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Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Apps Are Booming as Companies Seek a Place on Your Phone

Posted by June Xu on June 10, 2009

Article Link: New York Times

Article Author: Jenna Wortham

Article Date: 07-June-09

From the Article:

Developers of programs for the iPhone have already managed to make a decent living selling hundreds of thousands of copies of games from their living rooms or garages.

But now, a new way to profit from writing software for the iPhone is emerging: Sell the apps, then sell your company.

With the number of downloads through Apple’s App Store topping one billion and more than 40 million iPhones and iPod Touches sold since 2007, an increasing number of companies are seeing the mobile industry as a source of sustained revenue. Recently, IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet media conglomerate founded by Barry Diller, and, have bought app developers. Smaller companies have begun to assemble properties.


Posted in Apps, Consumer Behavior, Marketplace Trends, Mobile | Leave a Comment »

The iPhone casts a giant shadow on the Web

Posted by Andrew Daniels on May 27, 2009

Article Link: Fortune Blogs

Article Author: Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Article Date: 27-May-09

From the Article:

Here’s a pie chart that should warm Steve Jobs’ heart. That big blue slice covering 59% of the pie represents Apple’s (AAPL) share of the U.S. smartphone traffic in April as measured by AdMob, the world’s largest purveyor of ads on mobile apps and websites.

Posted in Consumer Behavior, Data & Metrics, Mobile | Leave a Comment »

Needed: a mobile advertising, marketing model

Posted by Mort Greenberg on February 25, 2009

Article Source:

Article Link:

Article Author: Simeon Simeonov

Article Date: 25-Feb-09

“Advertisers want to reach a highly-targeted audience at scale. Effective targeting outside of search requires tracking consumer behavior and carries serious privacy concerns. With mobile devices, consumers feel more violated when bad things happen, and the limitations of such devices further complicate the situation.

Why should you care? Because this is going to get worse before it gets better. Consumers are having an unprecedentedly personal relationship with devices, from PCs to iPhones. The technologies for targeting and tracking of consumers are getting more sophisticated. The advertising value chain across all channels is getting longer and more complex.”

Posted in Ad/Behaviroral Targeting, Consumer Behavior, Data & Metrics, Mobile | Leave a Comment »

Mobile Search Ads To Grow 130% By 2013

Posted by Mort Greenberg on February 25, 2009

Article Source:

Article Link:

Article Author: Marin Perez

Article Date: 25-Feb-09

“As more consumers surf the Web on handsets like the iPhone 3G, the U.S. market for local mobile search will balloon from $20 million in 2008 to $1.3 billion in 2013, according to a report from the Kelsey Group.

The report, “Going Mobile: The Mobile Local Media Opportunity,” said only about 20% of U.S. cell phone subscribers are on the mobile Web right now, and only about 5.2 million are doing searches. Because of this, SMS advertising is the dominant form of mobile advertising. “

Posted in Ad Spending, Mobile | Leave a Comment »

Mobile Marketing Association Publishes Updated Global Mobile Advertising Guidelines

Posted by Mort Greenberg on November 2, 2008

Presee Release from Latest Revised Guidelines Address Mobile TV and Video and Multimedia Messaging

“The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) ( today announced the release of an updated version of its global Mobile Advertising Guidelines. The guidelines provide the global formats, guidelines and best practices necessary to implement mobile advertising initiatives in a variety of mobile media channels, including web, messaging, downloadable applications and video. The MMA has published regional ad guidelines since 2005 and globalized the guidelines in April 2008.

Key revisions include:


  Updated Mobile Web Guidelines:

  Added recommendation on automatic resizing of Mobile Web banner ads

  Updated Multimedia Messaging (MMS):

  Revised the MMS Ad Unit and Aspect Ratio recommendations

  Updated the Audio Formats best practices

  Revised the Size recommendations


New Mobile Video and TV guidelines including the following:


  Ad Units

  Aspect Ratios

The guidelines are designed to encourage the uptake of mobile marketing worldwide by creating a simplified framework for brands and agencies to deliver mobile advertising in a consistent way. Released every 6 months, the guidelines process ensures that the recommendations are continually updated and reflective of global best practices and industry feedback.

The new set of guidelines are the result of ongoing collaboration between MMA member companies and MMA Mobile Advertising Committee members in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America regions and are representative of the entire mobile marketing ecosystem. They have also received industry endorsement from industry associations such as ADMA, BVDW, DMA UK, dotMobi Advisory Group (MAG), IAB UK, Chile and Mexico.

