Rebecca McPheters, the president of audience-development consultant McPheters & Co., is doing global tracking and evaluation of more than 800 media-related apps with her company's iMonitor system.
Media Business: How will e-readers affect audience development?
McPheters: We believe that in five years, device readership will account for more than half of most audiences for brands rooted in print. [Building a market with an iPad app] is hard, and no one has yet hit on the perfect solution. Cutting through the clutter of 40,000 other apps is hard. There is a real need for a newsstand on the Apple App Store. We are seeing a significant trend in publishers utilizing apps for other titles and from other owners to advertise their own apps.
MB: What should audience developers be looking and asking for from the app design team?
McPheters: Good design, great functionality and as much rich media as possible to elevate the consumer experience. We're seeing that a lot of apps don't work well, and most [though generally not those from top-tier publishers] are still straight PDFs.