With thanks to: Mobyaffiliates
It has been some time since I first remember trying to sign The Guardian to the YOC media network, sometime in 2009. From memory at the time, 4th Screen were selling around 1 million page views per month. I have posted below the latest figures from their site**, that figure now stands at 6.2 million and generates more unique browsers and monthly page views than their iOS, Android and iOS tablet apps combined. These figures are somewhat surprising but not because their mobile internet has the biggest pull, rather that their mobile traffic has only 6 fold in 4 or so years and all their mobile channels are not generating significant page impressions.
I have always been an advocate for mobile internet and I do get and understand that having an app strategy for print and digital publishers makes perfect sense. After all, I have personally been involved in building so many for clients as such, why wouldn’t I think this. My bigger question is why is their mobile internet site and apps not generating higher levels of uniques or monthly page impressions? We know they have an award winning app and their paid for model seemed to work and made them a small profit after development costs.
But… why is their mobile internet site generating far less monthly page impressions in ratio to their applications? And… are their applications generating enough impressions in ratio to the unique users?
Generating 6.2 million page impressions from 2.5 million unique browsers can be averaged out that for every one customer visiting the site once a month is only generating 2.5 page impressions per visit. I am guessing that their customers are visiting more than once a month which would mean they are generating even less impressions per visit (just divide the impression number by the number of visits). As you can see from these states it becomes somewhat disappointing and raises some concern. Maybe I am interpreting unique browsers wrongly as unique users, but it sounds like the same thing to me.
Again applying the same principle generating 1 million page impressions from 34,000 uniques can be averaged out that for every 1 customer using the app once a month is generating about 30 impressions per visit. Like their mobile internet users the reality is they are visiting more than once a month and therefore the impressions they generate per visit are even less.
Lets look at the rest, again applying the same methodology…
45,113 monthly uniques generating 3.45 million page impressions equates to 1 customer visiting once a month generating 75 page impressions per visit.
11,000 monthly uniques are generating 1.2 million page impressions equates to 1 customer visiting once a month generating 110 page impressions per visit.
In summary, it shows that their Android app is generating a much richer experience than their other channels. Or maybe Android users are just more engaged than iOS users. We have to be careful here as their mobile internet site will have traffic from all devices but overall the statistics suggest that most of their mobile site users are less engaged than their app users.
In my experience, working with print and digital publishers it is typical for a user to generate up to 10 impressions per visit but at an absolute minimum of visiting the site or apps 2 to 3 times a week. This would mean you would have to divide those impressions (generated by the users) by approximately 12. In doing that, the numbers would suggest that only their Android app and iPad app are delivering a rich experience where the user is most engaged generating 9 to 6 impressions per visit respectively. The others fall well short of this and their mobile internet site alarmingly so.
2.5 million monthly unique browsers
6.2 million monthly page views
Users are accessing a broad range of content through m.guardian with the top five most visited sections being world news, football, sport, technology and Comment is free. Comment is free alone delivers over 250,000 page views per month – an indication that users are valuable opinion leaders.
An award winning iPhone app featuring video, live blogs and more that is available free to users in the US.
34,000 monthly unique browsers
1 million monthly page views
With steady growth in unique browsers of almost 50% over the last four months, the iPhone app is another strong performer in GNM’s mobile portfolio. What’s more, the proportion of heavy users is high at just over 50%. That, combined with a strong frequency metric for user behaviour, indicates a very loyal and engaged audience.
In addition to the regular news content, users have a strong preference for football, sport and business content.
We launched our critically acclaimed iPad app in October 2011 and since then it has been downloaded more than 500,000 times (globally). With a clean, modern design and easy navigation the Guardian iPad app is immensely readable.
45,113 monthly unique browsers
3.45 million monthly page views
Free to download and available from the Android market worldwide it contains the latest news, sport, comment, reviews, videos, podcasts and picture galleries from the Guardian website.
11,000 monthly unique browsers
1.2 million monthly page views
The app delivers a globally minded audience of opinion leaders and the most popular sections include football, Comment is free and world news.
Furthermore, over one in three are heavy users and this has steadily increased over the last few months – an indication that user loyalty and engagement is growing.