The continued enhancement of the MMAs global Mobile Advertising Guidelines ensure that marketers are able to quickly deploy mobile advertising campaigns world-wide in a manner that optimizes screen size and ensures consumer satisfaction. Through our Mobile Advertising Committee, the MMA continues to stay at the forefront of industry leadership for mobile advertising guidelines and education development, said MMA President Laura Marriott.

The MMA Mobile Advertising Committee member companies include: 4INFO, Inc., AdInfuse, Inc., AT&T Mobility, Buzzd, Google, Golden Gekko Ltd, GoldSpot Media, Greystripe Incorporated, GroupM, JumpTap, Madhouse Inc., MediaFLO USA, Inc., Microsoft (MSN and Windows Live), Millennial Media, Inc., Mobile Posse, MobiTX, Inc., Mobixell Networks (Europe) Ltd, Neustar Inc., News Over Wireless, Nokia Corporation, OpenMarket, Qualcomm, R/GA, Rhythm NewMedia, ScreenTonic, Sensei, Inc. Sharpcards, Smarter Agent, Smaato Inc., State Farm Insurance, Tapioca Mobile, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S., Unkasoft Advergaming, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone Group Services Ltd., Yahoo!

The latest version of the MMA global Mobile Guidelines can be downloaded from The MMA has also published a Mobile Advertising Overview white paper ( as well as an Applications white paper ( for educational purposes.

About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is the premier global non-profit trade association established to lead the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies. The MMA is an action-oriented organization designed to clear obstacles to market development, establish mobile media guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, and evangelize the use of the mobile channel. The more than 700 member companies, representing over forty countries around the globe, include all members of the mobile media ecosystem. The Mobile Marketing Associations global headquarters are located in the United States and in 2007 it formed the North America (NA), Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA), Latin American (LATAM) and Asia Pacific (APAC) branches. For more information, please visit”

Posted in Mobile | Leave a Comment »

Mobile ‘Net Users 60% More Likely to Accept Mobile Advertising

Posted by Mort Greenberg on September 20, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

Article Author: Marketing Vox

The US mobile internet now has a large and diverse enough user base to support wide-scale mobile-marketing efforts, and mobile web users are 60 percent more likely than data users to be open to mobile advertising, according to a report (pdf) from Nielsen Mobilevia MarketingCharts.

Mobile internet has reached a critical mass as an advertising medium in the US. In May 2008, there were 40 million active mobile internet users – a fraction of the 95 million US mobile users who subscribe to the service but do not necessarily use it, and a smaller fraction of the 259 million wireless users who are mobile data subscribers


Posted in Consumer Behavior, Data & Metrics, Mobile | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Advertisers to Consumers: We’ll Text You

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 27, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:


Cellphone Messages
Find a Mobile Niche;
Customers Ask for It
May 27, 2008; Page B4

Analysts like to make bold predictions about the growth of mobile advertising. Most have overshot reality.

But at least one slice of the business appears to be catching on, according to marketers: ads sent via text message. A growing number of companies are using cellphone text messages to lend more interactivity to their ads. For instance, Coors Brewing’s Coors Light beer recently added a text-message component to its traditional sponsorship of the NFL Draft. Football fans opted to receive draft alerts, and each message contained a squib about Coors Light.


Some marketers like text-message ads because — unlike most ads — viewers asks to receive the message, which means the marketer doesn’t bombard the viewer with unsolicited commercials. The potential audience is also attractive: Almost all cellphones can send and receive text messages. Finally, marketers say, the results of text-message ads are much easier to measure than those of mobile Web ads.

On Tuesday, Silicon Valley start-up 4INFO, one of the most-active players in text-message advertising, plans to announce a new trial partnership with Yahoo. Under the arrangement, 4INFO provides the technology for Yahoo to publish its content, such as news updates, horoscopes, sports scores and weather forecasts, via text messages that also contain a small ad. Consumers sign up online to receive the alerts.

Yahoo can sell the ads alone or as part of a broader online-mobile ad package, or, alternatively, 4INFO can sell the ads through its mobile-ad network.

Ad executives report click-through rates with text-message ads of 1% to 10%, a significant jump from the figures for Web banner ads, which are typically only a fraction of that.

Those higher rates, of course, could be attributable simply to the newness of text-message advertising. And, for marketers that do text-message marketing, there are challenges. One is limited space. Of the 160 characters allowed in a text message, typically 120 are reserved for content, which leaves only 40 for the ad. Often, the message is simple: “Sponsored by The All-New Toyota Corolla” was the tag line for a recent campaign with IAC/InterActiveCorp’s online invitation service Evite.

