When the Web started it was one of those almost philosophical type reasons to build a Web site: if you build it they will come. Then came the lure of advertising, and if you build it, they will come and you can charge money for advertising. And looking back a decade we can see how that all turned out. There is still an ongoing world of Web analytics, various measurements of what is traffic, and a whole lot of argument over what can generate revenue.
Now the same thing is happening again with mobile advertising. In December the Mobile Entertainment Forum released its Top Ten 2009 Mobile Entertainment trends, and predicted that mobile Internet could be on the rise, but mobile advertising might not pick up. The group saw the “iPhone Effect” as being among factors, as the handset would continue to push development for the mobile Web.
One of the factors on the success of ads will be whether consumers view content on their handsets as they do other formats; that is whether the phone becomes a portable TV or a portable computer or both. Will long form TV shows, where ads can be placed at key breaks, generate revenue via traditional ads, or even short form content that has ads attached; or will it be Web-based ads for apps and sites?
iPhone Users Buy Many Apps, Don’t Use Them Much
As we’ve been reporting, iPhone users are doing a lot of downloading and purchasing of mobile apps. That’s not so surprising given that there are apps for just about everything, and the iTunes type store front makes it very easy to browse, download and install these apps. But what is surprising is that after taking the time to get the app, and pay for it (much of the time), most of these apps aren’t used very much – and some aren’t even used after the first time.
Pinch Media, which tracks Web and app analytics, found that apps that cost money are used more than those based on advertising. So this could be a sight that people see value if they pay for something. This is especially bad for advertisers, who may be lured in by the promise of large downloads. And to give a Zen-like take on this: if you place an ad in an app that no one uses, does it really advertise anything in the first place?