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Guardian newspaper benefits from m-commerce boom

29 November 2010 - 12:01 by Mike Price

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Managing director of the Guardian newspaper, Tim Brooks, has spoken out about the way in which the widespread uptake of m-commerce has benefitted the publication.

The Guardian website already rakes in two million unique hits each day, giving it a significant lead over its other broadsheet rivals.

Now Mr Brooks has told attendees of the U Talk Marketing Digital Brands Strategy Summit, that 150,000 of the total daily hits come from users who are visiting the site from their mobile phones.

Mr Brooks went on to say that while m-commerce may account for a fraction of the page views and, consequently, a fraction of the Guardian's online revenue stream, the growth in the number of people who use their portable devices to visit the site is occurring at an exponential rate that no one had predicted.

An iPad app was launched by the Guardian earlier in the year, with a third of a million downloads already recorded since its release via Apple's safe shopping online portal iTunes. Mr Brooks said that this type of service was allowing the general public to have better access to information and commentary than ever before.

Mr Brooks was keen to point out that although the Guardian is popular on the web and via mobile devices, it is still a publication that is viewed with contempt from some quarters, but he said that the editors, writers and online team would continue to strive to produce the best possible work. This will become more important as the m-commerce market expands and provides a greater chunk of the paper's income.

The Guardian is rebooting its iPhone application in December with updates and tweaks. This comes at a time when both Richard Branson and Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch are planning to launch a pair of rival iPad-only news publications, to compete for the booming m-commerce sector that is growing thanks to the tablet market and public trust in safe shopping online.