Posts tagged '3G'

Mobile app advertising significantly drains battery power

It is true that those ads that show up on mobile applications will drain the juice out of a smartphone or other mobile device battery in a big way. Flashy ads that are full of animation and data will also use up a lot of a limited data plan. In addition, those “free” applications are not so free when they are supported by constant, animated and annoying ads.

The surprising news for many applications users is that the visible advertising is not the only thing that eats up the battery. Analytics, user tracking and smartphone data grabbing also goes on. Sometimes the other actions use up more battery power than the application itself.

The alternative should be to pay for the application in exchange for an ad free experience, but some developers are going for more income by selling applications and loading them up with ads, data grabbing or analytic operations, too. 

In one of the most infuriating cases, Rovio has stubbornly refused to charge a fee for an ad free version their insanely popular “Angry Birds” game application. Then Rovio developed a bad habit of placing ads in a way that interfered with playing the game. Worse, the game had differing game “physics” that required a player to try the same moves again and again in order to pass a single level. Each time, a new advertisement loaded up, driving the number of ad loads and other actions up to the stratosphere.

Smart users simply dumped the game from their mobile devices and opted to play it for free and without ads in other venues.

CMS Wire report on a study done at purdue University in Indiana titled, that 65 to 75% of the battery drain associated with certain applications can be caused by third party ads alone.

With Angry Birds as an example, the actual game took only 18% of the battery usage. The ads took a whopping 45% for the ad display, analytics and other ad related tasks. Free Chess, another analyzed game, used 50% of the apps energy drain to service the ads.

Of the power that ads use, the “3G Tail” is the main culprit. The 3G Tail involves,

Communication done between the app and the ad server in refreshing the ad and targeting the ad based on demographic and location, among other things.

Using eprof to monitor app power use on an HTC Passion running Android 2.3, the researchers made a few discoveries. In a study of the data aggregator Flurry consumes 45 percent of the app’s energy tracking the user’s location and serving ads to the app. But of that 45 percent, uploading the information and downloading the ads over 3G was only a 2KB transaction, taking 1 percent of the app’s energy.


March 29th, 2012

The Indian Web and Mobile Markets by the numbers

(excerpted from GigaOm Pro article at

Katie Fehrenbacher with Gigaom is traveling with Geeks on a Plane in India. She writes following stats provided by Google CEO Rajan Anandan to the Geeks on a Plane group :

Rajan Anandan on Indian internet scene : “We’re probably in 1996 in the U.S. in terms of the Internet market in India.”

Here’s the stats from Anandan’s deck. India has:

  • 1.2 billion people
  • The 9th largest economy in the world, with $1.7 trillion GDP
  • 600 million people below the age of 25
  • 22 languages
  • 250 million in the consuming class — these are the folks that buy e-commerce
  • 900 million mobile accounts, with 600 million unique mobile subscribers (many people have more than one account)
  • 30 million PCs — it’ll be a mobile broadband world
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) is $3
  • 100 million Internet users, and 120 million Internet users by the end of 2011
  • By 2015 there will be 300 million to 400 million Internet users
  • 37 percent of Internet users access the web from home, 27 percent from an Internet cafe, 22 percent from an office, 3 percent from school
  • There are 50 million mobile data subscribers
  • 5 million access Internet only on the phone
  • In 2010/2011 e-commerce emerged as a $7 billion market, with $6 billion of that going to online travel
  • By 2015 the e-commerce market is expected to be $40 billion
  • 67 percent of e-commerce customers by electronics and cell phones. 18 percent buy apparel.
  • 15 million 3G mobile subscribers
  • Broadband is 250 kbps to 500 kpbs fixed line
  • The use of smart phones will grow 52 percent CAGR
  • There are 37 million Facebook users
  • Google Plus use is bigger than Twitter use
  • 23 million unique users on YouTube India
  • There will be $1.3 trillion in online ad spend in 2011
  • The English Internet will not scale beyond 200 million, says Anandan
  • 159 million read Hindi newspapers and 31 million read English newspapers
  • There will be a massive tsunami toward vernacular content on the web, says Anandan
  • 70 percent of non-travel e-commerce is “cash on delivery” (no online payments, buyers pay cash when goods are delivered)
  • This cash on delivery market has a 30 percent return rate
  • Web 1.0 and 2.0 are happening at the same time in India, says Anandan.

