One of the panels I moderated at SMX East on Monday was “mobile apps.” Among the panelists was Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow. He spoke about the apps that they’d built for the magazines 17, Runners World and Lucky. He said there are many others in the pipeline.
Then he said something that took me by surprise . . . that his company is focusing more and more of its resources on mobile app development. He also said that, in a number of cases, the magazines NearbyNow is working with have more iPhone app installs than subscribers to the print publication. Think about that: mobile, though a more fickle group perhaps, is already larger than their traditional business in terms of audience. After the session he told me privately that the publishers are monetizing the apps very successfully and already making “a ton of money” on them.
The picture he presented was very different than the “maybe next year” attitude that dominates marketers’ thinking. And this is the case of traditional media, leveraging and extending brands into mobile and making money from advertising — already.
The more traditional parts of the NearbyNow business are not moving as fast, Dunlap told me. In effect it sounds like he’s shifting direction in a significant way. I was impressed by not only NearbyNow’s response to market demand but also by the fact that these traditional media publishers “get it” and are moving quickly, contrary to stereotypes.
Here’s a video of Dunlap demonstrating a mall-specific app from NearbyNow: