Archive for April, 2009

April 28th, 2009

Mobile Applications See More Traffic Than Mobile Web Sites – No Kidding

Social networking is the type of application that lends itself to frequent usage. A high percentage of young adults and teenagers check one or more (but typically one) of their social networking sites more than once a day. Sites that see repeated use are well-suited for applications on cell phones. Any brand or company thinking about high levels of engagement with their customers should probably be considering how applications fit into their mix within their mobile strategy.

FierceMobile Content had this post today:

Social networking giant MySpace reports its mobile usage increased roughly 450 percent in 2008, with users now generating 7 billion mobile page views per month. Speaking here at the Nokia Developer Summit 2009 in Monte Carlo, MySpace vice president and general manager of mobile operations John Faith added that in the last year, mobile traffic increased from 10 percent of all MySpace traffic to more than 35 percent–moreover, the company anticipates that sometime within the next few years, 50 percent of all users will access MySpace via mobile.

“We’ve seen greater user engagement in MySpace mobile applications than we have on the mobile web,” Faith said. “Smartphones are creating a culture of expectations among users.” In November 2008, MySpace announced its integrated mobile app customized for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones generated more than 400,000 downloads in its first seven days of release, an all-time high for both MySpace and RIM in terms of first-week downloads.

According to Faith, 32 percent of MySpace’s mobile page views derive from users accessing profiles–19 percent originate from users browsing photos, while another 19 percent are devoted to reading messages. By contrast, friend requests make up just 1 percent of mobile views.

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April 28th, 2009

Making Money on iPhone Applications (Stanza)

Ok, I admit that I used the word “iPhone” in the title to seek attention, but it is true. My first experiences with Stanza were on my iPhone. A friend suggested that I download the application. Free download. I often asked, “what is the business model?” Selling the technology is one possibility. The creators of Stanza have made a lot of money on an iPhone application. See release.

More seriously, it is an interesting play for Amazon. Heavy users of a service/function on a portable device – whether a PND, MP3 player, etc. – lean towards buying dedicated devices. I have a Kindle, and I love it. I have the Kindle application on my iPhone, but I don’t use it. Casual users of these services will buy and use devices that are multi-purpose. Moreover, users don’t want to worry about file formats. Lexcycle fills in some of these gaps.

Content players need distribution, content strategies and business models that span the range of portable devices. Adoption outside of laptops and cell phones is limited today, but devices such as portable media players, netbooks, etc. are filling in the space in-between. 

Mobile strategies extend beyond a cell phone presence – more so for media companies today than those in other industries.

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April 27th, 2009

One Billion Application Downloads

Last week, the number of downloads to Apple’s iPhones and iPod Touches finally topped one billion. That is an impressive number coming from approximately 30 million devices in the market. 

The word “iPhone” in the title of any newspaper article or otherwise turns heads and sells. I would offer, however, that the impact of the iPhone and its potential have been under-hyped.  I believe that the impact on the industry is comparable to that of SMS.  May not seem that way today, but it will in the course of time.

Here is a partial list of what it has accomplished so far. Apple has:

- Taught carriers that they don’t need to own the end customer experience to profit from those customers.
- Demonstrated that consumers will pay for an experience that is unique and extraordinary.  
- Shown carriers that they do well serving the average customer, but aren’t equipped to serve each segment best.
- Taught consumers how to download applications to their cell phones.
- Taught consumers that their cell phones could do more than voice calls or text messaging
- Created a platform and a business model that is truly compelling to developers.
- Taught US consumers what “3G” is and accelerated demand for it.
- Weren’t afraid to leverage their existing 60+ million billing relationships
- Shown us we don’t need “open” for a great consumer experience
- Have ever consumer brand in the country thinking they need an iPhone application

I look forward to 3.0 and its possibilities.  I don’t think enough is being said about what Apple has achieved.

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April 25th, 2009

Hello world!

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April 24th, 2009

Mobile is Changing the Lives of Your Customers

Think back to mid-nineties. How many of you had cell phones? They were more of a luxury item for most of us. Towards the end of the nineties they became a nice-to-have. Now, if you walk out the door and you don’t have your phone, you go back inside and get it.

In the mean time, cell phones have become pervasive in regions around the world where no one thought the economics would make sense. When I visited western Kenya in 1996, I met some Masai warriors – a group of nomads living much as they did 200 years ago. They have herds of cows and goats. They live in huts with no running water or electricity.

When I returned 10 years later in 2006 (and took this photo), they were still living in huts without running water or electricity. However, they all had cell phones and were using them to make phone calls, send text messages, etc.

Cell phones are no longer used simply for talking or texting in Africa let alone in the US, Asia and Europe where we have access to high speed wireless networks and affordable data plans. Cell phones are changing the lives of your customers. You need a strategy to engage with them on their cell phones.

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