Ad Networks

Tablets Cannibalizing PC and Laptop Usage

While there are dozens of forecasts out there, most of them with aggressive predictions of growth, no one knows really how big the tablet market will be. Much of that will depend on pricing. Regardless, tablets are not a fad and there's considerable evidence that they're starting to impact PC usage for their owners. (Smartphone usage still generally seems to be "additive" to PC usage.)

The latest tablet usage data to come out is from AdMob (Google), based on a March 2011 survey (n=1,430) in the US market. Google doesn't break it out by device, but respondents were probably more than 90% iPad owners. 

According to the findings, "77% of respondents reported that their desktop/laptop usage decreased after getting a tablet" and 28% now call their tablet their "primary computer." In a related finding "43% of respondents spend more time with their tablet than with their desktop/laptop." 

A majority (68%) of users spend at least an hour a day with their tablets, while most tablet usage is at home, at night, during the week. In terms of activities, here's what the survey revealed about most and least popular:

  • Playing games (84%)
  • Searching for info (78%)
  • Email (74%)
  • News (61%)
  • Access social networks (56%)
  • "Consuming entertainment" (51%)
  • Shopping (42%)
  • Reading "ebooks" (46%) 

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Location Targeting Growing on Millennial's Network

Millennial released some February "SMART" data this morning. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Local Market Targeting grew 22% month-over-month. Top verticals mentioned: telecommunications, restaurants, and insurance advertisers
  • Mobile commerce as a "post-click campaign action" more than doubled in February.
  • Many advertisers drove customers to download their applications in February. The top verticals driving application downloads were auto and finance.
  • Video as a post-click campaign action grew 13% month-over-month. Consumer Electronics and automotive used video in product launch campaigns

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For Millennial "local market" can be zip, state or metro-level targeting; it varies. But this growth indicates that the sophistication of mobile marketers is also growing, creating different ads/offers for different markets. 

The second graphic is more interesting in many ways. It reflects tactics and campaign objectives:

  • Create a fan/follower (for later promotions and loyalty: social media and app downloads --49%)
  • Drive someone into a store (53% doing some version of this)
  • Convert a customer over the phone (second only to lead capture, but probably more effective from a conversion standpoint) 
  • Generate a sale on the phone (58% did some version of this: m-commerce, phone calls) 
  • Capture a lead (40% sought this)
  • Publicize an app (28%)
  • Create brand or product awareness (video) 

While there are always going to be a range of objectives on display, depending on the marketer and the campaign, a set of "better practices" will emerge and there will be a tighter range of objectives over time. One of the objectives that will survive is branding/awareness.

Mobile will emerge as one of the most effective branding and awareness media, perhaps second only to TV. It will also have the benefit of being "actionable" in a way that TV is not: submit a form, make a call, locate a dealer.

The branding or awareness messaging and functionality (e.g., video) qualifies the user and then "find a store/dealer" or "put me on the list" creates the lead capture or direct response opportunity. However all awareness media become more "actionable" with mobile; consumers are using their mobile devices with or beside other traditional media and even their PCs. Here's a nice graphic from Microsoft to illustrate it (but there's much more data like this too): 

TeleNav 'Infographic' Unwittingly Indicts American Habits

TeleNav has a subscriber base of more than 20 million people, distributed over 600 devices in many countries. The company has done a good job of surviving the free navigation push by Google, Nokia and more recently Mapquest. It has an enterprise business as well as a direct consumer business. TeleNav also powers many of the carrier navigation services.

Earlier this week the company put out an "infographic" with some top-level US data about navigation usage. (As an aside I wish companies would stop putting out these so-called infographics for PR purposes. People pick them up, just as I have, but they make reading and understanding the data more difficult than it needs to be. It's a gimmick that should come to an end in my view.)

The chart shows that the top places US TeleNav users are navigating to. It also stands as a kind of unintended indictment of Americans' tastes and behavior. 

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The most searched/navigated locations are Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy. McDonald's is in there at number 6. Navigational queries like this (name-in-mind searches) represent about 60% of local searches coming from mobile devices currently. Collectively Pizza, American (food) and Burgers represent about 63% of restaurant-related queries. And among them McDonald's and Pizza Hut figure prominently. 

