"The web is dying," Colony recently blogged. However, he
believes that the internet is alive and well. "It's the software on
top that will change," he wrote.
Colony's theory is proving to be spot-on. Consumers are spending
more and more time with mobile apps than they are in mobile-web
browsers. Flurry, an analytics firm, reported recently that U.S.
consumers spent 94 minutes a day in their apps vs. 72 minutes a day
in mobile browsers. This gap increased dramatically during the last
What's more, the combined total (166 minutes a day) leaves
little time left for accessing the web via PCs.
Taken together, this means that we are quickly forming new
behaviors and habits that could upend the entire marketing
ecosystem. The impact will be felt not just in the developed world,
but in huge emerging markets where PC use never really caught on
If there's any industry that should be concerned here, it's the
press. The media giants that built their brands on the web may not
be the same players who rule in mobile apps. However, just as when
search and social changed the game, the media seem to be the
furthest along in adapting to the new mobile reality.
And, just as before, we should be taking notes.
For example, several tech blogs such as Engadget and The Next
Web -- which built their web brands with rapid-fire,
highly-sharable posts -- are now investing in long-form iPad
magazines that feature analysis the same way Time magazine treats
Others, meanwhile, are partnering up with popular mobile-centric
news apps like Flipboard and Pulse in an effort to secure more real
estate on mobile devices. What's key here is they are thinking
beyond their own apps. It's all about surface area.
Pulse already has hundreds of media partners, co-founder Akshay
Kothari told me. Zite, another player in the space, was acquired
last year by CNN arguably to give the cable juggernaut more skin in
the mobile game.
Startups, too, seem poised to adapt. Instagram created an entire
new social network that was mobile-centric. It had no PC legacy.
And Instagram got so large that Facebook had to acquire it since it
was arguably its largest mobile competitor.
Even older startups are choosing to shift their entire focus
toward the App Internet. Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis has
successfully pivoted his armada of web-based how-to guides into
more immersive iPad video apps that have successfully scaled
In addition, just as with SEO and social media, where there's
money to be made there are also consultants peddling their deep
understanding of how to make mobile apps more discoverable. There's
a bit of a cat-and-mouse game, too, as Apple, Google and Amazon -- the major app stores --
alter their discovery algorithms to weed out junk and ensure that
quality rises to the top.
Much of this, it seems, is not on the radar of most marketers.
The game is changing right before our eyes, and that spells
trouble. Some digital marketers may be better off taking a
scorched-earth strategy to start anew on what will become the
dominant digital-consumption platforms in the foreseeable future.
After all it's hard to fight three wars -- search, social and
mobile -- all at once.
However, I doubt that anyone should go this far. And this could
create an opportunity for entirely new brands that don't have any
baggage to grab more of the shelf in the dominant mobile
What is a given, however, is that the disruption has only just