Monthly Archives: July 2015

Racing Post’s Winning Circle magazine launches for Glorious Goodwood

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With the fields of the South Downs heaving from the excitement of this year’s Goodwood festival, well known betting newspaper Racing Post launch their new horse racing magazine The Winning Circle. Available on Android and iOS, the magazine provides fine writing and lavish pictures that capture the drama of the highest-class racing from around the globe: from the elegance of quintessential English meetings such as Royal Ascot and Goodwood, to the raw excitement of the American tracks and the growing power of Gulf nations such as Qatar and Dubai.

 

Published monthly, the app will include interviews with thoroughbred masters, news, commentary and a monthly diary from multiple Classic-winning jockey Frankie Dettori. With features such as sharing and scrapbooking, the app will truly help users make the most from the exciting equine calendar.

 

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Driving workforce engagement with Pugpig

Earlier this week our very own James McLeod ran a webinar focused on helping corporate communications professionals understand how they can drive workforce engagement using Pugpig. We had some brilliant questions asked during the session, so make sure you listen all the way to the end to hear James being put on the spot by our audience!

 

Driving workforce engagement with Pugpig from Pugpig on Vimeo.

Listen to our Sales Manager James McLeod talk about how you can use Pugpig to create engaging internal communication apps.

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How do you know if your brand needs an app?

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A question we often get asked is “I have a mobile responsive website, do I need an app?” We posted this article a few weeks ago but then we noticed this article from Benedict Evans and thought he had summed it up perfectly.

 

Benedict’s article focused on one simple question: Is your brand one that customers want to have on the homescreen of their device? If the answer is yes, Benedict’s opinion is that you need to have an app. If this applies to you and your brand, once you have an app, you can benefit from all the additional interactive and engaging features that an app provides: like push notifications, interactive content, social media sharing and shopping.  In Benedict’s words, this is all about ‘offering value to the customer’, and these features, combined with a homescreen icon, all help to drive user engagement and build brand loyalty.

 

And we believe that this engagement can be enhanced specifically with the use of highly targeted, developed, push notifications and landing pages – features which are only available in an app. Engaging your users after download has never been more important – 70-80% of users are known to delete or disengage with their mobile app within five weeks of downloading. Not only helping to retain your users, targeted pushes can help to achieve that illusive ‘hyper-engaged user’ – one who visits your app once or even multiple times daily and therefore one who, if given the chance, would be much more likely to buy from your brand.

 

Ultimately, we believe the answer to this ever-popular question is that it’s not mobile web or an app, it’s both. And Benedict reiterates this when he says, “you should have a website that works well on mobile regardless of whether you also have an app”. Surely, with 57% of mobile users abandoning a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, this point is a no brainer. A mobile optimised site (which works well on all different devices) is vital to the success of your brand. And if this brilliantly mobile-optimised website is powered by a CMS, then there’s not even that much additional work required to repurpose your content for an app. At Kaldor, we think it ultimately comes down to a native user experience and interaction; if these are things you want, then an app is the way forward.

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Apple launches News App – but what does it mean to you?

What is Apple News?

Apple News replaces Newsstand. It provides content from publishers who can customize the way articles are displayed. Just like Flipboard, Apple News is a personalized feed of content and articles.

News is driven by a format called the “Apple News Format” which has yet to be published, but it allows for rich typography, animations, video and image galleries.

Within the Apple News app, users can select “Publisher Channels” (branded content delivered by publishers with the context of their publications) and “Topics” (of which there are “millions”, curated by a team of Apple editors). These choices go to create a personalised news feed which is the user’s primary navigation method.

A number of publishers have signed up as launch partners for News, including The Economist, Vanity Fair, Financial Times, Time, Wired, BuzzFeed, Vox, the New York Times, Bloomberg Business, and of course The Verge. Apple’s News app will launch in the US, UK, and Australia.

