Mobile Growth Lags For UK Publishers

Having endured the decline of print advertising revenues, the rise of mobile media presents yet another conundrum for publishers, which have seen their audiences migrate to mobile platforms -- but found monetizing this traffic a much more challenging proposition.

After exchanging print dollars for digital dimes, are we now moving on to mobile pennies?

While there aren’t many stats available for U.S. publishers and mobile revenues, some new figures from across the pond paint a gloomy picture.

The UK Association of Online Publishers and Deloitte released the latest Digital Publishers Revenue Index Report, which shows that mobile ad revenues increased 21.5% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.

That sounds like a lot -- but it’s actually down sharply from an 80% year-over-year increase in the first quarter.

Like their American counterparts, British publishers confront some basic problems when trying to monetize mobile, including format, and the difficult of tracking users across mobile and other devices. (It’s harder to cram ads into the space without disrupting the consumer experience.)

The fact that different operating systems and analytics outfits all use different approaches to measurement doesn’t help.

Then, of course, there are the 800-pound gorillas -- Google and Facebook -- whose scale and ability to gather data about users threaten to sideline publishers for good.

AOP managing director Tim Cain wrote: “The Q2 report once again highlights that advertising revenue reflects the increasing consumption of media on mobile and will remain a key focus for publishers during the next quarter. Publishers and advertisers alike need to recognize the impact of cross device, particularly mobile, when planning budgets and understand the value different devices hold along the path to purchase.”

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