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Publishers Debate Apps Versus Mobile Web Sites

The New York Times highlights the tension publishers feel when trying to decide whether to distribute content via apps or mobile Web sites, tying it to a somewhat exaggerated Apple-versus-Google debate. Apps tend to be better at serving loyal readers and capturing payments, but are far too expensive for many publishers. On the other hand, Web sites cost less and are essential to attract new readers, but can’t provide as good a mobile experience. (And of course, it’s not clear that most readers are even all that clear on the difference between apps and sites.) The money quote, from publisher Ann Kjellberg, is about how Google and Apple are aiming not “to support the endeavor of creative working people, but to get people addicted to their business models, their devices, or interaction with a screen.”

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