 

Do Apple think that Apple News should replace dedicated publisher apps?

No not at all. In fact they are pushing this as a discovery mechanism for publishers to drive readers to their own branded apps. This is why all the publishers on the platform for launch are only providing samples of their content. The trick will be to get the balance right so that publishers have enough content in Apple News to be noticed while keeping enough back in their own branded apps to ensure people want to engage directly with them.

 

How will publishers monetise their content Apple News?

To begin with, Apple are not charging for content, so initially the only way to monetise Apple News will be through Apple iAds. Apple are promising that 100% of ad revenue associated with a publisher’s article will go to the publisher if they place the ad, or 70% if Apple place the ad.

 

CAN PUBLISHERS SELL SUBSCRIPTIONS THROUGH APPLE NEWS?

Not yet, but subs will be coming soon, although no details have been shared with publishers.

 

What will happen to the Apple Newsstand?

The Apple Newsstand will be discontinued and all apps within it will simply become standard Apple apps, on the homescreen like any other. We expect this will happen with the launch of iOS9

 

How will publishers create content for Apple News?

Apple are working on an authoring tool called Apple News Publisher, which can be used to create content and rich layouts. They have not yet launched this tool, nor given a date for when they will be available. Nor have they shared the specification for the feed created by the tools, so we do not yet know whether the feed format will be open or proprietary (it’s likely to be based on an open standard but with proprietary extensions, just as with the iBooks format).

We do know however, that publishers can use simple RSS feeds to send their content to Apple News.

 

How can publishers create Apple News formatted content using Pugpig?

We haven’t seen the spec yet, but the great news is that Pugpig uses structured content, so we know that we will be able to deliver feeds to Apple News. From the start we’ll be able to deliver RSS feeds straight in the Apple News App. Once we have seen the spec, we’ll work out the details of how to deliver the beautifully formatted Pugpig pages that you use in your apps

 

Can I link to my native app from Apple News?

Yes. Apple News is designed to be a discovery mechanism for your native apps. You will be able to deep link into your app or website from Apple News.

 

Is this better or worse for publishers than the old Newsstand?

While Apple are taking one more step to being the channel through which users consume publishers’ content, we still think this is really good news for publishers. The old newsstand was infamous for being a poor discovery platform for readers. With this new model, there should be a much better opportunity for your content to be discovered by your own readers as well as people who don’t have an existing relationship with your brand.

 

But what’s the point having my own app if Apple are now doing this?

There are loads of reasons why:

  • Apples are not the only fruit. If you want to be cross platform, then this won’t cut it. If you have your own native Pugpig app, you’ll be on Apple, Google Play, Amazon, Windows and web
  • If you want to charge your readers to access your content, then you need your own app
  • If you have a subscriber base, who you want to grant access to your content you need an app
  • You also need an app if you want a traditional edition-based cover to cover product
  • Or if you want to do anything beyond just delivering pages of content
  • Or you want a consistent user experience across devices
  • Or a direct relationship with your readers
  • Or push notifications
  • Or presence on the home screen
  • Or a bespoke user experience
  • Or scrapbooking
  • Or shopping
  • The list goes on!

 

How do I find out more?

Just drop us a line and we’ll be happy to keep you informed as things progress

 

info@pugpig.com

 

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How to boost advertising revenue in your Pugpig powered app

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With the digital age of information making it harder and harder to charge for content, never has it been more important for content owners to find new and effective ways to engage readers with their advertising. We spoke with Tom Beckenham from Specle, in a Q&A session about some of the key questions our customers have in regards to boosting advertising revenue through their app.

 

Does in-app advertising really work and how do you stop it from just being an annoyance?

