Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 1:20pm
NPR Digital Services says streaming via the mobile site has more than tripled for 20 of the "few dozen" stations using the new mobile web design.
NPR Digital Services is a division of NPR, and partners with member stations on digital initiatives. In August Digital Services made available its "mobile web theme" that includes a "prominent, persistent player for live streams," design for smaller screens, an inline audio player within stories, and more (read more here).
"Before this change, people visiting the station site from a mobile device saw the full desktop web site, which made the stream hard to find and often not even playable," NPR Digital Services explains in its blog. "Thus, during a representative week in mid-July, only 2.1% of visits to these stations' sites using a mobile device included streaming.
"But with the new interface, streaming increased to 8.6%, because we give the stream more prominence and provide an easy-to-use, persistent player that works on iPhone and Android. We expect this number to rise rapidly as more consumers turn to their mobile devices for listening on the go."
For stations using the new mobile theme, mobile listening to audio segments reportedly increased 81%, and mobile users are reading more stories.
Not surprisingly, radio's certainly not alone in reaping benefits of smart mobile design. Google commissioned a study this past summer of U.S. adult smartphone Internet users that showed "about two-thirds of respondents said they were more likely to purchase something from a mobile-optimized site, while three-quarters said they were more likely to make a return visit to the site," eMarketer reports.
And there's a price to pay for not making the mobile effort. "Failing to design sites for mobile had spillover effects, potentially damaging the reputation of the company," eMarketer wrote.
Back to NPR: "It's becoming clear that our mobile audience wants to listen. When we make the listening experience better on mobile devices, our users respond," they conclude. "If your web experience isn't optimized for your growing mobile audience, you're missing a key opportunity for audience growth and engagement. System-wide, 18% of visits to station sites are coming via mobile devices, and that number rises every month." On this note, eMarketer projects there will be 198.8 million U.S. mobile Internet users in 2016.
Read the NPR Digital Services blog post here. You can read the eMarketer story here.