Mobile and the news media’s imploding business model | Michael Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
But it is also a depressing development, portending, once again, the end of the world as we know it: the news business has been plunged into a crisis because web advertising dollars are a fraction of old media money. And mobile is now a fraction of web: the approximate conversion rate is $100 offline = $10 on the web = $1 in mobile.
In part, the reasons are purely mechanical: you can cram three or four ads on a web page, meaning an average web CPM (cost per thousand views) of $1.00 (if you’re lucky) can become a rate-per-page per thousand (RPM) of $4.00 (versus $20-$40 CPMs in traditional media). Mobile CPMs are running at something closer to $0.25 – and we’re only able to fit one ad on those miniature pages.
And to some extent, the problem defines the medium: who wants to pay for inattention and a cursory scrawl? (How much of mobile news is consumed by people behind the wheel, even?)