Separately TeleNav conducted a survey of drivers and found, among other things, that:

Nearly 25 percent of both sexes reported sending at least one text message while driving per week. Men texted the most, with 36 percent of those who text while driving indicating they send an average of seven or more texts per week while on the road. In contrast, only 23 percent of women admitted to texting as frequently.

Below is a video demo of the current version of TeleNav (as AT&T Navigator):

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Mystery: Galaxy Tab a Top Android Device on Millennial's Network

Millennial Media's "Mobile Mix" report for February is out. It reflects device usage on Millennial's ad network, which the company says (per IDC) is the largest "independent" network, after Google and Apple. Among the stats offered by the company:

  • The VZW iPhone "represented 4.5% of all U.S. iPhone impressions on our network in the first two weeks following the launch"
  • Samsung's Galaxy Tab appeared as a "Top 30 Mobile Device," the first Android "connected device" on the chart
  • In terms of tablet's/connected devices more broadly Apple's iOS had 80% of the impression share; Android had 17% 
  • Android is the largest Smartphone OS on Milliennial's network for the third month
  • The iPhone remains the top single device followed by the iPod Touch

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Moving on, there are a number of interesting observations to be made from the "Top 30 Mobile Devices" chart below.

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The Galaxy Tab is the number 7 device on the list. In January Samsung announced that it had sold two million of the devices. However it was later forced to clarify that those were not sales to consumers but sales to distributors. The actual consumer sales figures are significantly less -- perhaps less than half the announced number. Indeed, while I've seen them in stores, I have not seen one in use in the world by an actual person. 

Take a look at the "Google Insights for Search" chart below. This is for the last 30 days but it looks very similar going back. There is effectively no demand, as reflected in search volume, for the "Xoom" or the "Galaxy Tab." Accordingly, given all the available evidence, we can safely assume that almost all consumer sales of the Galaxy Tab have stopped or declined to a trickle. 

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There are likely relatively few Galaxy Tabs actually in the market. This probably means that to be in the seventh position on Millennial's chart those few devices are getting very heavy usage -- especially in comparison to other Android smartphones.

Alternatively it could mean that sales of those devices below the Tab on the chart were fewer than the Tab itself. That would probaby be an incorrect interpretation however. More likely the data reflect that the Tab is being used much more than other Android devices and all the BlackBerry handsets, for mobile Web access.

This brings to mind InsightExpress' comment in its recent consumer insights report that there's a new "a middle category" of mobile users who technically own smartphones but don't engage with them as fully as, for example, iPhone owners. InsightExpress equally observed that this middle group doesn't act like feature phone owners either.

Extrapolating from the position of the Galaxy Tab vs. other Android devices on Millennial's network it would appear that a large percentage of Android users fall into this new middle category. 

Yahoo: CTR on Mobile Web Campaign 30X Higher than PC

Yahoo released a mobile white paper called "Mobile Internet – Delivering on the Promise of Mobile Advertising." It's part one of a series. There's a great deal of mobile consumer data in the document. The report covers multi-screen usage (TV + mobile) and tablets in addition to laying out some general mobile consumer behavior numbers and trends.

Citing third party data the report asserts that by the end of 2011 there will be 126 million mobile Internet users. Currently there are more than 90 million in the US according to Nielsen. I would estimate that at the end of 2011 mobile Internet users will number closer to 150 million.

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Yahoo cites survey data that shows about 50% of consumers claim they purchase an item after researching it on mobile, while "90% of mobile owners access the web from the retail store floor." Google has slightly different numbers but they're broadly consistent (79% of smartphone owners use their phones while shopping and 74% purchased something as a result). 

Yahoo also identifies mobile Internet usage patterns, which appear to be largely parallel during week days and on the weekend. Google and others have argued that PC and mobile usage patterns are complementary. 

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Here's Google's data about PC and mobile Internet "daypart" usage (via Efficient Frontier). It shows a slightly different pattern than the Yahoo data above.

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Mobile Internet use is high in the home, as well as on the go. Yahoo said that 89% of mobile users access the mobile Internet at home. In addition, "86% of mobile Internet users surf the Web while watching TV, often searching for information on advertised products."

Mobile devices thus need to be thought about by marketers and publishers in a more holistic sense. Consumers are using them in the home and in conjunction with other media. This media mutlitaksing was previously done via laptop in front of the TV. I would imagine laptops are quickly being replaced by smartphones and tablets. 

Finally Yahoo says that when online and mobile advertising are combined there's a significant lift. This is the same argument that has been made about search and display: "1 + 1 = 3."  In addition, in terms of effectiveness Yahoo cites case studies that show significant mobile performance gains over PC:

  • Click-through rates on a mobile web movie campaign were 30x higher than the PC counterpart
  • Recall scored 15% higher among users who viewed a mobile ad than any other channel

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See related post: Report: 43% of Mobile Internet Usage Happening in Home

InMobi: Android Gains Global, iPhone Top Device

Mobile ad network InMobi today released its "Mobile Insights Report: Global Edition January 2011." The report effectively covers all major regions of the globe and there's a trove of data from each continent. I'll focus only on North America and global data.

The company reports that smartphones now represent 36% of global ad requests on the InMobil publisher network, up from 24% -- just three months ago. Most of that growth has been driven by Android. But most ad requests (84%) are coming from mobile Web vs. apps (16%). 

Unlike in the US where Android is now the top smartphone platform, Nokia and Apple outstrip Android on a global basis. However Android's growth is much greater than that of the iPhone and Nokia is declining by almost as much as Android is growing.

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In North America operating system share appears like this to InMobi:

  • Android: 37%
  • iPhone: 24%
  • RIM: 11%

InMobi explains that Android has gained 21 share points in just three months to become the largest OS in North America. 

These numbers are not an absolute reflection of market share but what InMobi sees in terms of handsets and operating systems making ad requests. In terms of individual handsets, the iPhone continues to dominate on InMobi's network globally and in North America.  

Global device share: 

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North American device share: 

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It's clear from the totality of all the available data that Android's gains are coming through the sheer number of devices in the market. Windows isn't on the radar for InMobi in North America. And RIM appears to be getting overwhelmed by the Android onslaught. 

Loopt Reinvents Itself (Again) with Push 'Rewards'

Loopt was an early friend finder and social network for mobile devices that has been forced to reinvent itself and try different things repeatedly because of the entry competitors and better-known brands into its space: e.g., Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Google.

The most recent effort to do that is with its new "Reward Alerts," which are limited-time offers that are pushed to users based on location. This is similar to an AT&T-Placecast ShopAlerts initiative that was also announced this week. In that case AT&T handset users opt-in to receive deal alerts and they're pushed to users via SMS/MMS depending on location. 

Initial advertisers for the Loopt program include Participating companies include Altec Lansing, FOX Broadcasting, Gilt City, Jawbone, Microsoft, OkCupid, Southwest Airlines, TabbedOut, Twelve South, TiVo and Yurbuds.

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In order to participate, users must download the new version of the app, turn on "rewards" then the deals start flowing based on where users are. Loopt has had a deals/coupons product for some time in Loopt Star; however this is a more interesting and potentially successful implementation. 

Deals have become immensely popular and the opt-in/push dimension of Placecast's and now Loopt's programs will make them compelling to marketers. For Loopt scale will be key. The company has more than four million users (compare Foursquare's 6+ million). However the Placecast program, because it's text-based, has an addressable audience of 95 million hypothetically (the entire AT&T subscriber base).  

WHERE also offers location-based push couponing. 

Survey: Few Click on Mobile Display Ads, SMS Yields Best Response

A study of just over 2,000 consumers in the UK, commissioned by mobile marketing company Upstream, conducted by YouGov, found that "only a minority of UK consumers claim to have clicked on a mobile display advert."

The survey found that 14% of mobile consumers reported clicking on a mobile display ad. For smartphone users the figure was slightly higher at 23%. Beyond this, 32% of all respondents and half of smartphone owners said they found mobile banners to be "an irritation." 

According to the study SMS was cited by respondents as the medium that "would make them most likely to respond fastest to a relevant deal or offer" (15%); 3% cited banners and 2% cited in-app ads. The SMS hypothetical response figures were larger among smartphone owners (25%).

These survey findings must be taken with a grain of salt. There are other data that show (based on actual consumer behavior) mobile display (including video) ad engagement is much higher than online. Mobile display ads across the board outperform online by a wide margin. InsightExpress has shown, based on measurement of actual campaigns, that mobile outperforms online by almost 5X in terms of most brand metrics. 

