Traditional publishers are facing disruptions from all over the place, as the Internet and mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular and disrupting business models. At the App Nation conference in San Francisco Monday, representatives from ESPN, TIME and Samsung offered some interesting takes on how mainstream publishers can adapt to the new world.
“What’s most exciting is the combination of the explosion of social media and the explosion of super smartphones … this is changing everything,” said John Kosner, GM of digital media for ESPN.
In particular, Kosner was excited about the potential of these check-in services like Foursquare and Facebook Places. One could easily see the sports network using this type of app for sports venues and you know that its audiences would be more than happy to share this information.
Kosner said that even a company of ESPN’s size can’t afford to create a mobile app for each of its shows, so it may not make sense to create a Pardon the Interruption program – each app costs about $15,000 to make but it’s unclear if that’s just for individual platforms.
The ESPN representative also said he is skeptical about how much consumers are willing to pay for much content through apps. He sees much more promise in the freemium model where the mobile app, as well large deals with carriers like Sprint.
TIME echoed similar sentiments about the need to get on as many screens as possible. The company representative also intimated that it will be coming out with a product that’s similar to Flipboard, a social magazine app for the Apple iPad.
Samsung is an interesting player in this discussion, as it is quickly positioning itself to become a major distribution player. Its app store isn’t much of a force right now but the company is a major manufacturer of smartphones like the Galaxy S devices, televisions and media players. It’s upcoming Media Hub could be a strong counter to iTunes when all is said and done.
The App Nation conference is full of the latest news about these mobile programs and IntoMobile is throwing a party to help celebrate. Check this out if you’re in the San Francisco area.