July 14, 2015

Why Mobile-Only Audiences Are Key to Digital Publishers’ Monetization

Ever since comScore first introduced Media Metrix® Multi-Platform to the US market in early 2013, we have gotten a much clearer picture how important mobile is to digital media audiences. Before multi-platform data existed, mobile was often thought to be primarily incremental engagement from existing users of a media property – but it turns out that has not been the case. In fact, even in those early days a huge percentage of visitors (approximately 30% in the US) to a typical Top 100 digital media property were mobile-only users who never visited via desktop in the course of a month.

More than two years later, we now have comprehensive multi-platform reporting in the US, Canada and the UK and can see just how important these mobile-only audiences have become in each market. We have shared many of these cross-market comparisons and insights in our recently released Global Mobile Report, which is now available for complimentary download.

In the US and UK, just a shade under half of the average Top 100 property’s audience is mobile-only (up about 20 percentage points in the US in a relatively short period of time). While Canada trails the other two countries in mobile-only usage, still more than a third of their top media properties’ audiences are mobile-only.

Average Mobile-Only Audience for Top 100 Digital Properties

These stats mean that mobile is often the first and only point of entry for a major portion of their audience, and these incremental mobile visitors are hugely important for publishers’ monetization of their content. Perhaps most obviously, incremental mobile visitors are extra visitors above and beyond what they’ve traditionally attracted via desktop, which means incremental monetization opportunity.

But perhaps even more significantly, these extra visitors help publishers establish a much better value proposition to advertisers than they can with desktop alone. Within the Top 100 properties, the average reach of the Total Digital Population among desktop alone is approximately in the mid-teens. While that translates to a sizeable percentage of the entire population, it is not a level of reach in and of itself that the largest brand advertisers who control the biggest marketing budgets typically desire. However, when including mobile to account for their total unduplicated multi-platform audience, that reach number jumps to the high twenties – a number that is much more meaningful to marketers.

Average Desktop vs Total Digital Audience Reach

And that number can easily jump 10-20 points higher when a publisher demonstrates its ability to reach a high-skewing demographic segment. As publishers break down the platform silos to sell their entire digital audiences, they all of the sudden have a value proposition on the dimension of reach that puts them on a much more level playing field with TV.

To find out more about how publishers should be thinking about their multi-platform audiences, across both screens and geographies: Download The Global Mobile Report today

Tags: Multi-Platform, Smartphone, TV