I have no doubt that people responded in the way described above and expressed "irritation" at mobile "banners." However, there's often a discrepancy between what people say in surveys and what they do.

Finally CTR is not necessarily the measure of an effective ad. There are documented "latent" and "offline" impacts from online display ads that have never been clicked on. Furthermore, I believe that mobile (including tablets) may turn out to be the most effective branding medium available to advertisers. 

See related: 

Millennial Media: Apple Regains Momentum, Android Dominates Ad Requests

Millennial Media put out its monthly "Mobile Mix" device and OS report reflecting the top operating systems and devices accessing publisher sites on its network. The report showed a renewed surge by Apple devices, but Android remained the top smartphone OS. The company also exposed some global OS metrics from Stat Counter.

Here are the highlights:

  • Apple, the leading device manufacturer represented 26% of the Top 15 Manufacturers impression share in January, a 24% increase month-over-month.
  • Apple iPod Touch reclaimed the number two position on the Top 30 Mobile Devices list in January
  • Android continues to lead iOS as the largest Smartphone OS for the second consecutive month, with a 54% impression share in January
  • HTC grew 36% in January to claim the number two position in the Top 15 Manufacturers Ranking
  • Symbian impressions grew significantly in January, increasing 24% month-over-month
  • Wi-Fi experienced a 21% increase month-over-month in January. The increase in impression share of Connected Devices month-over-month contributed to the increase in Wi-Fi

Here are the smartphone and OS share figures on Millennial's network for January:
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Compare November, 2010:

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Smartphone penetration has grown and Android has dramatically grown. Apple's OS now accounts for slighly more than half of the ad requests on Millennial's network. Below, however, is global OS market share, showing Android with about half the penetration of iOS. 

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Campbell's Soup: iAd Outperforms TV

For some time I've speculated that mobile might be a more compelling branding medium than TV. InsightExpress and Dynamic Logic have shown data multiple times that reflect higher brand lift and unaided recall from mobile vs. PC display ads. Now comes a study with the first solid evidence of my prediction, showing that iAds performed better than TV advertising.

Campbell's Soup, one of the early iAd adopters, conducted a study with Nielsen, measuring recall, intent to purchase, favorability and other metrics. According to a write-up of the study in AdAge:

Those exposed to one of Campbell's iAds were more than twice as likely to recall it than those who had seen a TV ad. Indeed the five-week study, conducted by Nielsen, showed that consumers shown an iAd remembered the brand "Campbell's" five times more often than TV ad respondents and the ad messaging three times more often.

IAd respondents said they intended to purchase Campbell's four times more than the TV group and that they liked the ad five times more. TV and mobile audiences were queried separately in mobile and online surveys. The TV audiences were part of Nielsen's panel, while mobile users were recruited within various apps.

Once again: "IAd respondents said they intended to purchase Campbell's four times more than the TV group." These people are not only potential purchasers of the product but they're social promoters. They'll potentially tell friends about the campaign so there's a likely secondary benefit or effect (which wasn't reported). 

This study will have a major impact on brands and agencies, which are adopting mobile marketing and advertising in earnest. It's unlikely to move much of the TV budget in the near term. But if these results are replicated and repeated it will send a shockwave through the big agencies. 

Related posts:

Most Apps Don't Get a Chance to Make a Second Impression

We all know that Apple recently announced its 10 billionth app download. But the larger question about apps goes to engagement and retention. How often are apps used and are they used more than once? Mobile app analytics provider Localytics just published data that shows "26% of Apps Downloaded in 2010 Were Used Just Once."

The data overall show between 20% and 30% of mobile subscribers only use apps a single time -- presumably deciding there's not enough there to make them come back. However 75% or so do return, though whether it's more than twice is not mentioned in the Localytics data.

 

Being discovered is increasingly tough, which is why lots of mobile advertising promotes app downloads. Retaining users it also tough. To my knowledge nobody yet has "normalized" app churn (downloads to regular users). Regardless of the apps heavy users are going to be in the minority vs. occasional users vs. all downloads. 

The above data impliedly argue that users should be educated about what the app is about before downloading (via news, PR, word of mouth) and that the app's value proposition must be very intuitive and self-evident. Games are arguably in a different category. 