Some Internet sites that have found success in India:

Thanks to Gigaom for the above post.

December 14th, 2011

E-Readers Help Spread Literacy, No Apps Needed

We often talk about the power of the Internet to spread knowledge and information globally, to make digital content accessible and affordable. But as we’re also often caught up in the “latest and greatest” gadgetry, sometimes we overlook that broad promise of global education and accessibility.

Such is the case, one might argue, with the news three weeks back from Common Sense Media about the so-called “app gap” — the disparity between children in low-income and higher income families and their access to mobile applications.

There’s little denying that the popularity of mobile devices — Androids and iPhones and tablets — has afforded a concurrent explosion in exciting new educational apps. The touchscreen screens, the accelerometers, the size, and the portability of these devices has enabled whole new genres of software and of imaginative and educational gameplay.

But if we focus on the “app gap” — those who have iPads and those who do not — are we ignoring or obscuring other aspects of the digital divide? Are we overlooking the potential for wide spread dissemination of and access to information by rushing to prioritize that information bundled in the shiniest new package?

While many schools in the U.S. are rushing to embrace iPads, other types of e-readers haven’t been widely adopted — even though they cost less and display digital textbooks, which is one of the rationales for transitioning from print books to tablets. But a non-profit organization called Worldreader is demonstrating how utterly transformative e-readers can actually be, even without apps and videos.

Worldreader distributes Kindle devices to students in sub-Saharan Africa. The devices are pre-loaded with e-books — some 63,000 e-books all told have been distributed through the program (including the recent addition to the Worldreader catalog of several of the best-known titles by children’s author Roald Dahl).

The e-readers offer a huge advantage over their printed counterparts. There’s the ability to put an entire library onto one device. A child can be given the e-reader at school and that device can be circulated throughout her or his family or village. There’s the ability to distribute those devices to the most remote villages without additional shipping costs of thousands of titles. Plus, the cost of e-readers continue to fall. Furthermore, there are thousands upon thousands of titles available for free.

While e-readers don’t have all the apps and features of tablets, they do contain some. They all include dictionaries. They often have 3G or WiFi capabilities. They have Web browsers. And they allow for the subscription to other news forms — magazines, newspapers, and newsletters for example. These devices also tend to have extraordinarily good battery life, which is necessary in regions that don’t have reliable electricity.

Literacy is one of the most important drivers of economic growth. Rather than concern over the “app gap” — over who has access to iPads and who doesn’t — Worldreader highlights how the discussions around access to the Internet and to digital content still needs to address some of the more fundamental “haves and have-nots.”

(This article was first written by Audrey Watters)

November 14th, 2011

State of e-Commerce in India

Indian ecommerce industry has certainly crossed the inflection point, from where growth is inevitably exponential. Increasing faith of investors, rampant consumerism, increasing disposable income, great internal consumption story and increasing comfort of people with online medium would drive the ecommerce to prosperity. Sharing his opinion on various dimensions of ecommerce businesses in India including recent bubble and eBay’s position in the ecosystem. In an exclusive interaction with Iamwire, Muralikrishnan said that the current hype and bubble surrounding Indian eCommerce industry is really unfortunate, there are many companies out there which do not have any significant differentiators but have attracted large funds and are literally flitting away money on internet marketing in global as well as domestic market.

As per Murali, the market is anywhere about 0.4 to 0.5 billion (excluding online ticketing) which is still nascent. However, it is interesting to see the enormous growth rate and moreover I would say Indian eCommerce is at an inflection point. At present it is at point from where growth rate is inevitably exponential. It is happening because of multiple factors – on one hand organization like eBay which has been consistently evangelizing and marketing the concept of eCommerce to the consumers. Earlier, people were worried about shopping online, however now with fundamental solutions like PaisaPay and eBay Guarantee, consumers are experiencing secure online transaction. On the other hand, consumer’s increasing comfort in using the credit cards online along with forward looking policy of government (especially RBI) for facilitating secure transaction are driving the consumer’s faith in eCommerce and online retail.

A lot of start ups are getting funded because people including investors are convinced that eCommerce is a big viable alternative to offline retail, this growth potential led to exuberance in terms of investment. However, candidly speaking, there is a certain amount of hype with ongoing investments in eCommerce. In fact, investments are going on sans a focus on building sustainable business model. Entrepreneurs are not working out to create differentiators. They believe providing products at a cheaper rate with the lot of funds splurged on the marketing would give them profitable business. I believe sustainable business cannot be built in this way. I think, business based on sustainable competitive advantages would thrive and survive in a long run.

