According to the Pew Research Journalism Project, more than two thirds of all revenue for domestic news sites comes from advertising. A visit to major or niche news sites quickly reveals advertising banners, side bars filled with ads and text interspersed with advertisements relevant to the story.
But the movement to digital devices is changing the advertising landscape as publishers get less real estate to work with when showcasing ads. While it’s essential that publishers maximize their revenues, it’s also challenging as screen sizes shrink on the latest mobile devices. Could the iPhone 6 offer a screen size that allows publishers to make more revenue and still offer a quality reader experience?
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Differences Between Traditional Online and Mobile Advertising
The advertising landscape differs widely between traditional online publishers and mobile channels. The available real estate changes and how many ads can be displayed without negatively impacting the user experience aren’t the only issues. Another is pricing. Mobile advertising rates have been significantly less than their desktop based counterparts. As a result, publisher lose money on a per ad basis over traditional online advertising.
As more and more users migrate to mobile devices, publishers are seeing a corresponding drop in revenues. Advertisers complain that small screens don’t offer a full brand experience, while mobile users are especially resistant to advertising-based interruptions when using mobile devices. These dynamics create a vicious circle that ultimately keeps publishers struggling to effectively monetize mobile ad channels.
Apple’s Newest Devices Could Mean More Revenue for Publishers
Just last month, Apple debuted a new wearable device in the form of a smartwatch as well as two new iPhones. One of the most important features of the iPhone 6 is its larger screen. While the iPhone 5S was released with a screen that was 4″, the iPhone 6 increases to 4.7″ and the iPhone 6 Plus grew its screen to an impressive 5.5″. Larger screens translate to higher revenues for publishers, since the costs of ads increases based on the size of the devices screen. One source suggests that on average, ads cost three times as much for display on an iPad or desktop versus on a smartphone.
Making the Most of This Opportunity
Publishers can take advantage of this opportunity in a number of ways. One is integrating technology that allows them to differentiate the cost of impressions by the type of device the ad is being viewed on. In other words, publishers will be able to charge a premium when ads are displayed on the larger iPhone versus on a smaller Android screen.
Employing a responsive design model that optimizes display size and layout based on the individual devices being used is also a key step. This enables publishers to maximize the number of ads shown while ensuring a positive user experience, even with dramatic changes to displays on a device by device basis.
Online publishers today remain heavily dependent upon advertising for revenues. The growth in smartphone and tablet usage is changing the rules for advertising, and driving down the per ad profits due to the smaller screens. But one thing is certain: the latest phones from Apple, with their larger screens, will create new opportunities for creative publishers to expand their revenue base.