SOURCE**: Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/advertising/mobile?newsfeed=true)
My Comments on the below:
It is becoming harder and harder to differentiate between a smartphone and tablet. However, there are two distinctive behaviours that will not change. Browsing the internet ‘at home’ and ‘on the go’. There is a certain size tablet that will mainly stay at home for the internet browsing as described in the article such as an iPad or other earlier tablet devices. In parallel, the newer smaller devices such as Galaxy Note that blur the line between smartphone and tablet lean towards being a device that access information ‘on the go’ and equally ‘at home’. The key difference is they are delivering a larger visual experience ‘on the go’ and a larger enough experience to access the internet ‘at home’ that could be considered richer than traditional smartphones. Maybe we should call them internetphones
Posted By } David Moth
By the end of Q1 2012 smartphones accounted for 6.1% of site visits compared to 4.3% on tablet.
However, smartphones only maintain a greater share of website visits due to the lower penetration rate of tablets.
Adobe predicts that at its current rate of growth tablet traffic will surpass smartphone traffic within 12 months.
Within a year of its launch in Q2 2010 the iPad accounted for 1% of total website visits, reaching 4.3% of total visits by the end of 2011.
In contrast, within the first two years of the iPhone market entry, smartphones accounted for 0.4% of total website visits, taking nearly three years to reach 1% of total visits.
If this trend continues then tablets will account for more than 10% of website visits in 2014.
But Adobe’s report isn’t the first piece of research to highlight the growing popularity of tablets.
A recent survey by InMobi and Mobext found that 69% of tablet owners make a purchase on their device every month.
This highlights the fact that e-tailers need to have a tablet strategy in place.
Our comprehensive blog post, ‘tablets: the opportunity for marketers‘, has a number of tips for how advertisers should seek to target tablet users.
However, we should also be careful not to overstate the importance of tablets, as despite similar levels of engagement PCs drive disproportionately more website visits than tablets.
Adobe’s report shows across North America and Western Europe there were six times more PCs shipped than tablets in between 2009 and 2011.
Yet in Q1 2012 PCs accounted for 19 times more website visits.
The reasons for this are fairly obvious – people use PCs all day at work, and most tablet owners will also use a PC for browsing at home.
Adobe report also appears to fail to take into account the millions of PCs in existence before 2009.
Finally, the data shows that tablet users are more likely to use their device to visit certain types of websites.
For example, consumers consider tablets and PCs to be nearly interchangeable for media consumption and for repeated interactions with financial service providers.
“This suggests that consumers consider tablets to be similar to PCs for visits that are repeated, routine, involve passive consumption of content, and so on.”
However, PC conversion rates are much higher than tablet for retail and travel sites, “suggesting that consumers prefer PCs for visits involving research, comparison of alternatives, and online purchasing.”
Adobe’s Digital Index Report presents findings from an analysis of 23bn visits made to more than 325 mobile and traditional brand websites from January to March of 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Posted By } Olga Kharif
Like many users of mobile devices, Arvind Jain is annoyed by how long it takes Web pages to load over cellular connections.
The Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG) engineering director is continually monitoring Internet-access rates — from hotels, offices and airport lounges around the world — looking for ways to speed things up. Jain’s mission: get websites to load over mobile- phone networks twice as quickly as they do now. Today’s times are typically 9.2 seconds in the U.S.
The goal is part of a companywide initiative for Google, the world’s biggest search-engine provider, which aims to use faster mobile Internet access to unlock billions of dollars in additional e-commerce and online advertising. When people are waiting for pages to load, they aren’t shopping or viewing ads. That’s hampering everyone from giant Internet companies to local businesses trying to reach customers.
“There’s a clear correlation between speed and the success of your online business,” Jain said.
What makes a mobile Web connection slow? In some cases, it’s the carriers’ network — say, if users can’t get 3G or 4G service on their phones. Often, though, it’s because the Web page wasn’t designed to load quickly on a wireless device. The site may have high-resolution pictures or data-intensive effects. Beyond that, Internet protocols and software aren’t always optimized for mobile connections, which can lose some of the data they transmit.