Two new and innovative trends that are driving and which will be the main pillars of the Indian digital ecosystem in next few years to come are social networking and mobile.

One of the most interesting success stories in user stickiness in Indian eCommerce space has been seen with rapid growth of Facebook. In India, Facebook have 30 million users. Social media is bringing lot of people across demographics and geographies with engagement we have never seen before. The emerging markets globally including India are at forefront of adopting social network as a medium of engagement. And what social networking has done to the companies like us that it open up the platform to reach out and engage with consumers in an active manner.

The second part is mobile – there are multiple trends we have been witnessing on mobile front. The reduction of prices of entry level smart phones (especially android enabled smart phones). With 3G network people are getting better quality mobile data network. All these landmarks have led to increasing usage of mobile internet. I think in the near future mobile internet would trigger the concept of mobile payments. In fact, the Indian Government is starting to use mobile payments for Mobile Inclusion.

(For full interview click here)

October 7th, 2011

Reasons why hospitals should buy tablets for physicians

With 3G already in place and tablets taking over the world, buying physicians at your hospital an iPad may seem like an expensive way to solve workflow problems, but it has paid off in the west and so can pay off in Indian hospitals and other health care organisations the world over.

Here are a few of his reasons why:

Speed: To stay ahead of the competitive curve: If hospitals want to be counted among the top 10 healthcare institutions for the hi-tech worthiness. The technology would help in real-time data delivery instead of having prescriptions first on papers and then waiting for long to be transfered to systems.

Controlled development: Hospitals can keep a control on the systems used by them. They can have a  team that creates a mobile electronic health record, and other in-house apps to fulfill exact requirements of doctors.

Maintenance, device control: Having to support and maintain multiple platforms and unregulated apps are two of the headaches that can be avoided by purchasing the iPads outright. IT departments can have a set configuration for every machine, and be able to have standard remote wipe, log-ins, screen shut-down times and other security protocols. Updates and upgrades will also be far simpler to manage on devices.

Cost savings: While the $600-plus price tag for each device may seem hefty, it’s less than a PC or laptop. “The PC avoidance costs alone are enough to pay for [the iPads],”. And that’s significantly less than other medical instruments that physicians carry with them each day.

Two years back too, I had written a post on how wimax and mobile communications enabled ambulances are creating waves in Europe. Now all that is possible along with tablets integration in and our of ambulance vehicles and hospitals.

All of the above  doesn’t count the “hours per day” that physicians would be saving in documentation and administrative time and gues how many more lives could be saved or given treatment in time.

What are your thoughts on this?

August 18th, 2011

Mobile Web and Mobile Apps: Not an Either/or Proposition

More than 2 years back, I had written a small post on our old blog about how companies are in dilemma about whether to create an app or a wap site for their clients in India. I had advised them to create an app (due to bandwidth issues in India for the short term) but also to create a wapsite to serve their clients in India over long term.

Day before yesterday, after almost two years, I came across a report by the largest global Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on the same topic. So, for next few days, every day, our readers will get some of both – excerpts from CellStrat’s latest Mobile Apps Innovation Research Report as well as the ‘s report. We would appreciate if our readers can also share their thoughts and views on our posts.

When the Apple iPhone was released in June of 2007, it ushered in an era of excitement towards all of the innovative thingsthat an “app” could do. The app, a simple piece of software downloaded onto a phone, took the device beyond talk, text and utilities like email, to higher levels of consumer engagement that came along with sophisticated graphics, video, mapping capabilities and social networking integration. For marketers, the app was an incredible attention-getting device: just having one was PR worthy, and it made mobile marketing tangible to CMOs and CEOs.

In CellStrat research, when we asked many top management people from various app development companies, marketers and users, the factors due to which they believed apps were more successful than mobile wap sites, we got following graph.

In contrast, phones had “browsers” capable of accessing the web, but due to painfully slow access speeds and a multiplicity of device formats, content appeared less than optimal. They accessed sites built for computer-based browsers, and content could appear unreadable or ajumbled mess that reflected poorly on a brand.

