College media outlets around the country are noticing that an increasing percentage of their web traffic is coming from smartphones and mobile devices.
According to the news website of the Poynter Institute – an advanced journalism school – the University of Oregon's Daily Emerald has seen a 23,000 percent jump in the number of mobile visitors to the site between 2010 and October of this year. This year there were 619,000 smartphone and tablet visitors to the news website, compared to 951,000 desktop readers. The newspaper's staff expect mobile views to outnumber digital views very soon.
"I told our students that I think next year we will be majority mobile and the news editor asked me: 'What does that mean for us?'" said Ryan Frank, Emerald Media Group publisher, to the source. "It means we're no longer digital-first — we're mobile-first."
Frank also noted that because college students are constantly using their smartphones and tablets, university publications need to move beyond a print-first mentality to stay competitive.
In the quest to satisfy their mobile audience, college newsrooms are struggling with technical challenges, limited staff and ideas and implementing mobile advertising solutions. Frank also mentioned to the source that the Daily Emerald was exploring sponsored content and emphasized that traditional web advertising is "not going to cut it" in a mobile-first world.
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