StepLeader Digital, a
digital solutions provider that delivers information across mobile
technology, OTT/Smart TV applications and more, blazed past previous
mobile usage records during coverage of Hurricane Sandy and Election
The company's local news partners experienced unprecedented traffic
levels during the days surrounding Hurricane Sandy. The superstorm
nearly doubled mobile page views on mobile apps and websites compared to
average daily usage as users connected to their trusted local news
source via mobile devices.
On October 29, the day Hurricane Sandy made landfall, StepLeader local
broadcast partner, WMAR-TV
(Baltimore), experienced a 522 percent increase in mobile page view
traffic compared to an average day.
Dustin Wadsworth, WMAR-TV director of new media, shared, "We just said
that this was going to be a social and mobile event. That was our
strategy going in."
"We were expecting massive power outages, and we knew that we were the
only game in town with a mobile live stream," Wadsworth said. "We were
telling people that this app is part of your hurricane preparedness."
"What we know is that during storms, people lose power and that is why
mobile is so important," said Rich Murphy, MyFoxDC
(Fox 5) senior web producer. "As a web department and TV station, we
need to be sure that the information is displayed as well on mobile as
it is online."
MyFoxDC worked with StepLeader prior to the hurricane to develop a
special page with links to local power companies so users could easily
access information they needed on their mobile devices.
Election Day traffic doubles
November 6 now ranks as the fourth highest day in terms of page views
for StepLeader, following three days last week that were dominated by
round-the-clock coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
"Election Day traffic was nearly double a normal day's traffic;
although, we haven't seen a normal day in over a week due to Sandy,"
said Tom Rouillard, StepLeader's vice president of product strategy.
"The peak hour for our local news partners was 10 PM ET."
The 2010 elections were the first major elections since the company
(then known as News Over Wireless) launched the first iPhone app for a
local TV news station (December 2008). Rouillard said, "Our partners'
mobile page views this Election Day were up by more than 349 percent
compared to 2010, which exemplifies tremendous growth in mobile traffic."
More than 60 StepLeader partners set up mobile election results in the
weeks leading up to Election Day.
"Our mobile page views on Election Day were three times what we see in a
normal day," said John Conway, WRAL.com
StepLeader helped contribute to WRAL's stellar results by providing
strategic input on how best to optimize election-related content for
maximum user engagement and interactivity. Upon entering WRAL.com's
mobile news apps and website, the first item was an "Election Results"
folder. The folder included "Latest Returns" which provided tabular
data. The "Interactive Results Map" took users to a map developed by the
AP. "Video Central" provided relevant live feeds from WRAL and CBS.
"We expected to capture a significant amount of traffic on mobile phones
and tablets," said Conway. "Our website traffic peaked during the
workday, while mobile and tablet usage peaked in the evening when
election results start coming in."
"We were able to use StepLeader to present the best of our online
election coverage on a mobile app with little effort," said Kyle
managing editor. "Our users could get race results and updated video
According to MyFoxDC's Rich Murphy, "The big thing for us on Election
Night is that people want to know the numbers. We placed the results
very high in the mobile application so they were very prevalent."
Live video and push notifications drive mobile news usage
Live streaming video and push notifications also contributed to
increased mobile performance during these major news events. StepLeader
partners delivered hundreds of thousands of live video streams and push
notifications, sent via iOS and Android apps, reached nearly 11 million
These two events, just eight days apart, highlight the rise of the U.S.
as a "mobile nation," where nearly everyone is connected at all times to
their trusted news provider by apps, mobile web sites and push
Founded in 2005, StepLeader builds innovative digital solutions to help
publishers and advertisers create new revenue opportunities in an
ever-changing environment of mobile technology, Smart TV applications
and more. StepLeader helps publishers create a wide breadth of revenue
opportunities across multiple mobile platforms, and helps advertisers
extend their reach to more consumers with the most trusted local content
from the largest network of premium partners. The company has helped
develop and launch more than 107 live mobile apps and serves more than
200 million ads monthly. StepLeader has a proven track record of
delivering ROI for its more than 300 partners, including Scripps
Television Station Group, Fox
Television Stations, LIN
Murphy Media, and News-Press
& Gazette Company (NPG).
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