But in just four short years, the mobile smartphone world exploded and Apple became one of four major platforms that sold/enabled download of apps. As of June there are now billions of apps downloaded per year and over425,000 individual apps available in the Apple App store and 200,000 for Android devices. In parallel, access speeds to the mobile web increased (3G, the rough equivalent of broadband, is now the standard for smartphones and 4G is growing in adoption), and mobile web browsers themselves have gotten more sophisticated. Global mobile web traffic, according to sources like Morgan Stanley and Gartner is expected to exceed wired web traffic by 2013. Many companies have realized that having a mobile web optimized site (or landing page fora campaign or sub-brand) was no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity akin to registering the right URL at the end of the ‘90s.

Tomorrow, readers would get a post on how Mobile Apps & Mobile Web are complementary to each other.

(Source Excerpted from MMA’s report on Mobile Web and Mobile Apps & chart from CellStrat’s Mobile Apps Innovation Research Report)

August 12th, 2011

Event Roundup from Mobile Apps Conclave, Bangalore

Mobile Apps Conclave – the conference organized by CellStrat concluded successfully on 29th April, ‘11 at The Chancery Pavilion Hotel, Bangalore. The Conference saw tremendous interest with a large no of audience from all over India. The star-studded speaker lineup and intuitive content on Mobile Apps and Web fueled interest in this event. The theme for this event was : “The Mobile Web Disruption – Life, Media and Business get Appified”.

In addition to Bangalore, audience came from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai, both from brands and senior management of companies as well as the developer community.

More than 200 blue-chip audience participated in this event on the hottest topic in modern times – Mobile Apps, App Stores and the Mobile Internet. Most brands, mobile device manufacturers, app store and app development firms were present to learn about the Business of Mobile Apps and Web.

Details of the event and photographs are available at

Event Brief :
The Mobile Web – the new name of Growth around the world. Mobile Internet Tsunami – as many refer to it.

Mobile is the industry of this decade. Mobile has taken world by storm. The feature phone growth is fast evolving into smartphone growth driven by the emergence and popularity of The Mobile Web and those tiny ubiquitous Apps – hundreds of thousands of them literally. Mobile Web is upending so many industries, it is breathtaking to say the least. Many of these businesses are succumbing to the trend which the venerable firm Apple started – businesses like news and media, advertising, gaming, productivity, publishing, telecom, entertainment, commerce, financial services or healthcare..the list goes on and on. Whoever you are, wherever you are – either have an App and Mobile Media strategy or be prepared to loose substantial traction in the marketplace – because, indeed, your customers are App savvy even if you are not.

You are on the road and want to check nearby promotions, there are many apps for that; you want to track your supply chain, many apps for that too; track Social Network updates; many apps there as well; there is even an app for Confessing to God. Apps are orchestrating the growth in intelligent smartphones; next playground is Tablet followed by Computers. Are you ready for the brave New World of Mobile and Mobile Tablets ? Are you ready for the Mobile Web revolution ?

Conference Sessions :
Here are some notes from the Keynotes and Panels that transpired at this event.

In the morning session, there was an intuitive keynote by Pratapa Bernard, Vice President and Head – COE – Data Services (Emerging Markets) at Vodafone. He addressed the impact of the Mobile Web and Apps on the modern consumer and businesses. He mentioned the imperative need to focus on user experience and not technology itself citing the example of Apple etc. He went on to say that 80% of internet access in India in 2015 will be from mobile devices.

Next came a panel on “Mobile Apps go mainstream – Content, Engagement and Lifestyle on Mobile Apps”. This panel discussed the Mobile App revolution and how Content and Entertainment is being delivered via Apps. The panel speakers included Rajiv Kumar (CEO – RockeTalk), Deepak Swamy (Head – Flypp App Store, Infosys), Sanjay Bhasin (VP-Getit Info Services), Vikram Tanna (VP – STAR Digital), Rajesh Reddy (CEO, July Systems) and Narasimha Suresh (CEO – TELiBrahma). This panel focussed on App monetization and how developers are finding it a challenge to monetize their apps. This panel also discussed the need to “Indianize” the Western business models, cost structures as well as offerings to make them work in India. On HTML5, the panel members said this new standard will be big against Mobile apps but the “when” is not clear yet.

After the first panel, there was an interesting keynote by InMobi (top Mobile Advertising firm) executive Sridhar Ranganathan (VP-Product Management) on how market pressures are forcing firms like InMobi to push the boundaries of creativity with immersive advertising and the need to think of Mobile Ads like mini-apps. He mentioned the need to un-learn the PC and focus on Mobile as a separate experience.

