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Mobile news consumption to rake in $1B in publisher revenue by 2016

Annual revenues derived from news content delivered to mobile devices will reach $1.1 billion by 2016, making publishers struggle to bridge the gap caused by the inevitable decline in sales from print editions, according to Juniper Research.

In addition to the revenue, Juniper predicts that 5 million consumers will view newspaper content via a mobile device by 2016. The findings are part of Juniper?s ?Mobile publishing: eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers for smart devices? report and looked at the critical subscription models that publishers must adapt in order to stay afloat in the media space.

?Initially the decrease in print circulation was driven by online news that consumers got from the Web, but the more recent decline has been accelerated by mobile and consumers consuming news via handsets,? said Dr. Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper, Hampshire, England.

?In particular, tablets have severely impacted print circulation because tablets are even more accessible and easier to read on than smartphones,? he said.

Pay up
According to the Juniper study, the market eBooks purchased via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is expected to generate $3.2 billion by year-end.

By 2016, eBooks are predicted to bring in $9.7 billion, signaling a 24.7 percent growth.

The United States and Western Europe are expected to be the areas with the biggest growth.

Growth will be slowest in the Far East and China.

The need for digital content is two-fold ? publishers want to get content to consumers in new ways and increase revenue.

Additionally, the increase in self-publishing has helped rev up digital publishing.

Small digital publishers face the challenge of making their companies stand out in a sea of top-name publishers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Sony.

Stop the presses
Consumers are looking to digital first as the go-to source for news, which results in less consumers reading daily print newspapers.

Dr. Holden said that print circulations are down 30 percent this year for newspaper publishers worldwide.

With less consumers reading print publications, advertisers have followed suite and started allotting more money to digital resources.

To keep up with the appetite for digital news, many publishers have instituted pay walls for content.

?When you offer a pay wall, you see a significant drop-off of users,? Dr. Holden said. ?That being said, it is still better then looking at a print-only subscription rate.

?For a lot of newspapers, the way forward will be a migration to only digital products,? he said.

?The challenge for newspapers is how to create a critical mass of users who are prepared to pay for content.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York