The future of Forbes magazine’s digital media is tied to their worldwide ambitions and global growth.
Forbes, which was recently purchased by Asian investors, and has 35 foreign-language editions and 20 web sites, is definitely focused on global digital media. In Staff Writer Lewis DVorkin’s article, “Inside Forbes: The Role of Websites vs. Apps As We Focus On Global Growth,” he narrows the subject to a discussion of global article pages, by expert contributors, for mobile browsers vs. app-centric, streaming social networks. He also provides insight into the challenge of commanding CPMs on small screens.
DVorkin makes a point about the resiliency of browsers without discounting the role of apps. 60 percent of both tablet and smartphone users consume news through browsers, according to a Pew Research survey. Fewer than half of those users accessed news on apps and 19 percent viewed news on social media, and even then clicking on the item launched a browser window.
DVorkin raises several questions about how global screens will accommodate multiple languages and characters; how to build publishing tools free of language barriers; and how will comments connect to multi-lingual speakers?
Monetizing international browser traffic is a challenge, as well. DVorkin says ad agencies are still working from a mentality that goes back decades. As for apps, news consumption is far behind other uses, according to Flurry, an analytics firm. News apps will grow, with free news aggregators like Circa and Yahoo News Digest leading the way into the future. Here’s where apps users spend their time:
- 80 percent apps, including games, social networks, and news (only 2 percent)
- 20 percent web browsers
Built in the spirit of entrepreneurial capitalism, the Forbes digital media expert contributor model, or global article page, has 1,500 entrepreneurial journalists. Individuals are driving the company’s expanding conference business, and a Forbes reporter is working on a new content vertical category. “Collaboration without personal agenda,” looks like the key to global growth in digital media.