I’ve heard this question asked a few times, and it is a pretty fair question. Should I invest my limited resources to a mobile website or an app? The debate is a complicated one.
Mobile optimized websites offer different looks, functionality, and content based on what device is viewing them. Many companies seem to treat mobile websites as “lite” versions of their desktop pages. They have less links, but are still hopefully filled with content.
Mobile applications on the other hand can allow more integrated experiences, offering compatibility with smartphone cameras and information on the phone. They are platform specific, but not necessarily device specific.
The answer to which you should invest in relies on what your needs are. If you aim to deliver steady content to your users, a mobile website is the obvious choice for its ability to be steadily updated. Entertainment businesses on the other hand will likely find applications advantageous because you can control the interface more fully.
Rohit Singhal from Designer Fix has a list of positives and negatives, but a quick look at the trend in your specific market will likely help guide you toward the best choice.