Mic is bringing video to push notifications
Push notifications have gotten a lot of attention from publishers as people do more of their reading on their mobile phones but are reluctant to download new apps. But notification overload is becoming a risk, as they can pile up unread.
Mic is attempting to solve that problem with its new Mic app for the iPhone, released today. The publisher is taking the position that people don’t want to open apps (or even unlock their phones, for that matter). So the app delivers news to people via notifications that subscribers can touch to get a video clip or news summary by touching the alert, right there on the lock screen. The app was made taking advantage of notification features that iOS introduced over the summer.
“We’re trying to make it as frictionless as possible to get the most important stories, to get enough context quickly,” said Cory Haik, chief strategy officer at Mic.
Mic’s position was that notifications can get annoying quickly, so it designed its app so that the users can pick from about a dozen topics, including election, pop culture and breaking news. The iOS updates also include richer data on what people do when they open notifications, and Mic plans to use feedback from that data to fine-tune the app and train it to send people content they’re more likely to be interested in.
Most of the notifications will be served in the form of video. When a user taps on the alert, they’ll see a short video or photo and text, designed to give the user a complete story from the lock screen. (The video loads in the background, so it’s already ready to roll by the time the user taps it.) The user can choose to hear videos with sound, share it and receive more content like it.
Like most publishers, Mic has been trying various tactics such as browser notifications to get people to come to its own site, but this app wasn’t designed for that purpose. The downside of having people just read notifications, of course, is that publishers can’t directly monetize that audience.
Mic says it’s OK with that for now; it would like to sell advertising around the alerts, but it’s still unclear if it’s possible and the publisher doesn’t want to disrupt the experience just yet anyway. Haik said push is “the new owned-and-operated, if you will. The most important thing for us right now is to get the user experience right. And we believe pretty strongly that revenue follows growth.”
Cloud computing is the new frontier for companies looking to get ahead of Google
The fiercest battle being waged between Amazon, Google and Microsoft is over cloud computing — Google’s deprecation of the third party cookie will open media and advertising up as new fronts in that war.
‘Don’t freak out yet’: Publishers brace for iOS changes to their newsletter businesses
Apple's Mail Privacy Protection will scramble the plans many publishers had for their newsletters.
‘The future of CTV is direct mail’: How Lockard & Wechsler Direct navigates clients through a tight TV marketplace
Lockard & Wechsler Direct, a 30-year-old performance marketing agency, is one of several shops trying to pick their way through a more complicated TV marketplace.
SponsoredHow advertisers can tell the difference between banner blindness and ad-aware consumers
Aditya Padhye, general manager, Trestle at eyeo Advertising is part and parcel of daily life –– from billboards in the street to smartphone apps, its presence is unavoidable. While some advertising strikes a chord with people, there are certain ads that have the opposite effect. Increasing internet usage among all demographics, higher demand for sales […]
Fewer stories, told better: News UK is changing how it commissions stories to grow subs
The Times (UK) and The Sunday Times are changing the way they commission stories to grow digital subscriptions.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: How publishers’ fourth-quarter ad sales strategies are shaping up
This week’s Media Briefing checks in with publishers to see where things stand with fourth quarter ad sales as the biggest season in the sales cycle approaches.