Online Media Industry News: Mobile, Advertising, Data

Caution flags on mobile video trends and data-driven publishing; plus online media industry updates from Abba Newberry and IDG

While there’s a lot to be excited and optimistic about, the online media industry is also full of pitfalls, mirages, and false leads that run into dead ends. We try to tell you about both ends of the divide!

The fundamentals of digital publishing include multiplatform strategy, subscription strategy, and advertising. But the proliferation of mobile video and audience data, while definitely serving their purpose, can sidetrack magazines. does a nice job of covering these realities and other online media industry news with some recent articles. Let’s take a look!


Mobile Video Trends in the Online Media Industry Pointing at Bubble?

Is mobile video growing at an unsustainable rate? examines the issue.

“According to research by Cisco, over 75 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2020. That’s not unexpected – video is intrinsically more data-heavy than most other forms of mass publishing. But there are other stats that demonstrate how steep the growth in mobile video usage is likely to be in the near future. As we reported earlier this month, the Online Video Forecasts claim that just over half (52.7 percent) of all video will be consumed on mobile devices in 2016, while Ooyala’s latest Global Video Index demonstrated that 46 percent of all video plays in Q4 2015 were on mobile devices,” Chris Sutcliffe writes.

“That’s partly because publishers are getting to grips with how audiences typically consume video on mobile devices. First off, the vast majority is consumed on smartphones, on which vertical video is supposedly much more natural. According to Mary Meeker, for instance, vertical video viewing time comprised only 5 percent of total viewing time on mobile in 2010. That’s now at almost a third of video viewing time (29 percent) in the US.”

Publisher Data Must Not Be Overleveraged

Another tenuous facet of digital publishing is data, specifically audience data. Are magazines and other media companies leaning too hard on it?

“The Adobe Pagefair report on causes for adblocking last year found that misuse of personal data is now the primary cause for people to install adblocking tools – and if you use tracker-detecting tools like Ghostery you’ll probably have been frequently astonished by how many tools publishers employ. That’s a problem that will have been exacerbated by recent high-profile breaches of data protection rules. Even where they bear little relation to how publishers gather and employ data, it has the effect of raising people’s awareness of the issue as a whole,” according to


“There are equally worrying trends for publishers reliant on audience data, whether it’s for ad targeting or for recommendation tools. The European Parliament has recently voted to update data protection regulation for the first time since the advent of the mass internet, with the stated aim of giving ‘citizens back control of their personal data as well as simplifying the regulatory environment.’ … Nicholas Oliver is founder of His analogy is that data, far from being an unlimited resource that publishers can endlessly tap, audience data is subject to the same laws of supply as any other resource.”

Abba Newberry on Digital Advertising Trends

Indeed, former News UK Director of Advertising Strategy Abba Newberry believes that publishers must check themselves before they wreck themselves, as she explains in a great interview with

“Many publishers have raced to maximise their digital advertising revenues by embracing every possible ad tech solution and the result has been that too many readers are either blinded by or to the advertising they are bombarded with,” Newberry tells Georgie Davies.

“It’s now time to get back to what publishers have always been good at: understanding their audiences, through content and lifestyle choices, and providing relevant and engaging advertising solutions. If done right, readers will see advertising as an additive and enriching part of their reading experience. For these same readers to be using ad blockers shows that relationship has been broken, and it is time for publishers to bring back a more experience-led model.”

How IDG Emerged as Top Technology Information Publisher

IDG’s rise to the top of technology information B2B publishing is about foresight, as reports.

“When last TheMediaBriefing spoke to IDG’s CEO Michael Friedenberg, the B2B publisher was the largest in the UK. In February, comScore data showed IDG’s digital properties had passed CNET to become the largest network in the world, matching its achievement in being the largest global tech video hub from the year before,” Sutcliffe writes.

“In the accompanying press release, Friedenberg noted that the success was due to investment in those digital properties, which has seen IDG become ‘100% digital in the United States and nearly 90% of our worldwide revenue comes from digital.'”

What online media industry news are you tracking? Tell us about it in the comments!

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