Tag Archives: blackberry

40 percent of Apple game downloads are free titles with in-app purchases

Lets see how Apple handles this one going forward with their change in stance on Pay-per-install as its a big part of the market for apps in the App Store…plus a revenue generate for those developers who monetise through in app purchase…

Free-to-play games have become huge on Apple’s App Store in the past 19 months. Almost 40 percent of game downloads are now free titles with in-app purchases, according to a study by Xyologic, a startup that indexes and searches through App Store data.

In March, there were more than 99.9 million downloads of free iPhone games from the App Store. About 80.8 percent of all app downloads in the month of March were free. In many of these games and apps, the free-to-play model is used, where a user can pay real money through the in-app purchase feature for virtual goods such as better weapons in a game.

The scary part is that Apple has made a lot of the developers of these apps and games nervous because of its shift in stance on a particular kind of model, known as pay-per-install. In games that use this model, an app will offer an incentive for the user to install another app as a kind of cross promotion. But a couple of weeks ago, Apple cracked down on the pay-per-install model because it can be used to artificially inflate a game’s ranking in the top 25 apps in the store. That has affected pay-per-install marketing firms such as Tapjoy.

The problem is that the free-to-play model (of which the pay-per-install model is one part) has become a bigger and bigger part of the total number of app downloads, and it has become a bigger percentage of revenues for developers. Those developers used pay-per-install marketing to help their apps stand out among 350,000 iOS apps. Apple feared it was leading to market manipulation. To ease Apple’s concerns, Tapjoy has limited certain promotions using the pay-per-install model.

“It may make Apple’s platform possibly less attractive vis-a-vis Google Android if developers can’t find a suitable alternative to offer walls,” the report said. “This is the biggest interference by Apple into the app economy in recent months. Its effects, at this point, are unclear.”

While Apple makes much more money with the App Store than Google does with the Android Market, the number of apps is another story now. Xyologic says that in March, 28,963 new apps debuted in the Android Market, while 18,787 debuted in Apple’s store.

Apple has to be careful about how it resolves the pay-per-install problem if it wants to hang on to its developers. The top developers affected by Apple’s decision likely include Glu Mobile, which saw 2.48 million downloads of free games with in-app purchases in March. The second-ranked company was Pocket Gems, with 1.55 million downloads. That was followed by TeamLava (part of Storm8) with 1.41 million; Craneball Studios with 1.41 million; Gameview Studios with 1.41 million; Sunstorm Interactive with 1.18 million; Capcom Interactive with 969,000; Backflip Studios with 933,000; Storm8 with 752,000; and BayView Labs (DeNA) with 723,000.

Xyologic says that almost all of the paid games on the App Store are priced below $3.99. Of the 8,017 iPhone apps offering in-app purchases in the App Store in the U.S., some 2,156 of them were free games with in-app purchases. That was up from 709 in September. Overall, about 4 percent of game apps account for 40 percent of all downloads.

Of the 150 top free games on the App Store, 94 games, or 63 percent, are games with in-app purchases. These are some of the observations based on the data that Xyologic dug out through its search service. Berlin-based Xyologic indexes 610,000 apps in the App Store, the Android Market, and the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace on a monthly basis. It can rank the number of downloads for each app and publisher in the month, according to Xyologic’s Matthaus Krzykowski (an occasional VentureBeat contributor).

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2011/04/28/almost-40-percent-of-app-store-game-downloads-were-free-titles-in-app-purchases/

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Keeping a balanced investment between apps and mobile

A Microsoft study found that consumer usage of mobile Web browsers and mobile apps is equal, signaling the importance for marketers to keep a balanced investment between the two.

The Microsoft data shows that there are no significant behavioral differences across mobile operating systems. Thus, marketers should consider campaigns that include multiple handsets to achieve the campaign objectives and optimize reach metrics instead of focusing on select OSs, per Microsoft.

“Consumers are more engaged with mobile than we think,” said Pavan Li, senior research manager at Microsoft Advertising, Redmond, WA. “Our findings showed nine of 10 mobile Internet users have used mobile search and eight of 10 mobile Internet users have used their mobile device as part of their purchase process.

“Focus on the reach instead of the OS,” she said.

A Forrester Research study predicts that marketers will finally allocate sufficient funds into mobile, with an estimated $1 billion in spend for mobile display and search advertising by year-end.

The Microsoft Advertising mobile ad network reaches 55 percent of U.S. mobile Internet users, according to Nielsen’s May 2010 Mobile Media View.

Microsoft’s mobile ad network reaches users on the following handsets:  59 percent on iPhone, 53 percent on Android, 45 percent on BlackBerry and 55 percent on feature phones, per Nielsen.

