Category Archives: publishing

Mirror’s Mobile Traffic Reaches 73 Per Cent at Weekends

The Mirror has relaunched its website using responsive design, managing to significantly condense and declutter its content for mobile browsers compared to those accessing via desktop.  

Advertising currently running on the site when accessed using a mobile device is limited to banners for the company’s PaperPay app, while those using desktop will see a full takeover advertising Mirror Bingo. 

The publisher has also revealed that its UK mobile traffic now beats desktop at every hour of the weekend, according to stats shared with The Media Briefing.  On Sunday mornings, mobile’s share grows to 73 per cent of traffic, while weekdays see mobile traffic plummet as workers move back to their desks. 

Trinity Mirror is currently pushing its credential’s as a free online newspaper, aiming to fight off its main rival The Sun, which has moved behind a paywall. The Sun does not have a mobile-optimised website.  Trinity Mirror made a pre-tax profit of 2.5 per cent in H1 2013, reaching £49.3m, although ad revenues declined by 12.6 per cent to £132.1m.  

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Sun Erects Digital Paywall

The Sun’s digital content is now behind a paywall, costing subscribers £2 per week after a trial period of two months’ access for just £1. 

The Sun’s website – which isn’t optimised for mobile browsers – along with its apps can now only be accessed by paying subscribers. A spokesperson confirmed that the company’s apps will still offer ad placements to advertisers looking to reach its audience behind the paywall. 

The digital package can be accessed on iPhone 4 plus or Android handests running version 2.3 and above, but Sun+Goals football content and Sun+Perks offers require iOS6 or Android 4.3 to work.

Print readers can also be part of the fun if they collect 20 unique codes from the newspaper, which will grant them a month’s access to Sun+ across desktop, mobile and tablet.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Q&A with novelist Polly Courtney for Let’s Be Brief

With her first novel, Golden Handcuffs, Polly Courtney turned her back on a “so-called” high-flying career in the City to expose the toxic culture of the industry she worked in.
After this early self-publishing success she won what looked like her dream contract with HarperCollins but quickly found herself part of another corporate machine. Polly very publicly walked out on the deal and has just self-published her latest book, a fictional look at the UK riots in the summer of 2011. And there’s even a movie on the cards.
Q) When did you start writing and why?
It happened by accident. I was working as an investment banker in the city, becoming more and more miserable by the day. I was so disillusioned with my so-called ‘high flying’ career that I felt compelled to write about it so that the world could see the futile work, the hierarchy, the sexism, the greed, narcissism and toxic culture. (This was back in the early 2000s and at that time there was still a perception that banking was an industry that young people should aspire to work in.) Publishers weren’t convinced that readers would want to know about this dark, dirty side, so they suggested I ‘glam it up a bit’. This was the opposite of my goal, so I decided to publish the novel myself. It went on to become one of my best-selling novels, Golden Handcuffs.
Q) Your books are on quite controversial topics – can you tell us a bit about them? And what’s the deal with your (ex) publisher? 
I love to expose some kind of injustice in society. My latest novel is written from the perspective of a disenfranchised 15-year-old and set in the build-up to the August riots, covering the various frustrations that led to so many young people taking to the streets in 2011. Poles Apart is about a Polish migrant and the unspoken prejudice she faces in everyday life. Having successfully self-published Golden Handcuffs and Poles Apart, I was thrilled to get a publishing contract with an imprint of HarperCollins. I didn’t realise at the time, but in signing this deal, I was effectively pushing my writing career in a new direction – and not a direction I wanted to go in.
Q) So what changed?
It felt as though the very thing that made my books different (their ‘social conscience’) was being swept aside as book after book came out like mass market fiction with a ‘chick lit’ title and cover. The final straw was when my fifth novel, a story of a young woman grappling with sexism and ‘lad mag culture’, was given the title It’s a Man’s World and adorned with a trashy cover featuring mainly legs that was cloned from a movie poster. I decided to publicly walk out on my publisher at the book launch and announce my return to self-publishing. When I did, lots of authors got in touch to say ‘me too’!
Q) What project have you done that you are most proud of and why?
Feral Youth, my latest book – partly because it was such a collaborative effort between me and everyone involved, but mainly because of the subject matter. It was a big step for me, writing from the perspective of an angry teenage girl from South London. I was advised against it; people told me I could never make it authentic – but I was determined to try. I think Alesha’s story is an important one that needs to be told.
Q) How important is independent thinking and doing and where do you get it from?
The idea of doing something ‘because that’s what everyone does’ makes no sense to me. Everyone wants to earn lots of money. I don’t. Everyone wants a publishing deal. I don’t. Everyone likes to read books that are just like all the other books out there. Really? Well, I don’t.
My dad had his own business, which evolved as I was growing up, so perhaps I got my aptitude for taking calculated risks from him. My parents have always instilled in me that the most important thing in life is to be happy and frankly, I’m not happy when I’m just following the herd.
Q) What is the key issue for you right now?
It’s the message I’m trying to put out with Feral Youth: that we need to think harder about young people and the stereotypes we’re shown in the press. They’re not ‘mindless criminals’ and they’re not ‘feral’. They’re people and they’re a product of their experiences – so why don’t we focus on making those experiences good?
Q) What’s next?
Feral Youth the movie. Seriously!
Polly Courtney’s Q&A is part of the State of Independence series
State of Independence Pop-up Island | 22-28th July 2013
Unit 17 | Boxpark Shoreditch | 2-4 Bethnal Green Rd | London | E1 6GY

Half of MailOnline’s UK Readers are Mobile

The Daily Mail has revealed that 19.9m people in the UK visit the MailOnline site from their mobile device every month, 46 per cent of its monthly web audience here. 

