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March 20, 2015

Call to action for media companies on mobile

Guardian and SurveyMonkey research shows customers unenthused by current mobile offerings.

By Alexander Sword

Media brands are failing to deliver on mobile platforms, according to new research from SurveyMonkey and The Guardian.

The poll found that while 80 percent read the news every day, 37 percent of UK consumers believe that mobile content currently on offer is "fair " or "poor". Mobile ads, meanwhile, are rated as "fair" or "poor" by 72 percent of UK consumers.

Additionally, the survey revealed that only 50 percent of media organisations are creating content specifically for mobile platforms.

While 59 percent of consumers had seen their last advert on television and only 20 percent online, 72 percent expected social media to overtake television as an ad platform within ten years.

In addition, banner ads were expected to decline, with only 29 percent of companies claiming it was very likely or extremely likely that they would play a major role in advertising. 57 of consumers rated the quality of banner ads as fair or poor.

68 percent of publishers also expected consumer data would help them provide better content, while 56 percent of consumers were very or extremely concerned about websites selling their data.

Findings also suggested that there was little appetite for consuming content through wearable devices, with 69 percent not expecting to do so in the near future. Weak demand is reflected by even weaker supply, with only four percent of organisations suggesting they are creating content for wearables.

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Jon Cohen, VP of Survey Research at SurveyMonkey, commented: "For a long time now we’ve been hearing about how integral mobile is to the future of media and publishing, so it’s fascinating that our research has exposed this gap between consumers and content providers.

"It is clear that media brands need to redouble their efforts on providing a quality mobile content experience, or risk becoming obsolete as consumers look elsewhere."

He added: "It is also telling that, despite all the buzz, wearables are still not a focus area for consumers or media brands alike. It underlines the value for brands to hear from real consumers to cut through all the noise before committing to a strategy that could ultimately prove to be a dead end."

The poll surveyed 331 registered attendees of the Guardian’s Changing Media Summit and more than 2,500 adults ages 18 and older from Australia, France, Germany, the UK, and USA in February 2015.

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