Bill Trippe, VP-lead analyst at research firm Outsell Inc., recently talked with Media Business about the rise of HTML5 and how b-to-b media companies can approach the various technologies surrounding the preparing of content for tablets and other mobile devices.
Media Business: What steps should b-to-b media companies be taking to make sure they have a simple digital work flow?
Bill Trippe: Obviously mobile is important. The question of developing for specific mobile devices versus a more generic approach, such as HTML5, is really starting to be clarified. HTML5—that's only going to grow. We did list HTML5 as one of our technologies to watch for this year. We think standards-based technology development is always in the consumer's interest—and in this case the publisher's interest. The idea of developing for one mobile platform after another in a proprietary way is very expensive, and it's hard to scale that. Helped by the Kindle Fire, Android devices will probably outnumber the iPad devices. Publishers should find an economical way to develop for both platforms.
MB: How difficult is it for a publisher to move to HTML5 and introduce a digital-first work flow?
Trippe: I would separate those. Digital first is what's hard. If you're moving from a traditional print work flow where you're creating your digital as a byproduct of the print work flow, then the transition to a digital-first or a multimedia work flow is a big proposition. It's definitely the way publishers need to go. But HTML5 as a digital development environment is not a big transition for publishers, because they already have a lot of HTML skills. Moving to HTML5 is evolutionary on the digital side. If you look at what Financial Times did, they were developing in the iPad environment and then they moved to an HTML5 environment across platforms. I've heard them say working in the HTML5 environment as a technology has actually been straightforward for them because they already had a lot of people with HTML experience.