New York – At the min day Digital Summit today (presented by FOLIO: sister publication min), publishers and technology providers are on hand to commiserate about trials and victories in the digital space. In a panel called "The New Digital Newsstand: Distribution and Monetization in the Age of Apps and Social Media", speakers from Newsmax, mobile solution company Kargo, National Geographic and Rodale share their app experiences so far.
During a question and answer portion at the end of the panel, an audience member asked the panelists to sound off on app versus HTML 5 as a way to "future proof things".
Matt Bean, associate VP of mobile, social and emerging media at Rodale, said, "We don’t have HTML co-location; we’re waiting a little while and allowing vendors and tech to shake out. Many of our readers are coming from Apple and Android handsets, and are less interested in reading a magazine-like experience. They’re looking for in-store environments."
Harry Kargman, CEO of Kargo, added, "I think HTML5 is the way of the future, but I don’t think it could be competitive until the latest version of Android came out and will hit in the first quarter of next year."
Kargman points out how the drawn-out process of Apple approval for publisher apps is eliminated with the HTML 5 route. "It challenges the existing ecosystem. With the time it takes to get through the process and amount of control, there’s too many barriers in terms of evolving. HTML 5 allows for flexibility for bugs and updates when negative customer reviews start coming through the App Store."
However, Bean said, "You can’t underestimate the purchase of a one-click purchase ecosystem, and HTML is not that yet. Also, 70 to 80 percent of our app purchasers are new [to Rodale’s database]. [Apple has] that reaching and discovery aspect."