From The Wall Street Journal:
Traditional and online publishers are struggling to cash in on their surging mobile traffic, raising questions about their future growth as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones and tablets for media.
News and information outlets ranging from the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Business Insider and About.com all can point to rapid growth in mobile usage. Time spent on publishers’ mobile offerings jumped 40% in the 12 months through July and now accounts for 55% of total time spent on their properties, up from 42% two years ago, according to estimates by measurement specialist comScore.
The problem is that for many publishers mobile revenue isn’t keeping pace—by a long shot—creating what industry executives are calling a “mobile gap.”
Selling advertising on mobile devices is proving difficult: It is hard to show mobile users enough ads, traditional ad formats like “banners” perform miserably, and publishers can’t easily do sophisticated tracking and targeting of ads. These issues extend from publishers’ mobile websites to their apps.
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More than half of unique visits to The Wall Street Journal Digital Network—which includes the Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, and WSJ Magazine—now come from non-desktop devices, but mobile accounts for less than 20% of the network’s digital ad revenue, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)