Publishers seeing the native app lose ground to the web app
It turns out that the good-old native apps aren't always the best way to go. As revealed by Financial Times's online managing director, Rob Grimshow, after they have pulled their native apps for iPhone and iPad, they saw an increase in iOS subscribers of 70%. The problems associated with supporting a native app have to do with the constant need of updating the app as the OS also gets updated, the need to port your app to other platforms, as well as the fact that they had pay 30% of the revenue coming from the app's subscribers. Obviously, removing the "app" and "app store" factors here, and going for an exclusively web-based solution has played a very positive role for Financial Times's mobile business.
On the other hand, New York Media's CTO, Larry Chevres, has said that companies like theirs aren't ready to abandon the native app model completely yet. According to him, there are some things that you can't yet do as well on the web, like creating an immersive reading experience. Having access to the powerful hardware of the device can allow you to create fancier options for interaction, for example. Still, it's not a secret that the gap between web apps and native apps is getting smaller and smaller.
Finally, Google's VP of Americas Partner Business Solutions, Bonita Stewart, joined the panel by acknowledging the fact that the best way currently to persuade advertisers to invest in your mobile endeavors, is by offering a platform that can work on various kinds of devices like tablets, phones, TV, etc. Still, if we look closely at some of these individual categories, like tablets, for example, we can't help but see there's still need of maturation of the market. For that to happen, though, we'll need more 'bang for the buck' devices like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, which are both affordable and appealing to the users.