This is a key question across all types of applications. Consumers have now developed a sophisticated way to zone out to certain advertising and content owners have to work much harder to attract (and hold) their attention. The least effective forms of advertising are banner or in article advertising – although easy to implement and quick to generate revenue, they don’t make for a good user experience. The best place to put advertising is between articles, this is much less intrusive and similar to the layout of print, it fits in with the consumers expectation and therefore often has a longer dwell time. As long as it is placed well and in an area than can be seen, users will better engage with ads and not just write them off. To answer the question ‘Does it really work?’, we’re yet to see. There is lots of evidence that digital publications are read in similar way to print and therefore creating ads between articles, which are designed for a particular device and go edge to edge, is likely to be most effective. Full page interstitials which offer a beautiful interactive experience definitely help to better engage an audience – dwell time is much longer. One thing which is very distracting is letterbox advertising, this doesn’t seem to work very well and dwell times are very low.

 

Interactive advertising is absolutely the most engaging way for advertisers to advertise; second best is getting an ad which is designed for device and goes edge to edge, from a user experience point of view, this is very effective.

 

What are the most successful ad formats for publishers right now?

I suppose this is linked to the last question. Full screen ads are much more successful than banner ads – I think we’re almost programmed now to ignore banner ads, but I don’t have a huge amount of evidence to support that theory other than through customer feedback. When you’re publishing in an edition-based format, publishers still prefer to offer an edition-based advertising experience as it echoes the print format.

 

The placement of advertising is at a really critical point – moving away from a flatplan model and using a more rotational model is definitely the way to go. Less readers are reading content in a linear way now, they are moving around a lot more, meaning that if an ad is in page 20 of the publication but your reader jumps from page 6 to page 30, the ad will be missed. There’s a lot to be said for taking some of the online models of advertising and applying them to these editions (but making sure to use full screen ads). We’re even starting to see full screen ads on web now, in image galleries and in apple formats. There is certainly lots more to come here – I think we will see more and more full screen ads, because you can charge a lot more because it’s more effective. So we will see a lot more of these.

 

How long do you see it taking before all app activity will be bought on a programmatic basis?

Not long. I think it is very close. Publishers should be able to get to the point where they’re producing content, inserting some sort of code and only selling premium advertising – because there is just too much content and too much advertising for it all to be done manually. One of the issues we have with programmatic is doing it live – what we are looking at is how we can actually get ads downloaded in advance so users aren’t swiping past blank pages. This is a challenge right now as the user is generally not sitting on a page, they tend to be navigating and browsing. The Telegraph have been looking at this recently and have got to the stage where their full page interstitials just need to be pre-requested ‘x’ amount of pages before they come into view, to make sure latency isn’t an issue. And for times when a user has bandwidth issues, they have written in several redundancy methods to show a backup type of advert – meaning that the user will never see a blank screen. Programmatic advertising is absolutely the way almost everything will go before the end of this year. Standard IAB formats such as leaderboard and mpu are already majority traded in programmatic and full page interstitials will be added to this list. However, there will always be a place for hi-end custom build ads for branding and engagement purposes which can’t be achieved on a programmatic model.

 

Click here to see the full webinar or for more information about how you can integrate Specle advertising within your Pugpig powered app contact info@pugpig.com.


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Now supporting Urban Airships latest SDK versions – lots of new features now available

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We have recently updated our Urban Airship module and documentation so you can now upgrade to use their latest SDK version 6.0.2 on iOS. This version, which launched in Spring, includes a bunch of new push related features which will work out of the box in Pugpig app containers. Features you can start to take advantage of include:

 

  • in-app messaging – offering banner notifications that appear inside of your app and target all your users, not just the ones that have opted in for push notifications
  • out-of-the-box segments – offering more ways segment push in their dashboard e.g by location, in addition to Pugpig specific segments we have already added
  • lifecycle push – enabling you to set lifecycle triggers and plan push messages alongside this
  • HTML Landing pages – offering more freedom over the messaging you deliver via push and help increase engagement and response rates

For more information, see Urban Airship’s release notes and refer to our Pugpig Documentation for instructions on adding to your Pugpig applications.

 

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