Mobile has “fundamentally changed” the way the Guardian approaches its storytelling, with nearly half (44 per cent) of all traffic coming via tablet and smartphones in April, according to the Guardian’s revenue director Tim Gentry.
Speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Mobile Engage event this morning Gentry said mobile is a core part of the newspaper’s strategy and vital to the future of journalism.
“Mobile is at the heart of everything we do and has a profound impact on all we do. We have seen phenomenal growth in digital-only traffic, increasing twice over in the last few years. Growth is still coming from desktop but the majority of growth is from mobile devices, but we are not finding that the mobile audience is cannibalising the desktop one, people are finding new time for new times, ” he said.
This has also seen the Guardian “reimagine” its commercial model to adapt to the ways people engage with its news and the way it now tells its stories, according to Gentry.
The raft of mobile products the newspaper has launched in the last few years has “fundamentally changed” its traditional ad model, he said. Internal silos within departments must be broken down to capitalise on the changing landscape and “unlock” the value in mobile, putting people and audiences at the heart of campaigns rather than running activity in a way that suits previous internal structures, according to Gentry.
The Guardian, which now has 150 developers in-house, has created its own user experience (UX) lab and 12 per cent of its revenues now come from the “creative solutions” and 11 per cent of revenues from cross-platform packages last year, each of which had mobile at their heart, he added.
The Guardian has centred its entire editorial model on an “Open collaborative” approach, having Trecently launched Guardian Witness, a platform which commissions members of the public with specific assignments which they can submit via mobile devices.