An especially long delay can cause consumers to give up on purchases altogether, and the risk is more acute on mobile phones than with desktop computers. Twice as many mobile-phone users abandon a website for reasons such as sluggishness than their desktop counterparts, according to Forrester Research Inc. (FORR) (FORR)That results in lost revenue for online sellers, as well as companies like Google, the U.S. leader in mobile advertising.
To fix the problem, Google is tweaking its mobile browser and working with other companies on changing the way basic Internet technologies work. It’s also rolling out tools that help website owners see the connection between their sites’ performance and sales. That can prod businesses to spend the money needed to speed up their services.
Faster mobile Web loads could increase mobile-commerce sales in the U.S. by 10 percent, or about $600 million a year, said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester. They also could help online commerce in general: Almost half of mobile users are unlikely to return to a website at all if they had trouble accessing it from their phone, a 2011 study by Equation Research found.
“There’s a big business impact to these kind of struggles,” said Geoff Galat, vice president of worldwide marketing at Tealeaf Technology Inc., a provider of website- improvement software.
Faster mobile Web speeds also translate into additional mobile-ad revenue. A 30 percent improvement in mobile Internet’s speed could lead to a 15 percent rise in ad sales, said Trevor Healy, chief executive officer of mobile-ad provider Amobee Inc. U.S. mobile-advertising spending will reach $2.61 billion this year, up from $1.45 billion in 2011, according to EMarketer Inc.
While carriers adopting 4G networks have helped speed up the mobile Internet, those upgrades won’t have the biggest impact on performance, said Craig Mathias, founder of consulting firm Farpoint Group in Ashland, Massachusetts. Improvements to servers, browsers and other Internet software are even more important, he said.
Google has plenty of company in trying to accelerate mobile connections. Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) (AKAM), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (MSFT), Mozilla and a slew of startups are all focused on optimizing Web performance.
The effort could be help mobile speeds catch up with desktop rates by 2014, said Lelah Manz, chief strategist for e- commerce at Akamai. For now, wired users are far ahead. They haven’t had to deal with nine-second downloads since at least 2001, according to Akamai.
“Mobile has to catch up,” Manz said. “Your shoppers are more distracted on a mobile device, and the performance is more important. This realization has just started to hit in the last six to nine months.”
To get there, Google has been tweaking its Chrome Web browser for Android, the most popular smartphone operating system. The software will rely more heavily on artificial intelligence in predicting what Web address someone wants to visit — and then start loading the page while the user is still typing. That feature is currently available in a beta-test form, Jain said.
Google also is pushing for revisions to Internet protocols, the decades-old rules that govern the way the Web functions. The changes would better handle the quirks of modern mobile networks, such as their propensity to occasionally lose data en route. A revision called TCP PRR, for example, will deploy a new algorithm that accounts for data losses and network congestion.
Another adjustment, called TCP Fast Open, will eliminate the need to synchronize the phone and the server before transmitting the data. Once the revision is adopted, synchronization will happen at the same time as the transfer of data from a website.
Google recently updated its Google Analytics feature to let Web publishers overlay the speed of their site with business measurements, such as revenue per day. That helps them see the correlation and figure out return on investment.
Akamai, meanwhile, is working with Ericsson AB (ERICB), the world’s largest maker of wireless networks, to develop special technology that carriers can use to provide priority Web access to users of retail websites, Manz said. The technology will become available in the U.S. in 2013, she said.
In March, Akamai released the Aqua Mobile Accelerator, a technology that sends multiple packets over the mobile network at the same time, cutting down on the number of repeat requests.
Startups are plunging into mobile Web optimization as well. For the past two months, CloudFlare Inc. has been testing a feature called Polish, which automatically goes through images on websites and ensures they are compressed correctly. Mobile- app maker Onavo Mobile Ltd., makes sure images only load when users scroll down to the part of the Web page where the pictures would be visible.
For retailers, such technical advances can’t come soon enough. Said Jonathan Johnson, president of retailer Overstock.com Inc., a Web discounter based in Salt Lake City: “The longer purchasers have to wait, the more frustrated they get, and the more likely they are to leave the site.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland, Oregon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Thomas Giles at email@example.com