One of Canada’s largest media-focused app development companies Polar Mobile announced the launch of its MediaEverywhere platform today to power HTML5-based mobile websites for media companies and publishers. The company also announced The Hockey News and Canadian Living as their first clients to jump on board. The company raised $6 million earlier this year to develop the platform, having recognized that mobile and tablet media consumption was increasingly in flux from native apps to being more browser-based, with publishers needing solutions fit for both. With the new platform, content creators will be able to push out their content to all devices without having to worry about how it should be optimized for one medium over another.
Polar Mobile’s founder and CEO Kunal Gupta saw the opportunity to build an app development company when mobile was in its infancy. “We work with about 400 media brands today, and we’ve built up a great client base over the past five years. When we started, mobile apps did not exist, Apple’s App Store did not exist, Android’s platform did not exist, and I think what you’re seeing us do with MediaEverywhere is a repeat of what we did five years ago,” Gupta said in an interview. “We’ve spent a lot of time with our customers understanding their needs and businesses as well as sharing our perspectives, and to sum it up in a few words, the future of media is mobile.”
Prior to solutions like MediaEverywhere, and its competitors Pressly and OnSwipe, media companies either decided to do nothing about mobile optimization or put a great deal of resources into development for each individual platform. The new HTML5-based tool will now allow publishers and their internal development teams to build their own custom HTML5 mobile sites at a much faster pace, with the ability to customize and build user experiences optimized for their platform. Companies get access to MediaEverywhere through its software development kit (SDK), which offers a variety of built-in third-party integrations, and via a cloud-hosted backend for content distribution. It also comes fully equipped to support ad networks, and is pre-built with Google Analytics and Adobe Ominture for analytics. Gupta declined to share exact pricing for MediaEverywhere, but said they operate on a tiered pricing model.
Publishers have been hard-pressed to find the right content distribution and monetization strategies, with audiences increasingly being fragmented on a growing number of devices. The need to cater to any user on any device prompted companies like Pressly and Onswipe to make the initial push to offer their ‘built for touch’ and publish-everywhere mobile web solutions. However, Gupta believes what sets MediaEverywhere apart is the company’s history providing mobile solutions to top media brands and their focus on the industry.
“There are a lot of other HTML5 cross-platform tools to service retailers, banks, healthcare, education, government, brands, advertisers etc., but we’ve really built our solution for media companies. What that means is while other solutions may provide customers 20 percent of what they need to get started, we give them 80 percent, we give them a much better starting point to build an even better experiences,” Gupta added.
Gupta also added that as far as the argument about whether to build native apps or stick with HTML5 mobile solutions, he said it’s a pretty even split down the middle as of now. The difference between the two, he said, is that with native apps publishers can expect lower reach but higher engagement, with the opposite true for browsers, with a lot more referral traffic but visitors only reading an article or two. Regardless of whether publishers stick with Polar’s traditional native app offerings or go with MediaEverywhere’s HTML5 solution, the new platform will likely be a welcome addition for both the company’s heavyweight media clients and smaller publishers looking for a cost-effective way to have their content optimized wherever readers may find them.