At m-pulse we kick off a month looking at the App Economy and what developers need to know to turn building apps into a viable and thriving business. To set the stage for a discussion of wider industry trends we go to the ‘go-to’ market analysis and strategy firm VisionMobile and its founder Andreas Constantinou.
VisionMobile, which consistently delivers the industry actionable insights and definitive reports on all things mobile, just last week released the Cross-Platform Developer Tools 2012 report. This ambitious work analyzes the complex cross-platform tools landscape and — more importantly — gives us the inside what developers really think about cross-platform tools.
The key takeway(s) from our interview: The days of the Google/Apple duopoly are numbered. Cross-platform tools are gaining momentum, and an enthusiastic developer community is gravitating to these tools to target multiple platforms (and multiple screens) thanks to “low incremental costs and high levels of code reuse.” The 97-page report is a must-read resource and one that I will analyze in more depth in a separate post Thursday. Meantime download your copy of the Cross-Platform Tools 2012 report here.
In other segments I walk through the Mobile Mix 2011 Year In Review, a comprehensive look back at the mobile device trends that defined 2011 (and will no doubt shape 2012) published by Millennial Media, the leading independent mobile advertising platform. My co-host Rob Woodbridge looks at the Apple acquisition of app search engine Chomp and we discuss why solving the discovery dilemma is the first order of business for all app stores — full stop.
I wrap up by raising my goblet of rock to the great guys at WIP (Wireless Industry Partnership) for publishing The Developer’s Guide to the Parallel Universe, a 100-page booklet that literally lays out everything developers need to know about marketing their app. It’s a great primer for developers and companies that have to get their head around the business of making money with apps, and I salute WIP for delivering a how-to guide with teeth. I’m thrilled to report that Caroline Lewko is also our next guest at m-pulse — so watch this space…
Mobile Mix: Watch Health & Fitness apps
Are you a developer or brand determined to monetize your mobile app? Then you require access to the right data and a detailed view into how smartphone devices and operating systems really rate.
Fortunately, the most recent Mobile Mix from Millennial Media provides both in its new 2011 Year In Review Report, an essential resource that draws from global campaign and platform data to reveal key advertising trends with a sharp focus on mobile manufacturers, devices, operating systems and connected devices.
Each Mobile Mix also hones in on hot mobile developments and data, and this time the focus is on the rise (and rise) of tablet devices. Millennial Media reports the Apple iPad has been the number one tablet on its mobile advertising platform since its debut in early 2010, with Samsung Galaxy coming in second place with around half the impression share of the Apple iPad.
In addition, a review of global developer quick stats and mobile advertising best practices provide an essential read to companies serious about monetizing their apps. ranked by impressions.
Gaming moved up a notch to lead the Top 10 Mobile Application Categories, growing 16 percent year-over-year. Significantly, this also jives with other reports, such as Flurry, that show we spend most of our time interacting with gaming apps.
However, the real opportunity may lie in new categories such as Health & Fitness that have come out of nowhere to place in the Top 10. Millennial tells us the category Health & Fitness more than tripled (!) its impression share year-over-year. Moreover, Exercise and Diet applications experienced the highest growth within the category in 2011.
Clearly, apps related to our personal mobile lifestyle and perfectly aligned with our natural interest in tracking what we eat and how much we exercise are gaining serious traction and reaching a greater audience than ever before. This trend is further confirmed by the buzz at CES and again at Mobile World Congress, events that showcased a slew of apps and services that provide us advice and assistance via our mobile devices on all things related to our health and wellness.
Key device data & trends
It was a banner year (pun intended) for Android impressions, with Millennial Media reporting a whopping 504 percent increase in Android impressions year-over-year.
In 2011, Android led the pack with 47 percent of the impressions, a 57 percent increase year-over-year. In fact, Android was the fastest growing operating system on Millennial Media’s advertising platform in 2011, overtaking Apple’s iOS as the leading operating system at the end of 2010. Overall, Apple’s iOS was the second largest operating system on the platform with 33 percent of the impression share in 2011.
Significantly, the Mobile Mix also picks up on a “significant decline in Feature Phones year-over-year,” as consumers upgraded their devices and moved in mass to smartphones and other connected devices.
The impressive growth in connected devices also resulted in an increase in the number of impressions linked to devices accessing mobile advertising via Wi-Fi. In total Wi-Fi grew 21 percent year-over-year, a trend we would expect given the advance of connected devices and our own increasing appetite for streaming movies and music.
As usual the Mobile Mix report series delivers insights and data points that go a long way toward exposing and explaining key advertising trends as they relate to the mobile — and increasingly connected devices — landscape. From top devices and operating systems, to top apps categories and carrier data, this comprehensive report covers all the bases. But the report is more than required reading for developers and advertisers; it also sheds light on developments sure to define mobile in 2012 and beyond. I’m thinking here of the rise of tablets, the surprise popularity of health and wellness apps and our heightened interest in rich-media content (and advertising) confirmed by a steady rise in the percentage of impressions delivered by devices via Wi-Fi. Clearly, the landscape is becoming more complex. Developers/advertisers will have to think Big(ger) Picture (and develop a cohesive mobile strategy) to keep pace with the massive changes ahead.
Check out Episode #8 of m-pulse here.
Next week we continue our focus on developers with WIP’s Caroline Lewko. Check out untetherTV for the inside story – and I’ll provide additional analysis in a companion post here at MobileGroove.
If you have a good company or a great story, then submit it for consideration (firstname.lastname@example.org). It may be that we include YOU in an upcoming segment of the show.
This post is part of our Mobile Advertising Briefing Room, a thinking space dedicated to providing its community mobile intelligence, consumer research, case studies and industry best practices that equip marketers to reach and engage their target audience at scale. This discussion is hosted & sponsored by Millennial Media.
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