Plotting Our Own Mobile Revolution
I so dislike Internet jargon, even though I’m guilty of resorting to it. The most annoying current phrase is: Mobile First. It’s standard fare in press releases. It’s thrown around at industry events with pomp and bluster. It’s the go-to sound bite to hype a strategic direction—even if stafing and content plans to back it up are nonexistent. So far, the best of Mobile First neatly squeezes desktop news formats into smaller devices. Well, the time has fnally come—at least for us. We’re determined to pave a new path forward.
Our goal is to turn mobile into a way of doing business across our company. Mobile ad spending, after a steady march to parity with the desktop, is about to surge ahead. Desktop’s long reign as the digital money machine for publishers will soon be over. The mobile/millennial juggernaut will see to that. And that’s only half the story. Facebook’s mobile ad dollars account for 75% of its total revenue, sucking business from everyone. If that’s not enough, here comes IOS 9, which makes ad blocking a fearful reality on phones, too.
As the trends became clear, we began to plot our mobile future. Here’s a preview of where we’re headed: • An accelerator unit that drives a mobile product ethos with developers, data scientists and a range of editorial roles. • A quick-loading consumer experience that accounts for mobile attention spans and consumption habits. • Design and formats that recognize social networks will be the main driver of audience growth moving forward. • Features focused on sharing, saving, video and diferent forms of impulse participation. • An ad model that leverages our Brandvoice native ad program, now with 100 marketing partners across digital and print.
FORBES is approaching a signifcant anniversary. The company published its frst magazine nearly 100 years ago. The last 5 years brought particularly swift and dramatic change: the frst nonfamily member CEO; the transition from a website to a publishing platform; rising magazine readership when all print was counted out; a focus on youthful entrepreneurs. And a year ago came the sale of the company to Asian investors with ambitious plans for growth in that region. Now comes our own mobile revolution—and maybe some day Mobile Only for Mobile Natives. Jargon becomes less annoying if it’s yours.