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September 15, 2011

UK publications abandoning SMS delivery model: report

Researchers say out of the 23 papers with mobile sites, only three sell display advertising 

By CBR Staff Writer

Publications in the UK are increasingly creating free mobile sites instead of continuing their SMS delivery model.

According to PaidContent, publications in 66 UK cities have mostly abandoned experiments with chargeable SMS delivery. Researchers Francois Nel and Oscar Westlund have said that out of the 23 papers with mobile sites, only three sell display advertising against their pages. The researchers say that 11 of those sites had launched classified advertising in 2010, but the ads are now missing. And, of five mobile/tablet apps available for the titles, only one, The Belfast Telegraph, charges anything, said the report.

Westlund said, "Publishers are actively pushing readers away from one medium to the other with no revenue stream."

Meanwhile a report by Adnews cited a report released by Experian Hitwise, which showed that the British Financial Times was more popular to Australians than The Australian Financial Review while measuring visits of paywall sites.

The Australian is planning to implement its paywall soon. Experian general manager Matt Glasner told AdNews: "The biggest challenge facing paid for/subscription based Australian media lies in the publication of exclusive content.

"The Financial Times has a global footprint that many others can’t compete with. It has a team of journalists on the ground in every key market providing quality reporting on events that are impacting the business world. This adds to its reputation for providing quality journalism that people are prepared to pay for.

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"To succeed, paid Australian print websites need to explore how they can provide more exclusive and engaging content and do so in such a way that allows people to get a taste of the content before they make the step to sign-up."

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