In the afternoon session, there was an innovative keynote by Sunny Rao, MD – India and APAC of Nuance Communications. Sunny spoke about some of the innovations in Mobile Web world surrounding Speech Technology, Voice-based Social Networking and automotive vehicles as mobile channels. Sunny’s keynote was followed by an interesting panel on innovations in Mobile Apps and Mobile Web. This panel had some true Mobile innovators in Amiya Pathak of ZipDial, Kalyan Manyam of MojoStreet, Indus Khaitan of Bitzer Mobile and Soumitra Sharma of IDG Ventures. This panel discussed specialized vertical Apps which are popping up in industries like Payments and Commerce, Social Gaming, Healthcare and Education.

The Mobile Innovations panel was followed by a Startup showcase where Sriram Mohan, Associate Editor at helped introduce some startups which are creating innovative business models in the Mobile App ecosystem.

The last (but not the least) panel was on Emerging Devices and Tablets. Advent of Apple iPad has opened a whole new world of possibilities and truly heralds a world of post-PC era. Prabha Aithal, CTO at CanvasM moderated a panel of speakers which included Alap Ghosh of Mobango (App Store), Pradeep Rao of Research in Motion, Ashish Gupta of Helion Ventures and Dr Sharad Jaiswal of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. This panel discussed the impact that the tablet and emerging devices are having on the ecosystem. Emerging Devices is a hot new area and is seeing digitization of content at a blistering pace from a variety of industry verticals like publishing, entertainment, retail, media etc..

Conference Partners :
Overall, it was an action-packed conference with active participation from speakers and audience. Partners included Presentation Sharing Partner authorSTREAM on which the presentations by CellStrat, event speakers, exhibitors and partners can be found. The Mobile App Partner, Hazel Media provided an event app for this conference. Whereas the Mobility Partner, MobiVite published a Mobile WAP site for the same.

InMobi was the Platinum Sponsor for this event. AgileCO was the Gold Sponsor. Other supporters included partners like MOMO Bangalore, The Morpheus and Indian Angel Network (IAN). Media Partners include the online media firm and TelecomLead. was a Premium Partner for this event and it provided online media visibility as well as Anchor support for the event.

Mobile Solutions Expo :
This conference also saw an interesting exhibition on Mobile Solutions where some innovative app companies exhibited their apps and solutions. This Expo dazzled the audience with some interesting apps and solutions in the Mobile space. The exhibitors included WINIT, Nanostuffs, RockeTalk, Bitstream, Softtrends, MobiVite and some others.

For photos and other details from the event, check the event website at :

Shyam Kamadolli (Director – Fidelity Growth Partners India) was one of the attendees and has some intuitive notes from this conference on his blog :

May 16th, 2011

TV Everywhere – access Video and Movies on the go

I recently attended a TV Everywhere session where there was a discussion on the evolution of the Television and Video industry with the advent of IPTV and Mobile access devices.

Clearly, TV Everywhere is a a huge trend and there are many factors driving this trend :

  • Broadband

Today one sees DSL and Cable Modems have replaced the erstwhile Dial-ups. The 312 KBPS+ bandwidth running upto 50 MBPS for high end Cable modems in advanced economies (speeds in India top out at 1.5 to 3 MBPS etc for most providers) is enabling the ability to access high-speed graphics, video and gaming content from home and work computers.

Firms like Netflix in the US and Canada have figured out compelling business models to stream movies over the internet and are threatning the traditional movie rental business and regular cable television.

India’s broadband penetration rate is woefully small and speeds are still on low end of the spectrum, so Live TV Streaming in India is still a very niche industry. However with the expected surge in internet penetration expected over the next decade (some estimates put India’s internet penetration at 30% households in next few years), the IPTV and online TV streaming is expected to surge. Firms like which have led the online DVD rental business in India (India’s Netflix) will likely evolve into movie streaming firms as India’s broadband penetration takes hold, similar to what Netflix has done in the United States.

  • Mobile Connectivity

Broadband sticks and Laptop connect cards (offered by most carriers) enable the laptops and tablets to be wirelessly connected over a reasonably fast GPRS/UMTS/3G network – with the advent of 3G in India, this pattern is sure to accelerate.