The average number of smartphone apps (per Nielsen) is 37 for the iPhone and 22 for Android devices. Here are the most common app discovery methods:

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Accordingly word of mouth would appear to be a critical driver of app adoption. Thus the mundane advice is: build a great and useful (or fun) app and then promote the heck out of it through all available channels. 

Mobile Display Growing Dramatically for Google

Friday Google released AdMob data showing 2010 growth and ad distribution by region for the Google mobile display network. The largest region is North America (dominated by the US), followed by Asia and Western Europe.

According to IDC's most recent estimates mobile display is not as big a revenue source as mobile paid search for Google. Here are the estimated US mobile display ad market share figures (minus search dollars): 

  • Google: 19%
  • Apple: 18.8%
  • Millennial: 15.4%
  • Yahoo: 10.1%
  • Jumptap: 8.4%
  • Microsoft: 7.8% 
  • Others (including AOL, Nokia): 20.5%

The following are the AdMob charts showing 2010 growth by region:

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4Info Touts Growth, Transformation to '360°' Ad Network

4INFO yesterday announced that it has dramatically grown its display ad business and now reaches "75 percent of all US Mobile Web." It has done this by leveraging its US SMS advertising and publisher relationships to include display advertising from the company. 4INFO also touted some high display campaigns in its release: 

  • KFC – After a successful launch of the Doublicious chicken sandwich supported by a free version of the Backbreaker Lite app, KFC is back to promote Hot Wings with brand integration in the Backbreaker 2 app. This special edition of Backbreaker 2 will be available for download from the App Storesm within the next few weeks.
  • Universal Picture’s “Little Fockers” – 4INFO created an interactive mobile campaign, reaching consumers with mobile advertising. The campaign included a free iPhone app called “My Holiday Planner” that helped prepare users for their family holiday visits and tasks. The app was specifically chosen in conjunction with the Fockers release and the holiday season.
  • Proctor & Gamble – P&G has renewed multiple product campaigns, including Herbal Essence and CoverGirl.

Last November 4INFO launched its "AdHaven" platform, which the company promotes as a "360 degree" solution for advertisers and which offers "display and SMS advertising, as well mobile app, rich media, and video ad units."

While SMS has the greatest reach of any mobile ad format it's not well appreciated by brands and agencies, much like search was shunned by brands for years until necessity drove adoption. 

Verve Names New CEO, Readies for Expansion

Verve Wireless has named Tom MacIsaac as new CEO. Art Howe, co-founder of Verve and prior CEO, will remain as Chairman. According to the press release that went out this morning:

Tom was CEO of ExtendMedia, which he grew into the leading IP video platform serving major operators, including AT&T, Verizon and Bell Canada, and leading movie studios, including Disney and Paramount. Extend was acquired by Cisco Systems in September 2010. Previously, Tom served as CEO of Lightningcast, a pioneer in online video advertising where he led the development of the first advertising technology platform specifically designed for monetizing broadband video and launched the first online video ad network. After AOL acquired Lightningcast in 2006, Tom served as SVP Strategy overseeing strategy, strategic planning and corporate and business development for AOL's market-leading advertising business, Advertising.com. Prior to Lightningcast, Tom was founder and CEO of Backwire, an online and mobile messaging company that was acquired by Leap Wireless in 2001. Prior to his career in digital media, Tom was a corporate lawyer with the global law firm Dechert.

Verve is positioning itself as a premium local display ad network for mobile. It originally developed its network, like Quattro and others previously, by building and hosting publisher (primarily newspaper) mobile sites. The company is focused on both national-local and small business advertisers. It has a presence in the "top 200 markets" in the US. 

Recently surveys by Handmark and Pew show the degree to which mobile has become an important and even preferred news medium, especially for breaking news. According to the Handmark survey (n=300,000):

Mobile has pulled ahead of the desktop web as the preferred medium to access breaking news information. More than 30% of respondents surveyed feel mobile is the most important medium to access breaking news, compared to 29% who prefer the desktop web, 21% who prefer television, and a mere 3% who chose newspapers as their the most important medium for breaking news.  