Mobile-message advertising is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2008, up 82% from last year, according to research firm eMarketer. Spending on mobile-message advertising now accounts for about 88% of the total $1.7 billion spent on mobile ads, which also includes search ads and display ads as well as mobile Web advertising.

On top of its new pact with Yahoo, 4INFO, founded in 2004 by Zaw Thet, now 27 years old, has struck similar deals with big media companies from General Electric‘s NBC Universal to IAC and newspaper company Gannett, which owns a stake in the company. 4INFO, which says it reaches eight million unique visitors a month, usually splits the ad revenue with the media company 60-40, with the majority going to whichever party makes the sale.

With these ads, a phone number to text is typically embedded in a print or TV ad. Consumers send a text message to that number to receive the content, which is sponsored by a marketer.

“A newspaper is produced once daily. With the text messages you can layer in interactivity, whether it be stock quotes, sports scores or updated weather,” says Matt Jones, director of mobile strategy for Gannett.

Among the marketers that Gannett has sold ads to are Marriott, which recently sponsored a print-and-mobile ad combination in USA Today, and Radio Shack, which is sponsoring free sports alerts from the paper’s Web site.

Other companies that compete in text-message advertising include YellowPepper and HipCricket. Like 4INFO, HipCricket has focused on bringing new life to old media through mobile ads. HipCricket works with radio and TV stations to create programs like mobile loyalty clubs for listeners to join. Then, both the radio stations and its advertisers market to this group via their phones.

Using text messages to deliver ads isn’t completely new. A company called Screenvision, which uses text messaging along with commercials on movie screens, launched its network in 2005. Since then, it has expanded its approach. Starting early next month, Screenvision, whose advertising network is made up of more than 14,000 screens in 2,300 theaters, will test a live-polling feature that is activated by text messages. Audiences will be polled on music, movies or other entertainment-related topics, and then can vote. The results will be immediately tabulated and flashed up on the screen.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, is the first sponsor of the polling service. The campaign includes a two-minute original film (“VCast Street”) directed by Spike Lee, and VCast-branded popcorn bags.

Write to Emily Steel at

Posted in Ad Products, Local, Mobile, Multi-Channel, Traditional to Online, Widgets/Distributed Content | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Mobile Banner Ads Generate TV-Level Brand Recall

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 18, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

Small banner ads on mobile devices result in the same level of brand recall as a :30 spot on TV, said mobile advertising leader for Verizon Wireless Stephanie Bauer Marshall.

The data, which Marshall said came from a commissioned study by IAG, also showed that mobile banner ads produce clickthrough rates exponentially higher – at 2 percent – than online banner ads, where clickthrough rates have fallen to about 0.3 percent (via MediaPost).
The U.S. lags behind other parts of the world in terms of mobile advertising. 20 percent of U.S. mobile users get SMS marketing messages at least once a month, while that figure stands at 75 percent in Europe, said Dag Olav Norem, senior analyst with M:Metrics, during the Mobile Advertising Degree conference in Los Angeles yesterday (Wednesday). On the other hand, he says, 4.9 percent of Europeans receiving SMS marketing messages respond, while 12.4 percent in the U.S. do.

Marshall pointed out that there is still confusion surrounding mobile advertising pricing. CPMs for mobile are higher, because of the higher level of engagement. “Over time, the market’s going to find out where the balance is.”

Currently, CPMs hover between $20 and $30, but “around $20 or so is probably reasonable,” she said.

U.S. mobile ad spending is projected to reach nearly $1.7 billion in 2008, up some 89 percent from $878 million in 2007, and will surpass $6.5 billion in 2012.

Posted in Ad Spending, Data & Metrics, Mobile, Multi-Channel, Start-Ups & Venture Capital, Traditional to Online | Leave a Comment »

Firms Gauge Which Mobile Tools Connect

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 11, 2008

Article Source:

New Software Aims
To Provide Better Data
On Consumers’ Habits
May 9, 2008; Page B6

Marketing via cellphones is forecast to be one of the next hot trends, but many advertisers are still hesitant to empty their pockets on mobile-ad campaigns. One reason: There isn’t yet a reliable source of data that show what Web sites and features consumers are accessing on their mobile devices.

