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MoMo Beijing #49 Experiencing Mobile Reading 2012-04-24
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Mobile reading is a very complex topic. The speakers of Mobile Monday Beijing 49th Edition addressed this issue from different angles. They are from 5 companies and institute, including App Annie, TangCha, Central Academy of Fine Art of China, Xianguo, and Adobe China.

1. Mobile reading market analysis by App Annie
First we let market and data talk – the presentation from Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of App Annie
App Annie is one of the world’s major mobile app statistic analysis providers. Their SDK are used in more than 100,000 app world wide by 13,000+ publishers. Their ranking database is tracking 850,000 apps on iOS, Mac (to be released soon) and Google Play. In the presentation, Bertrand Schmitt shared their analysis regarding the new Newsstand for iPhone and iPad. Interesting observations include:
- Global downloads increasing slowly (7% from Oct 2011); while global revenue increasing dramatically (282% from Oct 2011);
- China is ranked top 2 by downloads, but out of top 10 by revenue;
- The highest revenue per download comes from Norway with $0.75/download;
- Despite less unites, iPad downloads are ~20% more than iPhone downloads, and revenue is 3 times more: revealing that consumers are much more willing to download and pay on iPad, a much better device for reading

2. E-Book publishing for mobile reading by TangCha
TangCha is the Pioneer of licenced electronic book publisher on iOS devices in China. So far it has published 12 books in Apple App Store, including the famous biography of Steve Jobs (Simplified Chinese version). Its founder Lawrence Li shared his opinion about electronic reading. Typography is one focus of Tangcha’s effort of increasing mobile reading experience. Chinese typography in the mobile digital world is serious underdeveloped, even comparing to Japanese typography. Tangcha is experimenting new fonts with typography designer and applying new ways of page setting to make reading a more enjoyable and nature experience on mobile devices.

In terms of operation, TangCha is moving from releasing books as an independent app to providing an integrated book shelf

3. Mobile reading design sharing from Pr. Fei Jun from Central Academy of Fine Arts
Pr. Fei Jun has been working with traditional media publishers to help them release iPad versions of their magazines.
Traditional media publishers face major challenges moving their contents from paper-based magazines to smart mobile devices. It’s definitely not only by generating a PDF version of the magazine and copy to the iPad. Digital designers leverage the various possibilities that smart devices provides to build a digital version of magazines. Pr. Fei Jun shared some principles that he is applying in his daily work with his team.
- Multimedia features are to be used with caution
Pr. Fei always make sure not to turn a digital magazine into a “video App”. Multimedia contents are only used if they are inline with the whole page, respecting it composition.
- Page layout is to be re-designed
Pages need to be re-designed. Different layers can be added to a page which can be shown and hidden according to user’s different actions
- Leveraging interactivity to make a difference
Being interactive, a digital magazine can support complicated logical reasoning. For example, a series quiz is very suitable to be presented in a digital magazine.

4. Waterfall-flow mobile reading from Xianguo Lianbo
Xianguo Lianbo is one of the earliest and most popular mobile & Internet waterfall-flow reader. Its founder Liang Gongjun shared his rich experience regarding this business in China. Benefiting from its friendly design and user experience, Xianguo is getting a huge user base. But the market is not rewarding enough yet for similar businesses to flourish. Currently Xianguo is facing challenges from low willing of pay users, and strong competition. Xianguo suggests that for a relatively long time, advertising is the main revenue source for this business.

5. Mobile reading publishing tool kit from Adobe China
Adobe is helping world wide digital publishers to create their publication.
With a global experience, Mark Dong, platform manager of Adobe China, compared the situations in US and in China. In the US, digital publication are aggressively taking the market, even resulting in bankruptcy of book store chains. In China, the market is experiencing some delay, due to lack of willing to pay by the consumers. Adobe also helps digital publisher to differentiate their publication with different design enablers.


Bertrand SCHMITT    CEO
App Annie
 
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