This will be a significant year for mobile advertising and growth. The foundation has been laid in the form of consumer adoption of smartphones and mobile in general. Regardless of which mobile ad forecast one points to, the medium is now a critical one -- both for publishers and advertisers seeking to build awareness or to drive offline purchases. 

Related posts: 

Android Surging, Potential iPhone Switching

On the heels of Verizon's embrace of the iPhone and speculation over how it may impact Android handset sales, ad network Millennial Media released December data showing that ad requests coming from Android handsets were now generating more impressions (and revenue) on Millennial's network than the iPhone.

This is consistent with sales data from comScore and Nielsen showing that Android has surged among recent smartphone purchasers. It's the first time that Android has collectively surpassed iOS devices on Millennial's network. However the iPhone remained the top single device, followed by the BlackBerry Curve.

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Android's growth represented a 13% increase quarter-over-quarter, according to Millennial. Since January, Android has grown a massive 3130%. Smartphones now represent 60% of devices on Millennial's network (compared to 48% in May, 2010).

Simultaneously ChangeWave released some survey findings about potential switching to a Verizon iPhone. 

The chart above indicates the percentage of mobile subscribers who plan to switch carriers without regard to any particular device. However the chart below shows that 16% of AT&T customers are stongly considering a switch to Verizon for the iPhone. Another 23% are ambivalent. The chief reasons for considering leaving AT&T were "poor reception" and "dropped calls." 

If we interpret "don't know" in the chart above as "maybe," it suggests that almost 40% of AT&T customers surveyed may leave for the iPhone. If even the 16% make good on their impulse it would be significant. 

The early evidence is that people are quite excited about the Verizon iPhone and we're likely to see high initial sales figures. A not-so-hidden benefit in all this for Apple is that a VZW iPhone blocks or will dilute some of the Android brand advertising.

Of course Verizon will continue to promote Android devices but without the hard-charging and almost offensive ads that attacked the iPhone as "feminine."

AdMob Now Seeing 2B Daily Ad Requests

Now that AdMob is part of Google we're not getting the great monthly data and reports that we used to see from the company. But Google has just put out some new data on impression growth. The headline (literally) is that AdMob is seeing 2+ billion ad requests per day (on a global basis).

Here's more: 

  • Ad requests have grown 4X in the past 12 months
  • More than 100 million unique Android and iOS devices requested an ad each month, nearly doubling over the last six months.
  • Nine countries in the AdMob network generated more than a billion monthly ad requests in December 2010, up from just one country a year ago.
  • The strongest regional growth in monthly ad requests over the past year has come from Asia (564%), Western Europe (471%) and Oceania (363%)

Google previously said that it had a $1 billion mobile advertising run rate. I did a quick analysis of how that billion might break down, assuming that mobile ad revenues were distributed along the same lines as paid-search revenue generally speaking.

IDC's revised US mobile ad numbers show Google as totally dominant over the rest of the field in terms of market share.

  • Google: 59%
  • Apple: 8.4%
  • Millennial: 6.8%
  • Yahoo: 5.6% 
  • Microsoft: 4.3%
  • Other: 15.9%

These figures below include search, which is 56% of mobile ad revenue in the US according to the firm. Almost none of the competing mobile ad networks and platforms have search ad revenue, which is why it's so lopsided in Google's favor. Just looking at display the IDC numbers look somewhat more balanced:

  • Google: 19%
  • Apple: 18.8%
  • Millennial: 15.4%
  • Yahoo: 10.1%
  • Jumptap: 8.4%
  • Microsoft: 7.8% 
  • Others (including AOL, Nokia): 20.5%

LBS Apps & Brands: SVNGR & Nissan

Previously I argued that LBS apps are as much about brand engagement as they are about deals/coupons. (Indeed this is where the money is.) Here's another of several examples: the Nissan "Juke the City" promotion using SCVNGR as an engagement tool.

SCVNGR, which just raised a $15 million funding round is being used by Nissan in connection with a sweepstakes to help build awareness of the new car.

According to the company's blog, users with the app (iPhone, Android) check in and complete challenges at locations in several cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco) in order to be entered to win a new Juke. There are also lesser prizes involved. 

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We'll see more and more smart brands use LBS apps to influence user behavior around new products this year and into the future. It's partly about location but mostly about brand awareness and affinity. And the gaming aspect works perfects in this context. 

