You have to wonder when newspaper publishers will ever get a break. They have been one of the biggest casualties of the digital revolution, late to the party they have been sprinting to catch up with the desktop…then mobile happened. Just in case you have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years mobile is catching up with static viewers and the smart money says it will pass them in page views by 2015. Similarly (according to Borell) mobile ad spend is projected to out strip mobile at an even faster rate. Are local news providers geared up to address this opportunity or threat? Probably not. They are catching up with the local mobile ad space and most of them have mobile enabled content and or Aps of some kind. There are lots of loose ends..some persist with paywalls most won’t allow citizen based hyper local journalism to flourish under their editorial guidance.
End users are flocking to mobile engagement but there is nothing which guarantees local media will be the recipient of that migration. The pure plays which have already obliterated key revenue verticals like automotive and classifieds have already transferred to mobile in ways which most newspapers simply don’t have the resources to do. The danger is that the publishers will arrive panting to the online party to find it’s moved on to mobile and there’s only the clean up crew left to talk to. The message has to be Go Big Go Mobile or Go Home….sadly it’s a choice which has already been made for them in many cases.