Mobile engagement, native ads and lots of VR – snapshots of #WNC16

For a couple of days in Cartagena, on the coast of Colombia, publishers have assembled to discuss long-term business trends. So what’s the future? As far as I can tell… some sort of native VR social hybrid. More photos of beautiful people here and continuing coverage here.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | June 14, 2016

If you’re looking for trends, there is no better place to start than World Press Trends, and WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyrègne kicked off the business part of #WNC16 with the highlights from the reportMobile is front and centre with 1.4 billion smartphones shipping in 2015. And there is one crucial stat we have often neglected in the publishing industry: “App usage in the US represents 75% of mobile engagement”.

Paula Fray@paulafray

The power of the news app. Users spend much more time via app than thru web usage

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Facebook long ago realised the value of the app, despite a brief and ill-advised embrace of HTML5 only. Speed, geo-location, dedicated ad formats – there are many reasons to prioritise your app. But have you thought about how it makes money?

Lisa MacLeod


V amusing how top media execs when questioned on paywalls don’t know exactly how much their products cost … always a bit vague.

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Of course we’ll be asking Lisa exactly that question when she speaks at about Times Media Group’s brand new paid content project at Digital Media Africa later this year.

But perhaps it is unfair to blame top media execs for this oversight when they all have their eyes on another prize: VR.

The photo above is from the Virtual Reality Gets Real workshop – where participants explored the opportunities for VR – and how to differentiate AR from 360 video.

While 360 video can be as simple as hooking up a Ricoh Theta, the business case for true VR is still in development. Creating engaging content will certainly be much more expensive than for last year’s trending platform, the wearable.

Meanwhile there is not much love for display advertising.

Joyce Barnathan@icfjoyce

Display ads are dying, ad blocking killing it off. Best thing that’s happened to our industry: Juan Senor

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Of course the debate is more nuanced. Users are actually pretty responsive to well-placed static images, especially on mobile.

But if display dips, then where is the money?

Over here! Hello, did you hear me? Over here!

Dean Roper@DeanRoper

A lot of rev potential w/branded cont. as businesses & brands need our audience, & their content won’t be shared on FB. @garciaruize

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What you need is a platform that is really excellent for storytelling, so you can do a really good job for your new branded sponsors. Which takes us back to VR.


Farah Chaudhry@farahchaudhry

Is VR the new storytelling tool.. Experiments explained by @AP

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But the World News Media Congress is just getting started, so check back here to see how the story develops. And yes, we will have some 360 video later!

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