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The Atlantic gives HTML5 a shot with tablet-optimized site

The Atlantic

The Atlantic is going the mobile Web route for its news and opinion site TheAtlanticWire.com with an initiative that targets tablet users.

The new site is available at http://touch.theatlanticwire.com/. The Atlantic is working with Sencha on the HTML5 site.

“Part of mobile is about figuring out which experiences we need to invest in, which is in places where our audience expects us to be – if we have the audience the monetization will follow,” said Kim Lau, vice president and general manager for The Atlantic Digital, New York.

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“This year, for me it’s all about trying to raise the bar with the experience and understanding how users interact with content,” she said.

The Atlantic is the flagship property of Atlantic Media Company.

Mobile news
As of Dec. 2012, The Atlantic Wire claims that 27 percent of traffic comes from mobile devices. Additionally, monthly unique visitors accessing the publication’s content via a tablet grew 210 percent in 2012 year-over-year.

Tabs across the top of the site group articles into categories including entertainment, technology, business and politics.

The site is set up so that users discover content by swiping across the screen.

Users can then save articles and share content via Facebook and Twitter.

Additionally, consumers can tap a button to send an email with feedback on the mobile site.

Users can also click back to The Atlantic Wire’s Web site from the tablet-optimized version.

All of Atlantic Wire’s content is free.

To promote the new site, The Atlantic is running interstitial ads that encourage users who visit http://theatlanticwire.com/ to visit the tablet-optimized version.

“This is another step in figuring out how HTML5 can be part of our portfolio and how we can get some experience with it,” Ms. Lau said.

According to Ms. Lau, one of the main goals of the new site leads to not only higher traffic but also leads users to consume more content.

In addition to the new site, The Atlantic Wire also has an iPhone application. There is also an iPad app for The Atlantic.

Build for the mobile Web
Publishers have been continuously working on their mobile strategies for a while now.

In particular, tablets offer publishers a bigger canvas to display content on.

As mobile Web technology such as HTML5 becomes more sophisticated with richer experiences, browser-based services promise publishers a wider reach than apps.

Although Apple’s iPad still dominates the tablet industry, Android-operated tablets are chipping into its sales. Therefore, publishers are increasingly looking to offer solutions that reach across a wide variety of devices.

In addition to the technical issues, HTML5 has several other propositions to publishers around their business models, according to Avitya Bansod, vice president of product marketing at Sencha, Redwood City, CA.

“What you get out of HTML5 is the ability to publish content without distributing it through an App Store,” Mr. Bansod said.

“A publisher’s business is driven from being in front of as many readers as possible, but you also want to deliver a customized experience on each platform,” he said. 

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Media, Kim Lau, The Atlantic, mobile, mobile marketing, Avitya Bansod, Sencha

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