Audio

Anybody else feel like marketers, advertisers, and entertainment companies are desperately trying to grapple with how to use audio properly with mobile content? It's obviously important for content engagement, but it's also (obviously) crazy inconvenient on mobile.

If you're home, you're typically watching video content on your laptop. If you're traveling you're usually in a place where you can't comfortably listen to audio/video (car, train, cramped subway?..). And, when you're at the office you're probably not cranking up the volume on your phone either.

The NYTimes has put some compelling pieces together with a mix of still pictures, copy, video, and what I would call partial-audio-- quick sound effects and short phrases over closed captions.

It sort of threads together like you're watching a video, even though you're not really. It's engaging because the graphics are so strong, which makes sense. I guess the broader point is that visual aesthetics are far more important than audio, but if you're going to further mobile engagement you need to either allude to watching video or come up with a new form that's somewhere between GIFs and watching YouTube.

Brandon Cohn