More mobile devices means more social media influence, but not all publishers are taking advantage.

Today we released a report that describes how the growth of mobile devices has impacted online publishers – not just their traffic – but also how consumers are finding their content. The impact is dramatic. In the US, traffic from mobile devices has grown from 1% of all web traffic in 2009, to 18% of traffic in 2013. The trajectory in Europe is similar – mobile web grew from 1% of traffic in 2009 to 15% of traffic in 2013.

Top sites see an even higher share of mobile traffic. The top 250 US sites using Quantcast Measure saw an average of 32% of their traffic coming from mobile devices. Thirteen percent of this group were truly mobile-first – more than half of their traffic came from mobile devices.

For News and Entertainment sites, we found social media has surpassed search as the driving force for mobile referrals and in a previous post, showed how Facebook is leading the way. But News and Entertainment publishers are not experiencing this effect equally. While a quarter are seeing 50% or more of their mobile referrals from social media, about half of News and Entertainment publishers are seeing 25% or less of their mobile referrals from social media, suggesting an opportunity for growth.

What separates a News and Entertainment publisher with a high percentage of mobile social referrals from one with a lesser percentage? While there are many factors, we found significant visible differences in site content and presentation that provide some explanation – those are listed in the report. One more takeaway for publishers is the need to focus attention on mobile. With more consumers discovering and interacting with content through their mobile devices, publishers need to deliver a compelling mobile experience, whether via mobile web or mobile apps. While that’s not easy, at least measuring those growing cross-platform audiences is (see Quantcast Measure).

Download the full report here.

Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Product Marketing, Publisher Solutions, and Michael Kamprath, VP of Engineering