According to figures shared exclusively with Mobile Marketing, 12.1m of those use the mobile web on their smartphone, with a further 6.1m using a tablet. The MailOnline for iPhone is its most popular app, the company said, with 2.9m downloads to date, of which there are 641,000 monthly active users and 310,103 daily visitors. On average, 40 visits are made to the app, with sessions lasting 12 minutes and 50 pages viewed.

The Android app has seen 1.1m downloads, with 460,000 monthly users and 147,024 coming back daily. The iPad app has been downloaded 1.4m times. It has 174,000 montlhy users and 42,593 daily users. 

The Daily Mail Group has announced a new Sunday edition of its iPad app, called the Mail on Sunday Plus, which will form part of a weekly subscription package or be offered as a one-off purchase. It features re-formatted Sunday magazines You and Event plus more sport, interactive TV listings and 30 puzzles. A seven-day Mail Plus subscription will start at £9.99 per month. Google Play and Kindle users will also see their subscription costs brought in line with iOS users.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Guardian is UK’s Top Mobile News Outlet

The Guardian has come out on top in an analysis of the mobile-readiness of the UK’s biggest national newspapers. While all of the publications analysed have an iPad, iPhone and Android app, the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Times all lack a mobile website – meaning they all scored less than 50 per cent.  

The Guardian, which has made a public commitment to being a digital first news outlet, was praised for ‘impressively fast browsing’, easy navigation and its new mobile citizen journalism campaign, GuardianWitness. The Independent and its concise sister paper, the i, came in joint second. 

The assessment criteria, which also included having an option to visit the desktop and having a unified look and feel across different products, were based on the results of a OnePoll consumer survey into expectations of mobile news. Despite its lack of a mobile site, the Daily Mail’s online platform, MailOnline, is the world’s biggest newspaper website – with a whopping 126m monthly unique users across the globe in January, according to ABC. 

At this time, the Guardian reached 77.9m, but its ease of use on mobile hasn’t translated into profit. The Guardian had a pre-tax loss of £75.6m in the year to April 2012. Bottom of the pile, The Times , likewise saw a pre-tax loss of £21.4m in the year to July 2012.  

Scores of the top ten UK news publishers: 

1.   The Guardian – 87 per cent 
=2. The Independent, I – 82 per cent 
4.   Daily Record – 80 per cent 
5.   Daily Telegraph – 79 per cent 
6.   Daily Mirror – 78 per cent 
7.   The Sun – 64 per cent  
8.   Daily Mail – 49 per cent
9.   Daily Express – 47 per cent 
10. The Times – 47 per cent  

Percentage score out of 410 different metrics across mobile web and apps.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Vogue and Maxim are UK’s Best Cross-Platform Mags

Vogue and Maxim are the only UK-based magazines that are fully-optimised for a multi-platform audience – with iPhone, iPad and Android apps, along with sites specially designed for iPad, Nexus 7 and smartphones – according to research into multi-screen advertising experiences with publishing companies by

The survey of 100 popular consumer-facing magazines in the US, the UK and Germany found that 93 per cent  don’t offer their readers a fully cross-platform experience. 83 per cent of the 78 consumers magazine brands surveyed from the US and UK have an app. 65 per cent of these have an iPhone app and 40 per cent have Android. Almost all  – with notable exceptions like the BBC’s Radio Times – have a separate iPad app. But, the report says: “Without satisfactorily audited audience circulation figures available, especially where app are bundled in with print subscriptions or availabe for free, how [do we know] many people are seeing them?”

Fewer mobile sites despite easier targeting

46 per cent of the UK-based magazines assessed by the company and 45 per cent of the German publications did not have a site optimised for smartphones. Just 25 per cent of the US ones were in the same position. The report says: “While many publishers have invested heavily in apps, website readerships are much larger, targetable and easier to analyse.”

Many of the publishers offer a scaled version of their desktop site to tablet and smartphone surfers, with varying results.  Glamour magazine in the UK scaled to fit the smaller screen, although the writing becomes rather small, while Wired magazine readers in the UK have to move their screen from side-to-side to read full articles on the scaled site.

Vice and Marie Claire were missing just one of the seven criteria used each – an Android app and an iPad-optimised site respectively.

Written for Mobile Marketing and first published here: