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American Spectator drives 400pc jump in page views via browser-based tablet experience

The American Spectator increased page views among tablet users by 400 percent after introducing an HTML5 browser-based tablet experience with touch-screen capabilities.

As content consumption continues to increase on tablets, publishers are looking for ways to reach these users with engaging experiences that keep them coming back. While many have opted to introduce native tablet applications, The American Spectator went with HTML5 to reach its existing tablet audience with an app-like experience.

The audience you built as a publisher is on the Web, that is where it already exists so how do you take that existing audience but give it that app-like tablet experience?,? said Jason Baptiste, CEO of Onswipe, New York.

?Whereas with a native app, you have to get a person to click on a link to go the app store, then download it and then it is competing for space on the home page,? he said. ?You are realistically going to reach with an app at best maybe 3 to 5 percent of your audience on a consistent basis.

?We are saying, reach 100 percent of your existing audience but provide that app-like engagement that gives it a 400 percent boost in page views.?

The American Spectator worked with Onswipe to deliver its HTML5 tablet experience.

Fit for mobile
Politically oriented publications such as The American Spectator are a good fit for HTML5 tablet experiences, per Mr. Baptiste. Other political publishers that have joined the Onswipe platform include Mr. Conservative, Wonkette, Raw Story and Alternet.

According to recent data pulled from Onswipe's platform, politics is a top category for customer engagement, with an average visit duration of 7 minutes and 54 seconds.

Within one month of implementing Onswipe, The American Spectator saw a 400 percent jump in page views and its bounce rate was slashed in half.

?The tablet is the TV of this generation,? Mr. Baptiste said. ?It is what we wake up with in the morning and what we go to bed with - it is how we keep on the world and what?s going on.

?What is one of the biggest things that we do on the TV ? we watch the news on it,? he said. ?We think that time that has been spent with the TV is now being spent more with the tablet.

?Instead of turning on their favorite politics channels, they are actually tuning in with the tablet.?

Tablet engagement
For tablet readers, The American Spectator is now swipeable, with readers able to swipe from right to left through the experience.

Additionally, there is a focus on imagery to make the experience more magazine-like.

?We?ve made it more like reading is supposed to be, which humans expect, which is above the fold and left to right, not up to down,? Mr. Baptiste said.

?The American Spectator didn?t build an app, they didn?t do a simple redesign, they took their existing audience on the Web with the iPad and they made it something super engaging,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York