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Publisher of The Mail Online says that apps are not the answer

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

November 15, 2010 | 3 min read

Martin Clarke, publisher of The Mail Online has stated that he does not believe that apps are the answer to newspaper revenue generation in the future and sounded a warning that the development of HTML5 will kill them off.

Speaking as part of the Society of Editor’s conference, Clarke stated that the development of HTML 5 would kill the app with web pages being given ‘the glossiness’ of an app which would be another threat to potential media revenue and added he would also put his mortgage on the fact that print would not die out.

Clarke also highlighted the advent of micropayments to websites as a development he was looking forward to seeing introduced next year, and also described the use of Facebook by news sites as “one big free marketing opportunity,” that would help draw traffic, describing the internet as ‘one big conversation’ in which people did not differentiate talking to their friends online to reading the news.

"The more often you reach them, whether it is in print, online or on their iPad, then the more likely they will be to return," he stated at one stage during his talk and went onto say that as long as readers engaged with The Mail, he was not worried whether they also spent time looking at competitors too.

Echoing commented made earlier in the day by media analyst Jim Chisholm, who was incidentally, chair of this section of the conference, Clarke said that the success of a newspaper online would not mean that it would automatically fail in the print.

“If you have a strong paper and a strong website, people will use both,” he explained and revealed that he had no issues with linking stories through to competitor’s news stories and felt that this was only a part of the news delivery service and one that is likely to become more common in the future.

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