Mobile Web and apps are both important
Here are some of the main takeaways of the Microsoft research:

Mobile has become a part of cross-media consumption

There are more heavy mobile Web users than heavy app users

Mobile ad exposure impact store traffic

Multi-screen exposure drives increased brand interaction and conversion

Microsoft Advertising advises marketers to keep a balanced investment between applications and the mobile Web.

Maintaining a balanced approach with on-deck and off-deck ads targeting both the mobile Web and apps will increase the success of mobile campaigns aimed at driving consumer reach and engagement, per Microsoft.

“To maximize audience reach and engagement, marketers need to consider a more balanced approach to mobile campaigns that include mobile browsers as well as mobile apps across multiple handsets, including Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and feature phones,” Ms. Li said.

“Based on our findings, iPhone users are the most balanced users between apps and browser,” she said. “It is completely different from what we would assume due to the focus on iPhone apps in the consumer and trade press.”

Source: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/9756.html


Who owns the paying mobile consumer: carriers or handset-makers?

Handset manufactuers, carriers and payment franchises: Who has the power?

The battle between Research In Motion and wireless carriers over mobile-payment data is a precursor to a larger war over who owns consumers making transactions using mobile devices.

United States carriers assumed continued ownership of their subscribers with the announcement of Isis, their bid to create a standard for enabling contactless payments and marketing at retailers’ point of sale via Near Field Communication. Now RIM and other handset manufacturers are exploring alternatives to that model, and the equation gets even more complicated when factoring in payment franchises such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

“Technically, RIM and Apple cannot preclude the SIM card solution proposed by the U.S. carriers through the Isis joint venture, and the carriers can’t preclude RIM from developing a mobile OS solution,” said David Schropfer, author of “The Smartphone Wallet,” Red Bank, NJ.

“From a consumer perspective, a smartphone connected to a mobile network will have more features—like loyalty program integration), and offer a higher degree of control for the consumer, than an application that relies on the NFC connection to the retailer during a transaction,” he said.

“The biggest question is whether or not the consumer will have access to those products in the future, or if efforts to bring these products to market will be derailed by the incumbents.”

Who will brand the mobile wallet?
The gist of the debate between BlackBerry-maker RIM and the carriers is whether data related to mobile payments will sit on wireless devices’ SIM cards, thus keeping the control with the carriers, or whether the handset-makers can build payment credentials directly into handsets, potentially doing an end-run around the carriers.

The argument boils down to who owns the customers using a mobile wallet and who gets a cut of the revenue—and how much of a cut.

RIM and other handset manufacturers would prefer to partner with financial institutions directly.

BlackBerry devices set to launch later this year will reportedly have NFC chips embedded in them, as does Google’s Nexus S Android smartphone.

Speculation has been rampant as to whether or not Apple will support NFC with the release of the iPhone 5.
The assumption was that when NFC was brought to market, carriers would control the SIM cards, a single-wire protocol with an NFC antenna directly connected to the secure elements in the device, per Yankee Group.

“That was the traditional model—the assumption was that with NFC, the final say of which credentials go onto the mobile phone would be controlled by the carriers, which is why they thought they could shut out Visa and MasterCard with Isis,” said Nick Holland, senior analyst at Yankee Group, Boston.

Inside Secure is an example of a company that sells chipsets that allow operating systems on mobile devices to access not just one secure element, but many.

Mr. Holland said that it does not have to be just the SIM now that is dictated by the wireless carrier—there can be an additional secure element on top of the SIM that companies such as Gemalto supply.

The key takeaway: Whoever owns the secure element, owns the transactions.

“Maybe six months ago the only option for Visa or MasterCard would have been an NFC sticker, but now they have the potential to completely bypass the carriers by partnering with the OEMs or creating an SD Microcard they put out themselves,” Mr. Holland said. “RIM is doing this, and I would expect others to follow suit.

“Carriers want the potential for everybody to access the secure element, but it is going to be messy, especially in the U.S., where the carriers pretty much dictate which handsets are on their networks,” he said. “Is AT&T going to say, ‘no, I’m not going to stock the new iPhone, thank you very much’?

The real value proposition for NFC is it being really simple to use, and if there are multiple secure elements on a device, that is adding additional dimensions of complexity for consumers.

This fight is over who owns the secure element, which could somewhat disrupt the usability of these handsets, per Yankee Group.

Mr. Holland believes that there will be less of a monopoly in terms of who owns the secure element going forward. That will lead to competition for carrier initiatives such as Isis.

“Isis has a real problem on its hands now,” Mr. Holldand said. “The carriers assumed that they would own the handsets and the SIM, and therefore said ‘We will own the transaction and we can shut out Visa and MasterCard.’

“However, if you are Visa, you probably don’t want to put out an SD Microcard on your own—it would be much easier to rent space on the SIM,” he said. “Isis may have to play nice and let Visa and MasterCard rent space on the SIM and process transactions.

“This is going to be really hotly fought over.”

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com