It has been some time since I first remember trying to sign The Guardian to the YOC media network, sometime in 2009. From memory at the time, 4th Screen were selling around 1 million page views per month. I have posted below the latest figures from their site**, that figure now stands at 6.2 million and generates more unique browsers and monthly page views than their iOS, Android and iOS tablet apps combined. These figures are somewhat surprising but not because their mobile internet has the biggest pull, rather that their mobile traffic has only 6 fold in 4 or so years and all their mobile channels are not generating significant page impressions.
I have always been an advocate for mobile internet and I do get and understand that having an app strategy for print and digital publishers makes perfect sense. After all, I have personally been involved in building so many for clients as such, why wouldn’t I think this. My bigger question is why is their mobile internet site and apps not generating higher levels of uniques or monthly page impressions? We know they have an award winning app and their paid for model seemed to work and made them a small profit after development costs.
But… why is their mobile internet site generating far less monthly page impressions in ratio to their applications? And… are their applications generating enough impressions in ratio to the unique users?
Generating 6.2 million page impressions from 2.5 million unique browsers can be averaged out that for every one customer visiting the site once a month is only generating 2.5 page impressions per visit. I am guessing that their customers are visiting more than once a month which would mean they are generating even less impressions per visit (just divide the impression number by the number of visits). As you can see from these states it becomes somewhat disappointing and raises some concern. Maybe I am interpreting unique browsers wrongly as unique users, but it sounds like the same thing to me.
The iphone app is a little better…
Again applying the same principle generating 1 million page impressions from 34,000 uniques can be averaged out that for every 1 customer using the app once a month is generating about 30 impressions per visit. Like their mobile internet users the reality is they are visiting more than once a month and therefore the impressions they generate per visit are even less.
Lets look at the rest, again applying the same methodology…
45,113 monthly uniques generating 3.45 million page impressions equates to 1 customer visiting once a month generating 75 page impressions per visit.
11,000 monthly uniques are generating 1.2 million page impressions equates to 1 customer visiting once a month generating 110 page impressions per visit.
What does this all mean?
In summary, it shows that their Android app is generating a much richer experience than their other channels. Or maybe Android users are just more engaged than iOS users. We have to be careful here as their mobile internet site will have traffic from all devices but overall the statistics suggest that most of their mobile site users are less engaged than their app users.
In my experience, working with print and digital publishers it is typical for a user to generate up to 10 impressions per visit but at an absolute minimum of visiting the site or apps 2 to 3 times a week. This would mean you would have to divide those impressions (generated by the users) by approximately 12. In doing that, the numbers would suggest that only their Android app and iPad app are delivering a rich experience where the user is most engaged generating 9 to 6 impressions per visit respectively. The others fall well short of this and their mobile internet site alarmingly so.
2.5 million monthly unique browsers
6.2 million monthly page views
Users are accessing a broad range of content through m.guardian with the top five most visited sections being world news, football, sport, technology and Comment is free. Comment is free alone delivers over 250,000 page views per month – an indication that users are valuable opinion leaders.
An award winning iPhone app featuring video, live blogs and more that is available free to users in the US.
34,000 monthly unique browsers
1 million monthly page views
With steady growth in unique browsers of almost 50% over the last four months, the iPhone app is another strong performer in GNM’s mobile portfolio. What’s more, the proportion of heavy users is high at just over 50%. That, combined with a strong frequency metric for user behaviour, indicates a very loyal and engaged audience.
In addition to the regular news content, users have a strong preference for football, sport and business content.
We launched our critically acclaimed iPad app in October 2011 and since then it has been downloaded more than 500,000 times (globally). With a clean, modern design and easy navigation the Guardian iPad app is immensely readable.
45,113 monthly unique browsers
3.45 million monthly page views
Free to download and available from the Android market worldwide it contains the latest news, sport, comment, reviews, videos, podcasts and picture galleries from the Guardian website.
11,000 monthly unique browsers
1.2 million monthly page views
The app delivers a globally minded audience of opinion leaders and the most popular sections include football, Comment is free and world news.
Furthermore, over one in three are heavy users and this has steadily increased over the last few months – an indication that user loyalty and engagement is growing.
SOURCE**: Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/advertising/mobile?newsfeed=true)