Measurement firms such as Nielsen and M:Metrics, which have relied mainly on monthly consumer surveys to gather such information, are developing electronic tracking methods that aim to provide more specific and accurate information. Nielsen, which helped pioneer the “People Meter” for television, is developing electronic metering software for mobile devices. The software, which will be installed on some users’ handsets beginning later this year, will track everything from the number of text messages they send per month to the Web sites they visit and videos they watch.

Another company, comScore, which specializes in tracking Web usage on personal computers, is working on similar technology for cellphones that it expects to launch in the second half of this year.

The tracking companies are running into some roadblocks, mainly because there are so many different types of mobile devices and operating systems, and because a small number of wireless operators such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless play such a central role in controlling Web traffic and determining which software gets into handsets. It is another example of how hard it can be to roll out any kind of wireless service — whether it is a videogame, a location-sharing application, or a tool to track usage of the handset itself.

M:Metrics, for example, hasn’t been able to put its software into a large enough cross-section of phones to make the information significantly valuable to advertisers, who generally want data on all cellphone users. So far, the software works only on high-end smart-phones, which account for just 12% of the market.

“If you think about advertisers, they don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘I just want to reach people on BlackBerrys or Nokias.’ They want to reach all phones,” says M:Metrics Chief Executive Will Hodgman. Nielsen and comScore also acknowledge it will be difficult to make the software work on lower-end phones, because their basic operating systems make it harder to gather usage information.

Nielsen and others are working with Web publishers to try to get them to tag their content with code that alerts the tracking firms whenever their site is visited. Nielsen says it has rolled that out with a handful of U.S. mobile Web sites and several in Europe and Asia.

Mr. Hodgman of M:Metrics says he is focusing most of his efforts on persuading wireless carriers to provide information from their server logs on which sites and features users have accessed. While there is some momentum for that approach in the industry, carriers haven’t agreed to provide that data to an independent third party, he said, because of concerns about user privacy and other issues. An AT&T spokesman said the carrier doesn’t share such data and doesn’t plan to.

Until now, Nielsen and others have relied mainly on monthly survey data to gauge what features consumers are interested in. (Nielsen also collects data from user phone bills.) Such surveys aren’t always reliable because they sometimes don’t tap a broad enough sample of users and handsets. In other cases, consumers unwittingly answer questions incorrectly. Marketers say it is crucial that they get more detailed and accurate information about Web usage as they plan campaigns and try to track their effectiveness. “I’m a little bit lost [in mobile marketing] because I can’t get a lot of information,” says Chris Murphy, director of digital marketing for Adidas‘s U.S. region.

The company has run banner ads on mobile Web sites and some text-message campaigns through Isobar, an ad agency that is a unit of Aegis Group. As with other big marketers, Adidas still isn’t doing mobile ad campaigns on the same scale that it markets on the Web. There are other reasons marketers are cautious about plunging into mobile, including concerns about annoying users who would view cellphone ads as an invasion of privacy.

There are some tools available to help individual mobile Web publishers track who is visiting their sites so they can attract more advertising. Bango says its new mobile-analytics service, which keeps track of unique visitors and gathers demographic data on users, is being used by 2,000 Web sites so far. Omar Hamoui, the chief executive of AdMob, another company offering mobile analytics, says there is still a pressing need for aggregate data from an independent firm. “What’s still missing and is in some ways more important is independent third-party measurement of mobile Web activity,” Mr. Hamoui says.

Even with the new forms of electronic measurement, consumer surveys will still be useful for gauging consumer attitudes on such matters as privacy, pricing of services and interest in yet-to-be-launched products, the measurement companies say. “Ten years from now there will be surveys and electronic measurement coexisting,” says Jesse Goranson, senior vice president of mobile media at Nielsen. “It’s important to understand consumer perception in addition to the actual behavior.”

–Stephanie Kang contributed to this article.


Write to Amol Sharma at

Posted in Ad Products, Ad Spending, Ad/Behaviroral Targeting, Brand Advertising, Consumer Behavior, Data & Metrics, Demos & Audiences, Marketplace Trends, Mobile, Research | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Do You Have That Portable in a Midsize?

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 11, 2008

Article Source:

May 11, 2008


A new category that Intel calls Mobile Internet Devices, or M.I.D.’s, will include products like these concepts from, clockwise from lower left, Elektrobit, Asus, Clarion, Aigo, Panasonic, LG, Lenovo and BenQ.

THIRTY-SIX years ago, Alan Kay, a computer scientist, published a rough sketch of his Dynabook portable computer, establishing the ideal of ever more intimate personal computers.

