#MobileMonday/Tapulous, Yahoo!, Quattro, AdMob, GetJar

03Aug09

300+ turned out for Mobile Monday tonight as Tapulous, Yahoo!, Quattro, AdMob, GetJar and Forrester shared insights on monetizing iPhone apps.  See below for highlights.  The host Skyhook Wireless distributed a helpful “Developer’s Guide to In-App Advertising” which you can find here:  http://www.skyhookwireless.com/developers/developersguide.pdf
They also published their “Investment in the Silicon Valley Mobile Industry” report which can be found here:  http://www.slideshare.net/kateimbach/investment-in-the-silicon-valley-mobile-industry.  And TapJoy was giving out chocolate, tees and iPhone SDK disks.   Caught up with Andrew Lacy of Tapulous before the panel began who enjoyed #ipdc3 this weekend, said it’s always a good place to meet recruits, asked him what he thought of Tap Star, he replied right now the music game market is at 20% will grow to 50% – all boats rise with the tide, told him I loved Nick Gallant’s Turn Yourself Around from Tap Tap Revenge and wanted to buy the track, then tried to TwitPic him but TwitterFon froze and he suggested next time I try Twinkle, a Tapulous app. (Didn’t realize Tapulous was angel-backed, no VC $ yet.  Smart angels!  Tapulous is profitable.)  The event ended with drinks and shout outs for those looking to hire (mobiQpons seeking UI designers, social media marketers, AdMob seeking PM, UI and SW engineers) and upcoming industry events (Tu 9/7 MobileMonday with Silicon Vikings, 10/15-16 MobileMonday’s MobileTour conference, 11/19 UnderTheRadar at Microsoft has a call out to mobile startups).   Here’s some of the great info that was shared:

Andrew Lacy, Tapulous
30-40 apps, 50mm uniques, there is money to be made in mobile advertising, mobile has higher conversion rate from free to paid than web, 10% vs 2-3%. Tapulous is 100% on iPhone and iPod Touch.  Acquired 1mm users via iPhone, would have been only 50-100,000 elsewhere.  Holy grail is LBS, should double the industry.  Overall mobile will grow 8-10x from where it is today.  Industry is in its infancy.  It’s not easy to change ad networks if one is crashing your app, their code is in the app and takes up a lot of space.  App Store is like FB, hard to calculate ARPUs.  10% effect is launching the activation, the rest of the effort is focused on giving users a reason to come back, just like the web which is always fresh. Film studios like to be on new hot platforms that reaching movie-going kids.  Integrated campaigns in Tap Tap Revenge.  

David Katz, Yahoo! Mobile Advertising
iPhone Onion article hilarious: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/apple_claims_new_iphone_only?utm_source=a-section
The hole to get people to pay for things over time is shrinking.  Amazing CTRs on movie trailers, video rental campaigns.  In mobile you need to make something good, and then promote it well.  Customer is not going to radically change relationship with media consumption, there aren’t going to be a lot of new brands coming out of mobile.  For all that web surfing, the sites visited month after month are in the single digits.  Y! is platform agnostic, we want to be where our users are, not making bets on which platform wins, iPhone and RIM have huge pentration, think a lot about those platforms. Finds mobile complimentary, helps extend brand loyalty for Y! on the web.  Y! charges more for mobile banner than for web banner.  iPhone is younger than RIM which is younger than Nokia right now, will fix over time.  

Lars Albright, Quattro Wireless
$4-5,000 ad campaign can show a lift, don’t recommend spending entire budget on a burst campaign.  iPhone is a cool start, over next 3-4 years they’ll all be doing the same thing, consumers and developers win, more growth to come.  Can’t do one off brand projects.

Ali Diab, AdMob
App store discovery is a problem, ad networks great way to get promoted.  $4-5000 spend burst over a weekend can help you chart, the highly ranked stay highly ranked, self-perpetuating.  Tapulous, the leading developer of game apps, Urban Spoon, the leading developer of LBS apps, in time will supplant web brands.  Developers see more than 60% on rev-share split.  iPhone is a device that makes calls, but more like computers than phones, will kill PC as we know it.  Developers should build brand in mobile.  Both are good niche apps, brand microsites, and large scale apps.  SMS is like the fax machine, will be gone in 5 years (big boos from the audience).

Patrick Mork, GetJar
1.5mm downloads daily for all platforms, .5B downloads to date.  See app demo coversion from free to paid when preloaded on handset as high as 12-15%, 15-25% for branded titles preloaded on handset.  Emergence of virtual goods, Photomatic, mobile-only dating service makes good money selling virtual ice cubes to be gifted on hot days.  To scale to $100mm in download revenue, must go cross-platform for viral effect which makes apps mass market, multiple revenue streams.  If going global, build for Nokia, India Indonesia immense traffic, bigger growth potential than iPhone.  India’s most popular phone is Nokia 6600 which is a 5 year old feature phone.  Right now GetJar+AppStore is at 100,000 apps, by year end expect GetJar+AppStore to be at 250,000 apps, double and triple in a year.  The lifecycle of an app in the App Store is 3-4 weeks.  Nokia packages web apps as native apps, GetJar too with mobile shortcuts.  Everything in GetJar store is free, and its quick and easy for app developers to get their apps listed.

Julie Ask, Forrester 
40mm iPhones, 20mm BB, iPhone users surf 10x more than anyone, they are the most active, with 1000 different handsets and apps expensive to port, why wouldn’t you just develop for iPhone.

Other coverage:  http://ow.ly/j4YX 

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