Deals are great to drive people into stores and physical locations (and for loyalty). But there's an equally large if not larger opportunity for these LBS firms and brands to work together in clever and creative ways. 

Millennial Media Raises $27.5M Round for Growth, Acquisitions

Millennial Media this morning announced $27.5 million in new funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Charles River Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. This brings total funding of Millennial to over $65 million. 

The company said that it would use the money for growth (especially international), technology investment and targeted acquisitions. Millennial also said that the company grew revenues 3X in 2010 over 2009. That partly reflects Millennial's particular success as well as the mobile ad industry's general revenue growth.

Mobile advertising and marketing growth will accelerate in 2011. Currently the overall number is just under $1 billion in the US. 

IDC's revised its US mobile ad numbers in December. They depict Millennial as the number three mobile display network, after Google (#1) and Apple (#2). Currently Millennial operates in 250 countries globally and says it reaches 85% of the mobile Internet audience in the US (now almost 90 million according to Nielsen). 

Millennial is a future candidate for an IPO but also could be an attractive takeover target as well. However the new funding makes the company more expensive to would-be acquirors. 

See related posts:

JiWire Launches App-like 'Compass' Ads for Mobile Users

JiWire is becoming a more interesting company by the day. It began as a WiFi ad network, showing location and contextually relevant ads to people logging on to WiFi hotspots. A couple of weeks ago the company acquired NearbyNow, which offers mobile app development and local product inventory information, together with a concierge service that allows users to hold products for local in-store pickup.

Today the company launched Compass ads for the iPhone, iPad and laptops. They look like conventional mobile display ads but provide very rich iAd-like functionality. Beyond that they also provide the full capability of NearbyNow's product inventory and in-store pickup service. In other words these ads are highly interactive and operate like mini-apps effectively. 

Below is a set of images of how the ads look on the iPhone, for a fictional campaign. A traditional-looking mobile banner opens a highly interactive app-like ad in which users can interact with content in several ways including browsing product inventory and putting items on hold for local-store pickup:

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Launch partners for the ads include Groupon, The Gap, Ritz Camera, HP and Clinique. These ads would allow retailers and brands to send users to local retail stores to purchase products. 

Previously JiWire said that display ads with local ad copy provide a 40% lift vs. generic national ads. And ads with a “local call to action” have shown as much as a 120% lift. JiWire told me that it now reaches 40 million monthly uniques and is continuing to expand distribution. 

Google, Telenav and Navteq have similarly introduced ads that tie into maps and can lead users to a point of sale. This is a huge opportunity in mobile to take brand or product ads and show consumers where they can buy them nearby. The effectively of this type of advertising has already been demonstrated. 

It's now just a question of getting the word out to agencies and media buyers. 

Millennial: Android Share Even with Apple's

Millennial Media's new Mobile Mix devices report shows Android's continuing incremental gains vs. Apple. Perhaps more interesting, it also holds some positive news for Windows Phones as well.

In Millennial's top devices list Apple now occupies the top two positions (with the iPad at 7), while the most prominent BlackBerry device (Curve, formerly #2) fell two spots vs. last month's report. Similarly the Motorola Droid gained two places to now reside at #3. Collectively Android handsets now have greater share on Millennial's network than the iPhone but not iOS devices as a whole. 

The share of smartphones on Millennial's network was actually down 2 points from October (61%). In November Smartphones represented 58% of the devices there. By comparison Nielsen says that smartphones are now 28% of all handsets in the US

The relative share of iPhones vs. Android devices was relatively stable (both with 38% of impressions). They were tied at 37% last month. In the ongoing iPhone vs. Android debate and narrative there are ways to spin these data to show Android now beating the iPhone and vice versa. The takeaways from the report will largely reflect Android's gains. However, yesterday Verizon data came out that showed surprising weakness at the platform's largest carrier-partner. 

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 Millennial's devices ranking April, 2010: 

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The data in the chart below show developer intentions regarding platform support in 2011. What's interesting is the relatively high level of enthusiasm (in the abstract) for Windows Phones. Microsoft has not released sales figures suggesting that the platform has underperformed and that sales are less than hoped for. But this is a bit of good news. A strong apps catalog and developer ecosystem is critical for success in the current market -- although Windows Phones de-emphasize the role of apps in the use experience. 

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