Consumers today are demanding YouTube and Cricket streaming video from their laptops, smartphones and tablets. Content providers and distributors have to oblige if they hope to keep these consumers engaged and commercially viable.

For India, Mobile is specially important as it has close to 800 million Mobile Subscribers already. Granted that more than 90% of these are carrying feature phones and using the 2G/2.5G networks, smartphone penetration rate is accelerating and wireless tablets are being introduced as well by a variety of handset firms. Between the smartphones, tablets and 3G, one is looking at increasing Mobile Video and TV access over the airwaves in the coming years.

  • Consumer behaviour

As mentioned above, Consumer is the King. With proliferation of devices around the home and on the go, plus busy urban lifestyles, consumers are demanding DVR recording capabilities as well as anywhere, anytime access to their favorite programs. A common trend in many households, which have acquired the new tablets like iPad, is that as soon as the first tablet arrives, members of the household including parents and kids make a grab for it and want to curl up in the bed with their favorite channels on YouTube, Netflix or other streaming services.

TV Everywhere is a developing trend and is being demanded by the consumer. Entertainment and Media industry are happy to oblige – to drive new revenue growth and keep the customers engaged with the brands.

What are the prominent TV and Video Streaming services in India :

  • CNN-IBN Live : TV Portal as well as Live TV
  • NDTV 24×7 : TV Portal as well as Live TV
  • : Has a Video Social Network (not live streaming generally)
  • CNBC TV18 / : Business news streaming
  • : Video Portal (not live streaming) – has lot of Cricket coverage for World Cup and IPL
  • YouTube / : streaming ICC World Cup as well as IPL cricket matches
  • : currently it’s website is not accessible (so not clear on it’s status)

April 16th, 2011

Does Mobile Web fit your Integrated Media Strategy ?

Mobile Apps and Web have taken the world by storm. Certainly, Apple deserves credit for orchestrating the Mobile Web experience when it created the iPhone and its App Store. In the process, Apple unleashed the creative energy of hundreds of thousands of Mobile developers worldwide. As of last count, Apple App Store counts 350,000 Apps in the store. With the launch of the iPad tablet, Apple popularized the Tablet computer category and now lot of developers are developing Apps for the Tablet version. Tablet has started what most refer to as the post-PC era. Certainly firms like Microsoft, HP and Intel are in lot of trouble as many consumers and businesses are going the Tablet way instead of upgrading or buying regular PCs and laptops. Now Apple is trying to bring the App experience with its launch of the MAC App Store.

Mobile Web is the latest and greatest Media channel today. It is a most apt media channel for a variety of reasons which we will explain a little later in this post.

Are the various Media firms and Brand Marketers prepared to adjust to this titanic shift of Mobile-based Media ? Do Mobile Apps and Web even belong in a firm’s Integrated Media portfolio ? We will attempt to answer these questions below.

Today media consists of various channels :

Media Channels

 How does Mobile Web fit in this scheme ? The schematic below elaborates the various Digital and Mobile Advertising formats :

Digital Media Channels 

 Consider this (taking Indian context here) :

  • There are 770 million Mobile Subscriptions today (out of a total population of 1.2 billion people) – granted only 550 million are Active Mobile Subscribers : still almost 45% of Indian population are active Mobile Subscribers
  • India has less than 10% internet penetration
  • Mobile is the first and only communications tool for most Rural and Semi-Urban Audience in India
  • Mobile is personal, has context, is location-aware and is always ON
  • Admittedly 90% of Indian mobile market is comprised of feature phones, leading to SMS as the dominant marketing channel in India. But the fastest growth rate is now seen in Smartphone uptake – with acceleration in sales of cheaper smartphones from the likes of MicroMax, Lava etc in addition to established Brands like Nokia, Samsung etc. Mobile Web is now proliferating throughout the Indian consumer class much more rapidly than the feature phone growth.
  • The 3G launches this year will only accelerate the move to Broadband Mobile Services (think Mobile Web with much superior user experience and faster speeds)
  • The post-PC era may have started with Tablets taking over the role of laptops and computers. Many leading businesses and business execs are using tablets for business travel instead of their laptops now.
  • Print Media and Book Publishers are rapidly shifting en masse to Mobile Apps and Mobile eReaders as the delivery channel.
  • People are increasingly consuming media, content and advertising on Mobile phones and tablets.

