009.