Digital Omnivores Create Demand for Cross-platform Strategies

If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the desire for digital content consumption is not a fad; it’s here to stay. comScore recently studied the effect of the increased demand for digital content in a white paper they released titled Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits. Mark Donovan, comScore Senior Vice President of Mobile, summarized the results in their press release:

digital omnivore“The popularization of smartphones and the introduction of tablets and other Web-enabled devices — collectively termed ‘connected devices’ — have contributed to an explosion in digital media consumption. As these devices gain adoption, we have also seen the rise of the ‘digital omnivores’ — consumers who access content through several touchpoints during the course of their daily digital lives. In order to meet the needs of these consumers, advertisers and publishers must learn to navigate this new landscape so they develop cross-platform strategies to effectively engage their audiences.1

Cross-media and dynamic publishing are Quark’s focus. But Quark also sees a significant need for our customers to create an engaging customer experience — whether it’s in print, via the Web, or on a digital device such as the iPad, an Android tablet, or other tablets.

In my last blog, I spoke about cross-media design; now I’d like to focus on workflow collaboration. As rate of content consumption changes, so do the requirements for publishing systems to support new types of content — namely digital — and for bringing new content specialists into content creation workflows.

Digital Assets and Workflows

Once you go digital, you’ll need to embrace the need for rich media content, whether it’s for your Web site or your iPad app; therefore, the first step in preparing to adopt a cross-media publishing strategy is to include support for creating and managing your digital assets and publications. This includes videos, slideshows, podcasts, any other interactive or multimedia assets, and iPad apps and issues.

If your team isn’t big enough or if you don’t have enough resources to create these new type of assets, no need to fret; there are services available (such as iStockphoto®) who saw the need to expand their portfolio beyond photos and now offer video, audio, and Flash content.

On the other hand, if you do have in-house multi-media staff, you want to make sure you include this staff in your workflows. It will be important that your digital issue designer has the ability to collaborate with, let’s say, your video editor to ensure that the video you include in your iPad issue delivers the best possible user experience (i.e. full-screen display, etc.). When working together, these two creative minds will surely deliver an immersive, brand-worthy experience.

On another level, if you’re trying to manage the creation of assets and publish content across documents, media, and platforms, you’ll also want to be able to set up specific workflows to support each type of digital asset and publication required. These workflows are vastly different from what may be required for print, in that the dependencies and timeline or workflow automation triggers may change.

iPad Continues to Dominate

“iPads dominate among tablets in driving digital traffic. In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S. iPads have also begun to account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones (46.8 percent vs. 42.6 percent of all iOS device traffic).1” As the iPad continues to dominate, the need to publish to the iPad is gaining ground. Thus, the ability to create an iPad app and publish an issue to that app is something that should be available in the cross-media publishing system.

With that aim in mind, as you evaluate the best cross-platform strategy for you, it’s imperative that you understand what’s involved and leverage best practices shared by the industry experts. The next step for starting your exploration, if you haven’t already, is to take the time to check out The World of Dynamic Publishing, a five-part webinar series brought to you by Quark Software Inc with leading industry experts.


1comScore, (2011, October 10) Smartphones and Tablets Drive Nearly 7 Percent of Total U.S. Digital Traffic [Press Release]. Retrieved from http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10/Smartphones_and_Tablets_Drive_Nearly_7_
Percent_of_Total_U.S._Digital_Traffic
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  • http://www.thecontentwrangler.com/ Scott Abel

    I wonder how long it will be before colleges start teaching students what they need to know to create, manage, and deliver content on demand to iPads and other mobile devices. I bet it won’t be long until this is a requirement. Thanks for sharing this with us, Sophia.

    • http://www.thedynamicpublisher.com/ Sophia Farina

      You’re very welcome, Scott.  There are some incubator programs that are making good headway to help students prepare for the digital age. Here’s one run by CU: http://bdw.colorado.edu.

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