Online content is a cash cow, but mobile is your star

The most successful publishing strategies integrate both apps and mobile Web, allowing companies to capitalise on financial benefits and support popular user activities.

Maybe you are reading this blog post on your mobile device.

Every day, we hear this piece of advice from editors-in-chief and leading publisher managers: mobile first. All of them are quite right. Users are using their mobile devices, smartphones, and phablets as the first and last screen to read, bookmark, or share news.

Currently mobile devices generate 30% to 45% of news traffic. Some special interest channels like sports have passed the 70% line. Next year, mobile usage will be higher than desktop/fixed line.

But is this statement meant seriously? Is this really the mission statement of the leading news companies, the self-named leading quality content producers? Or, is it more the first part of the strategy of “mobile – first copy online?”

To be fair we need to split this in to two mobile areas: apps and mobile Web. 

Apps are great and loved by the decision makers, but most the time, the reach is coming from the mobile Web. This is not surprising because most of the users are content and not brand driven (search engines vs. brand apps). A mobile strategy consists of both parts, apps and mobile Web.

Check out a brand new newsroom. You will see editors in front of a huge screen. Their work is checked on a desktop screen. Sometimes – and more often over a coffee break – it is checked on a (private) mobile device.

The same workflow and strategy driver is in every decision and product development: How can we develop our online Web site? A new header and new content formats like storytelling are purely developed for the online audience, which is only mobile surfing.


To re-allocate your investments, take your time and list your products in the old and really true Boston Consulting Group matrix. You will see that online is your cash cow, which means no more investments! All investments have to be pushed to the stars – apps and mobile Web product solutions, mobile paid content development, and building ad sales staff.

Is there an example for this clear and easy strategy shift? Yes: Facebook.

If you will turn your digital departments from online to mobile, you will be successful. And when I say departments I mean all departments: editorial, IT, and sales!

It’s time to fill your statement with life!