Assuming you’re interested in the confluence of HTML5 and the monetization of digital publishing, you’ll definitely want to check out this recent Mashable article, which covers a panel that took place at the Mashable Media Summit last Friday, November 30.

Thinking Outside the App, as the panel was titled, appears to have essentially dealt with just one question, which Mashable reporter Laura Indvik puts forward in her post: “Given the amount of traffic publishers are seeing from mobile web-browsers, coupled with improvements in HTML5 … does it make sense for publishers to continue to invest in native apps for tablets and smartphones?”

Panelist Rob Grimshaw, the managing director of the Financial Times‘ website, explained that the paper chose “to pull its native apps for iPhone and iPad devices last year because it ‘wasn’t right’ for the organization,” as Indvik writes.

Here’s the real jaw-dropper, direct from the article:

Since the app was pulled, the number of iOS subscribers to the FT has increased by 70%, Grimshaw said. In fact, nearly a fifth of new subscriptions are coming from mobile devices, he added.

If you’re wondering what it is, exactly, that makes that single factoid such a game changer, consider that the Financial Times was required to pay “30 percent of [its] subscription revenue to Apple” for the benefit and privilege of having an iOS-hosted app. For a publication the size of FT, that’s no pocket change.

Click here to read the full Mashable story.

* * *





  1. The example of Ibis Reader should be sufficient to convince anyone that web apps are very nearly equivalent to native apps. However, that doesn’t solve any important problems. The elephant in the room is that authors are predominantly monochromatic. Excellent with words but clumsy with static and moving images and completely tongue-tied with interactivity. Publishers can’t add this in post without the results looking like ’58 Cadillac fins on a Volkswagen. It has to come from the author and it isn’t.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail