In Japan, unicorns are news applications. While the valley is focused on Flipboard and Apple News, in Japan, mobile news applications are the new unicorns of mobile, seeing massive success and hitting goals most US and European news companies only dream about. In what would be considered a stealth move, in the US, Gunosy went IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at the end of April.
Smartphones have drastically changed the way we consume news. And mobile news aggregators are the new winners of this race. But while offering an RSS feed, and in some cases, the full content without the publisher’s consent, is helpful to the end-user, it elbows news sources out of the value chain.
The latest Comscore figures reveal people are using the web less and less. Total Internet audience is stable in the US with 222 million unique monthly visitors. But from February 2013 to February 2014, the average time spent on the web per visitor went down by a scary 17 percent from 35 hours per month (2108 minutes) to 29 hours per month (1741 minutes).
In my previous post, I predict that the news industry will follow a similar trend as has digital music and digital video, evolving through a massive delinearization of content on mobile. The success of Yahoo News on the web, cumulating with the facts that six of the top 10 news applications are aggregators on Google Application Store, as are five out of the top 20 apps on US appstores, confirm this trend.
In the last ten years worldwide the music industry value chain has been fully reshuffled by iTunes and some early predecessors. In the last five years the video industry has been changing with the massive international success of YouTube. News content is next to see this scale of international change.