January 11, 2013
Robin Sloan, Author and Media Inventor
Plenty of people have said it before, but this time it’s official - 2013 really is the year of the tablet. And if you’re in the content business (meaning you’re a publisher or marketer), this is the year you need to be thinking tablet first.
The newest numbers for tablets tell the story: Apple has sold over 100 million iPads to date. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others have competitive tablet products in market and tablet traffic grew 300 percent in 2012. In fact, tablets will surpass smartphone traffic in early 2013, and will account for 10 percent of all Web traffic in 2014. And this percentage is higher for content-specific traffic (i.e. reading, watching and engaging). Despite the fact that only 23 percent of companies design their sites specifically for a tablet and only 33 percent test their sites on tablets, consumers are taking to tablets like fish to water. These numbers alone should spark CEOs and CMOs to get their teams thinking tablet first when designing new products and marketing campaigns.
As impressive as the numbers are, the real thing driving this growth is design: tablets can deliver wonderful content experiences. The Web has changed the world in thousands of ways, but print has remained one of the best ways to get truly wonderful editorial experiences - thoughtfully laid out magazine covers and article pages, large high-quality images, a human touch when integrating advertising, a tactical experience in turning a thick shiny page and, yes, even the smell. By contrast, old-school online content is typically crammed in a box with small pixelated images, stuffed unreadably with search-friendly keywords, and surrounded by distracting blinking ads. The content seems secondary to the noise that surrounds it.