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Freemium app biz flourishes while paid apps take a dive

appsAt least once I week I think about building an app. With the wide range of options and explosive growth, it reminds me of the early blogging days. We all jumped on the wagon to tell our tales. Some fell off along the way leaving behind a final blog post dated 2009, others turned their blogs into a successful business.

Along come apps and we’re doing the dance all over again – with one difference. You don’t need any technical skill to blog, with apps you need at least a little bit of tech know-how just to get started and a lot of know-how if you want to swim in the big pond.

You could hire someone to build it for you but that leads us to the big question – can the average guy make money with an app?

Sports goes for the mobile ad gold with near 500 perecent growth in spending

Millennial Media Vertical Explosion2013 was a big year for mobile advertising. An unprecedented number of companies and industries spent more than $3 billion in just the first half of the year versus $1.2 billion in the first half of 2012. But that’s just half the story. For the rest, we turn to the newly released “2013 Year in Review” S.M.A.R.T. report from Millennial Media.

Entertainment moved up one spot to the number one slot on the mobile ad spend chart. More than half of all mobile entertainment campaigns used video which helped push video ads overall up 18% over last year.

Retail dropped to second place followed by Telecommunications, Finance, and Consumer Goods. Here’s an interesting note – Pharmaceuticals made the chart for the first time coming in ninth for ad spending.

Multidevice users consumer 7 hours of media in 5 hours a day

millwardbrown multiscreenAccording to a new study by Millward Brown, multidevice users manage to consumer 7 hours of media in 5 hours a day. That’s pretty nifty. I’m always wishing for an extra hour or two and now I know how to get it. All I have to do is work on my iPad while I watch TV on the DVR, while chatting with friends on my smartphone.

When you look at this from a global perspective, the smartphone is doing most of the heavy lifting with an average of 2.5 hours spent daily. In the early evening, smartphones drop off slightly as people switch over to laptops then tablets. By 8pm, TV usages spikes then drops off sharply after 11pm. So much for the late, late, show.

Twitter adds one-touch ad videos to the mobile feed

IMG_0335Hey, Mr. Marketer. Big piece of news that you can use – people love to watch videos. Especially short, funny or exciting videos on their mobile devices. What they don’t like is having to click a bunch of times because clicking is boring.

Twitter’s got you covered. They just began testing a feature that puts the video clip right in the timeline so all the user has to do is click once. I’ve posted an example for you from my iPhone. I don’t follow basketball, but I navigated to the NBA Twitter account and I found a whole bunch of these mini-videos. I clicked, the screen faded to black and then the clip began to play. It was fast and clean and enjoyable. I would have enjoyed it more if it was a hockey clip but it is what it is.

Mobile ad spending growth peaked in 2012, Google losing ground to Facebook

Sure, most people will look at the new predictions from eMarketer and see a “half full” scenario for mobile advertising spending.

That doesn’t make for interesting headlines. ;-)

What jumped out for me was the fact that mobile ad spending growth seems to have peaked. Not surprising, as any market eventually grows large enough that it can no longer support meteoric growth rates. After 120% and 105% growth rates over the past couple of years, mobile ad spending will grow a “paltry” 75% this year.

2014 Mobile Ad Spend

Perhaps the most important stat to watch is Facebook’s growth at the apparent expense of Google.

2014 Mobile Ad Share

Also noteworthy, just how far Twitter is behind Facebook. Really Twitter? Just 0.2% uptick for 2014? Ouch!

Google Play Games adds gifting and more from GDC2014

GDC2014The 2014 Game Developers Conference is underway in San Francisco and this is no small meet-up. We’re talking 23,000 designers and executives from around the globe coming together to swap ideas and expand their horizons.

Our friends a MillennialMedia are hosting a panel called “The Great Debate: Monetizing With In-App Purchases, Pay-for-Download or Advertising.” There’s a session called “Why’d She Buy THAT? Customer Psychology in Game Purchases” and you don’t want to miss “Facebook Unlocked: Trends & Growth Opportunities for Cross-Platform Games (Presented by Facebook)”.

Even if you’re not in the game industry, a lot of what’s happening there is related to what’s happening in mobile and online marketing. Think about it. Every mobile or online game is like a mini-business with its own profit and loss sheet. You have to market the game, create customer loyalty, then convince those people to spend on up-grades and in-app purchases.

Consumers Spend 15 Hours a Week on Mobile Research and Other Mobile Facts

Useablenet Mobile 1Today may be Pi Day but here on the internet, we’re celebrating with cake – birthday cake for the web’s 25th. These days, Mr. Internet is getting by with the help of his friends, Mr. Smartphone and Mr. Tablet. When they work together, they’re an unbeatable force that can either make or break an online marketer.

To demonstrate the power of the pairing, we have a nifty infographic from Usablenet. We begin with a wowzer of a fact:

Every year, the number of global mobile devices and connections increases exponentially. In 2013, there were 7 billion connections – equivalent to the world’s population!

And what are people doing with all of those devices? 79% use them for browsing and shopping on websites and apps.