Given the above advantages – Mobile can be a top Media and Marketing Channel for any Agency or Marketer today in India, much better than the Internet at least.

Now how many Brands and Media Agencies in India have actually integrated Mobile in their portfolio ? Our research indicates that most Media Agencies and Brands in India are yet to include Mobile as a captive Media channel (more on this in our upcoming Research Report : “Mobile Apps Innovation Report for India“. Contact us for details). Though many firms have tried the SMS and VAS marketing route in India, the future now lies in capturing the Mobile Web and Mobile App Media market which is developing rapidly in India.

Our upcoming conference on Mobile Apps (April 29th) – the “Mobile Apps Conclave – Bangalore” will address the entire gamut of topics on Mobile Web and Mobile Apps. Do not forget to register – there are some early registration promotions going on right now.

March 7th, 2011

How to Monetize Mobile Apps ?

Mobile Apps – those tiny applications which sit on your mobile phone and provides all sorts of functionality, simplying your life and business, your connectivity, your social experience and entertaining you on the go. Mobile Apps – hundreds of thousands of them literally on various App Stores – have created a Mobile Web revolution – it is the advent of Web 3.0.

Ok – Mobile Apps are great – businesses are enamored by their potential, consumers want them, developers and brands want to make money of them. The last part is the most tricky one so far. How do you monetize Mobile Apps, most of which are either Free or sell for less than a Dollar? This remains a tough challenge for most developers or brands the world over. Here are some key insights on how one can market Mobile Apps we well as monetize them:

  • Selling Mobile Apps is (generally) not a Business in itself

What? And people think they can retire writing Mobile Apps in their basement.. The sad fact is that just creating Mobile Apps, even with all their promise,  is not a standalone Business Model. The Barrier to Entry is way too low. Any half decent developer can produce a Grocery Tracking app overnight.

Discoverability and Marketing of apps from smaller firms and developers is a difficult task. It is like saying SEO alone will make your business money, to take an analogy from the online world.

  • Relying on Advertising revenue may not be a viable strategy

Many developers and brands assume that Apps can monetize themselves using those Banner Ads or in-App Ads. Issue is mass marketing apps is challenging, especially those apps which are from smaller brands and developers; unless the App is widely popular over a long period of time (eg Facebook, NDTV or Angry Birds apps), Banner Advertising will not provide substantial revenue to make the business tick.

  • Apps are extension of your other business

The fact is that Developers and Brands need to think of Mobile Apps as an extension of their other Businesses, as an additional value they provide to their audience beyond their core business. That means, Mobile Apps are an Extension to other businesses and not a Business by themselves. Hopefully your core business is successful and Apps will serve as an additional value add or accelerator for the core business.

  • Apps and Social Media Marketing

The world of Mobile and Social Media / Digital Media has truly converged. These areas are inseparable from two angles : First – Social goes on Mobile and Mobile enables the Social Networks. Secondly, App Marketing needs to integrate with Social Media Marketing.

Social Media is probably the best way for App Developers and Brands to generate buzz about their Apps and drive downloads (or mobile website access). It is a low cost way to engage audience and create social ambassadors for spreading the word about one’s Mobile Content and Apps.

  • Apps in a Niche Market

Say you are in the business of selling Legal Content and Consulting. Your business could benefit from providing Mobile Access to your Legal Content. Another example is of that an Educational business – which puts its Educational offerings on a Mobile Channel.

The bottomline is that Apps developed for a niche market marketed by Experts in that Vertical have a higher chance of success and monetization.

  • Large Brands can use Apps as an additional Channel

Finally, Blue-chip Brands and Large Enterprises have it most easy when it comes to monetizing or leveraging Apps. These firms have strong brand name and visibility already and can easily mix Marketing of their Mobile Content into their overall marketing messaging and portals. Eg large brands can prominently display their App Download links on their highly-trafficked website and newsletters. Plus, consumers actually search for apps from these providers in various App Stores.

In summary, Large Brands can and should use Apps and Mobile Web to engage their audience further and provide additional value.

Hope this helps those who are thinking about App Monetization and App Marketing. To learn more on this, we encourage you to attend the Mobile Apps Conclave – the largest Mobile Apps Conference and Expo in India on 29th April in Bangalore, where many leading experts from India’s Mobile Industry will tackle this topic, among many others.

February 27th, 2011

Previous Posts