“A new survey by the Pew Research Center released Monday found more than a quarter of all American adults read news on their mobile.” –Pew research
This headline from the March 3rd edition of MobileMarketing Daily caught our attention. The headline is taken from the recently release Understanding The Participatory Newspaper Consumer which is a deep analysis of the publishing ecosystem. From our perspective as a mobile publishing company the most encouraging news for publishers is the degree to which younger readers – the readers newspaper publisher need to bring into their franchise – are using their mobile devices to access news and information where and when they want. This table taken from the study confirms that younger adults are much more likely to access news and information on their mobile than older adults – 43% adults under 50 expect to find at least some of news and information that they need on their mobiles.
We are not surprised by the importance of mobile as a trusted source of news and information for younger adults. The iPhone apps we have built for our publishing clients continue to drive double digit growth in new subscribers and page views. As important, app publishers are experiencing month over month growth in average number of articles read. This tells us that iPhone app subscribers have quickly adapted newspapers to fit their reading habits – they no longer need to be in front of the paper or online editions to access the news they want when they want it We expect to continued growth in on demand newspaper as more and more adults move to app enabled phones.
We remind our publishing clients that Apple app editions deliver a young readership – almost half of whom are under the age of 34 according to AdMob research.– and that these apps are the pipeline to their future franchise.
When most of us think of Apple app editions, we usually think of the iPhone as the most likely delivery device. But as Flurry research shows, the iTouch now delivers 41% of all Apple app user sessions
AdMob data above clearly demonstrates that the iTouch user profile is very different from the iPhone user profile – three quarters of iTouch users are below the age of 18 vv 15% of iPhone users. We believe that the iTouch cohort is of vital importance to publishers for two reasons.
1) Because they can and do access the App Store just as easily as iPhone users, they are a captive audience for news and information relevant to them
2) They are now locked in to satisfying their information and entertainment needs with proprietary Apple hardware and software. As they mature, the migration to the iPhone and iPad will be a natural and seamless progression for them.
January’s Admob report came out and there were some very interesting statistics that were released around app usage and user purchasing habits. Some of the more compelling statistics are:
- iPod touch owners download an average of 12 applications a month, 37 percent more than iPhone and Android users who download approximately nine new apps. webOS users downloaded an average of six applications per month.
- iPod touch users spent an average of 100 minutes per day using applications. webOS users spent an average of 87 minutes per day, followed by Android users at 80 minutes and iPhone users at 79 minutes per day.
- iPhone represented 47 percent of US smartphone usage in AdMob’s network in January 2010, followed by Android, RIM and webOS devices at 39, seven, and three percent, respectively.
The most interesting statistic as it relates to newspapers and potential paid application was that:
- iPhone users continue to download more paid applications, with 50 percent of users purchasing at least one paid application a month compared to 21 percent of Android users.
What does this mean to publishers? Well it could mean that if you are looking to build apps for every platform it may make sense putting more emphasis on the iPhone. You can create a pretty basic Android app that simply reads the news, not invest a lot of money into it and give it away for free. However, on the iPhone if you invest more time and money on rich features you will see a greater return as users will be willing to pay for your application.
These finding make a lot of sense given the recent news from The Guardian. If the Guardian can charge $3.99 for their app and still get over 100,000 downloads in just 2 months, why can’t you? Running a trial with paid apps may make sense on the iPhone, at least for a short while to analyze acquisition rates.
Admob, which was recently acquired by Google is always a great place to get useful stats on the mobile landscape. Marketers looking to understand the viability of a new smartphone platform in terms of potential ad revenue should always keep the Admob numbers in mind. I do have my questions about the validity of the Admob numbers. Nearly all of the ads it serves to smartphones are centered around Android and especially the iPhone. Therefore it doesn’t give the greatest all-around snapshot of the mobile landscape. Still, it provides insight into the long-term given the fact that smartphones such as Android and the iPhone represent the future of mobile devices and especially the future of the mobile Web and how to monetize it.
This months stats pointed out two very interesting items. Firstly, they noted that iPod touch numbers doubled after Christmas morning. This is to be expected (it also happened last year), but what are the implications? Publishers should understand that when building an application they must keep in mind the regularly offline iPod touch users. Spreed takes this into consideration when developing apps with our offline reading mode feature. All content is downloaded into the device when it has connectivity and reports usage back to the server when it reaches its next connection point. This means that iPod touch users (an increasingly growing market) can still use the app, download the content when in their Wi-fi network and read it on the go.
The second notable stat from this months report is that the iPhone accounted for 54% of all smartphone requests. Although it is important to take into consideration a multiple platform advertising strategy, it is clear that the iPhone is currently the best platform for displaying and seeing a return on your investment.
December 2009 Mobile Metrics Report
Today we released the December edition of our Mobile Metrics report, our monthly look at the data flowing through our network. This month we look at several key metrics including manufacturer share, operating system share, top devices, and top smartphones for each region in our network. At a glance, the data shows large regional differences in the devices that are accessing the mobile web.
In the past few months we have seen some major moves in the mobile advertising industry by two of the biggest tech titans. In November Google acquired mobile ad network Admob for a reported $750-million in stock and in January Apple acquired another major mobile ad network Quattro wireless for close to $300-million. Now a Business Week article has been released stating that sources close to Steve Jobs say he is planning big things for Quattro. According to these source Mr. Jobs is planning to “revolutionize the mobile advertising industry”.
If any of you have used Admob before you will know that the majority of the ads that are served up on their network are pretty much replicas of traditional online banner ads and in most cases not well targeted and un-actionable. Mr. Jobs see’s this hole and knows the true powers of both mobile and more specifically the iPhone. Mobile advertising has the potential to be much more valuable than web based advertising both to end-users and brands. Instead of simply serving up two-dimensional banner ads that click to a mobile website, Jobs see’s the potential of utilizing the vast functionality of these smart phones to engage end-users.
Take this scenario for example. A user is checking their Yahoo Fantasy Sports app on the iPhone during Football Sunday. The phone knows which app is being used when and knows to serve up a Domino’s Pizza ad. The ad shows the latest deals from Domino’s and then lets the end-user make a call directly from the ad. The user is also then able to download a coupon from the ad directly into their phone’s photo gallery so that when the delivery boy arrives at the door they can redeem their discount. In cases like these the advertisement is adding loads of value to the end user and because they are so engaged the brand (Domino’s in this case) is happy.
Spreed believes in this methodology and is actively building these types of ads for our publishers’ advertising partners. In addition our ad platform has advanced targeting capabilities. Because we analyze every action that goes on within our apps we can begin profiling users and serving them the right ads at the right time.
These are very early days for the mobile advertising industry, however we believe, just like Steve Jobs, that this industry needs to go a lot further than simply pushing a random banner ad to an unknown end user.