During the next decade, Mr. Kay’s tablet design, at 9 inches by 12 inches by 3/4 inch, morphed into today’s ubiquitous laptop form-factor — a term used by consumer electronics specialists to describe the different sizes of various gadgets.

Since then, there has been a proliferation of gadgets of every size and shape, but to date only one other form-factor has established itself as a generic one: the palm-size or hand-held device that began as the Palm Pilot personal digital assistant designed by the Palm Computing co-founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky. An endless array of popular products, from BlackBerrys to iPhones, are descended from the Palm.

This portable world is now neatly broken into gadgets that fit comfortably in your pocket and devices that snuggle equally comfortably on your lap.

Is there room for a third category? Perhaps a new class of consumer gadgets that fits somewhere between hand-held and laptop?

For want of a better description, I propose that we label this jacket-pocket form-factor the iMoleskine, after the Hemingway-esque notebooks that writers favor.

To date, the best example of the proto-Moleskine future is the Amazon Kindle book reader, which is the size of a paperback book. A quirky first-generation effort, the device has been criticized as having an odd user interface design and a flickering display. Because of the company’s endless front-page promotional efforts on its Web store, however, the Kindle seems headed for nichedom.

Intel certainly wants us to believe that there is more room in the middle.

Last month, at a splashy forum in China for developers, the company initiated its effort to create a category for Mobile Internet Devices, or M.I.D.’s, for those of this middle size. If you remember Microsoft’s abortive effort around the Ultra Mobile PC brand in early 2006, you will have a good sense of the size of an M.I.D. (though it wasn’t called one). Introduced with a painfully hip viral marketing campaign called Oragami, the initial round of U.M.P.C.’s landed with a resounding thud. Entering text and moving the pointer on the screen were laborious, and text was so tiny as to be unreadable.

Still, Intel has persevered, arguing that there is a “use case” — the technology industry loves jargon — based on the intersection of increasingly accessible broadband wireless networks and the Web. We are going to want the Web wherever we are. Think location, location, location.

As a consequence, the Intel executives assert, the tiny cellphone display, which was ideal for viewing an 11-digit phone number or several lines of e-mail or text messaging, will be relentlessly stretched like taffy in all directions.

A cynic might argue that the real reason for Intel’s sudden enthusiasm for the M.I.D. stems from the reality that its recently introduced Atom microprocessor is stuck in a no man’s land between laptop and cellphone chips. It will be another two years before Intel has a chip that will bring the Windows-compatible world to the palm of your hand. So, what to do for now, if your chips are too power-hungry to squeeze into the cellphone market, currently dominated by microprocessor chips licensed from ARM, the British chip company? If you have lemons, make lemonade!

Initially, however, I bought into the M.I.D. idea. It seemed that small screens and pico-size keyboards were ill matched for the ubiquitous Web. A slim paperback book-size computer, perhaps with a Bluetooth headset to transform it into a mobile phone, might comprise the ultimate Dynabook.

The sticking point in that argument is that laptops themselves are relentlessly slimming down. If you’re carrying a backpack, you can now choose among a range of ultralight laptops from Apple, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Sony, as well as newcomers like Asus that are less noticeable than the four- and five-pound bricks of just a year ago.

Indeed, the hottest category is machines like the Asus Eee PC and Everex Cloudbook, which sit on the dividing line between the laptop and M.I.D. worlds. Currently the Eee PC has a 7-inch screen and a keyboard that is just a bit too small to be really comfortable. My guess is that this kind of sub-ultralight laptop will grow toward a screen size of 9 or 10 inches and become thinner — moving in a laptop direction.

To be sure, the caveat in all of this is that Intel may be correct in Asia, where space is at much more of a premium than it is in the United States. There are also wild cards like voice recognition that might change the equation, but conversational voice interaction with a portable computer is still probably half a decade or more in the future.

At one time, I thought that an M.I.D.-size slate might prove the perfect compromise: a jack-of-all-trades media player, Web browser, communicator. I even dared to dream that it might become the perfect canvas to help resurrect my industry in a post-paper era. It’s probably just a daydream.

After all, I’ve been struck recently to see that when Web sites like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are redesigned for the iPhone, the user experience is actually better than on a full Web screen. It turns out that a high-resolution, palm-size, three-and-a-half-inch screen is just fine for seeing what your friends are up to, and for reading your e-mail and even your newspaper.

Posted in Ad Products, Consumer Behavior, Marketplace Trends, Mobile, Multi-Channel, Television & Video | Leave a Comment »