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)
Google Ventures’ partner Rich Miner made the announcement during VentureBeat’s fourth annual MobileBeat conference. (We have a separate story withmore details on the Astrid investment.) We’ll be posting more on those companies throughout the day.
After the announcement, Miner answered the question on everyone’s mind: Where’s the Android fund? Kleiner Perkins has its Apple-focused iFund, but neither Google nor venture firms have anything similar for Android startups.
“I think the time has gone by,” said Miner. “It’s now all about mobile.”
The proof is in the pudding, er, funding: Astrid and Crittercism are both mobile companies.
Miner has a front seat to watch mobile phone market growth. He became a partner of Google Ventures after Android, the mobile platforms company he co-founded, was acquired six years ago. He has over 25 years of experience growing businesses with innovative communications and interface-intensive applications. During his early years at Google, he helped lead the development of the Android platform and ecosystem. Prior to Android, Rich was a Vice President at Orange, where he led R&D activities in North America and was an original principal at Orange Ventures when it was founded.
Miner recalled his early days at Google six years ago, when Android was “treated as a separate startup.” The company was self-funded when Google picked it up.
“It was Larry [Page, Google co-founder] who latched on first. He was our champion. He shared our strategic view,” said Miner. He says he was impressed that Page, his co-founder Sergey Brin and then-CEO-now-chairman Eric Schmidt understood the mobile industry. It was important for Android to have support and flexibility right from the start, and those ingredients are necessary today.
“There were skeptics about Android all the way through last year,” said Miner. “There has been a tipping point.”
That tipping point happened in the last six months, he explains. As a VC, Miner’s goal has always been to make money, and Apple’s App Store makes money. Up until last year he was recommending companies focus on iOS. Now, he says, Android is “on a rocket ship.”
Another hot topic: Where is Google going with Chrome?
Miner believes the line between Android and Chrome has been drawn: Android is for mobile, while Chrome is for desktop and laptop environments. The theme is that Google understands the open platform. Miner also believes native apps and HTML 5 both have their place. Android, however, supports both for the times you want or need to go offline.
Posted By ] Juli
As you probably know, the details of iOS 5 were released today at the Wordlwide Developer’s conference, and while we’re covering all of the new features that are coming, we wanted to give you a more in depth look at Mail and Safari, both of which are getting exciting new changes.
iOS 5 won’t be released until the fall, but we’ve got a lot to look forward to. Safari is already a very popular web browser, and 2/3rds of all mobile web browsing is done with Safari. It’s always lacked some necessary features, and I’m pleased to say that iOS 5 changes all of that.
Currently, we can’t open tabs, which is possibly the most frustrating thing about using Safari on a mobile device. In iOS 5, tabbed browsing is fully supported and lightning fast. When fall rolls around, you’ll be able to browse the Internet on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch in the same way you browse on a PC or Mac.
Safari Reader is another new browser function that will make reading news articles more enjoyable. It strips out all distractions and excess content, presenting only the text of a web page. It even combines multiple page stories into one flowing piece. This feature will be accessible from a new button in the address bar.
A built in Reading List will allow you to mark pages that you want to read later, much like bookmarking. Your Reading List can sync across multiple devices, so you’ll always know just what you wanted to read, regardless of which device you’re using. Full story and website content can be emailed to anyone (instead of just sending a link), and Twitter integration is included.
Mail, like Safari, is one of iOS’s most used applications. In iOS 5 Mail will be receiving some significant changes, making it more user friendly. There is a new ergonomic split keyboard option, which can be accessed by dragging the keyboard up. This keyboard is smaller, and perfect for typing with your thumbs. Bringing up your Mail inbox in portrait mode is simple – it just takes a single swipe.
There is a new system-wide dictionary that functions like the one in iBooks. In Mail, if you don’t know a word, you can tap it and get a dictionary definition. Searching has been changed and enhanced, allowing you to search through entire messages as well as subject titles. I wasn’t aware that search wasn’t already doing this, but thinking about it, I haven’t always gotten great search results, so this should beef up searching quite a bit.
Messages can be flagged and marked unread, email addresses can be dragged from one field to another (such as to, cc, bcc, etc.) controlled indentation is supported, and most importantly, rich-text formatting has been added so that you can now use functions like bold, underline, and italics to emphasize your messages. Good news for exchange customers: S/MIME has been implemented, and a lock will appear when you’re sending an encrypted message.
These updates of Mail and Safari include some must have features that I have been sorely missing on my iDevices. In fact, a lot of these are things that should have been added years ago, and I’m certainly excited to welcome iOS 5. Are you happy with the feature set being added with iOS 5? Did Apple leave out anything you were expecting?
For the full video of the conference you can find it here:
Posted By ] Jillian
Yeah yeah yeah, Lion looks fantastic –but what about iOS 5? Many of us were not-so-patiently waiting to hear what would become of our iOS devices, and from the moment Scott Forstall took the stage we weren’t disappointed.
The address continued with an overview of the 10 key features among a noted 200 that will be included in the upgrade:
In keeping with the theme of the conference, Apple promised over 1500 new API’s for developers. This will translate into a lot more apps with a lot more functionality and a lot more potential! Putting power in the hands of developers means we are looking foward an even more innovative future.
While the inevitable comparisons to other devices and their features will no doubt follow, I don’t think anybody can deny that iOS 5 is a giant leap forward on an already innovative and progressive platform.
With release of iOS 5 set for the fall, only one question remains… how can we possibly wait?
Posted By ] Henry Blodget
A few weeks ago, when Comscore’s mobile survey showed that Google’s Android smartphone platform had blown past BlackBerry and iPhone to dominate the US market, Apple fans temporarily panicked.
It was the 1990s all over again!
(How could Apple possibly be losing share, Apple fans roared. Apple’s US iPhone sales grew 155% year over year!)
Well, now the Nielsen numbers are out. And they show the same trend Comscore’s numbers did:
Android is gaining share by leaps and bounds, and iPhone share is dead in the water.
Specifically, Nielsen’s numbers suggest that, of all the smartphones sold in the US in the past six months, fully 50% were based on the Android platform. Meanwhile, only 25% of buyers bought an iPhone, and only 15% bought a BlackBerry:
Now, these numbers extend back beyond February, when Apple started selling the iPhone through Verizon (which helps). And another Nielsen survey, of purchasing intent, suggests that going forward the sales may be more evenly split. So Apple looks poised to regain some share, at least relative to RIM and other also-rans.
Here’s the purchasing intent of those who expect to buy a smartphone over the next year. Last year, iPhone was the big winner. Now, by a small margin, it’s Android:
As for current platform market share (phones in use), Nielsen’s numbers look very similar to Comscore: In March, Android had 37% of the US market, iPhone had 27%, and BlackBerry had 22%:
After the initial Comscore numbers came out, Apple fans also made the perfectly reasonable point that, if you’re assessing platform market share, you should also include iPod touches and perhaps even iPads when looking at Apple’s numbers. And, certainly, if you include both of those, Apple’s overall share looks better. But, globally, if you add up iPhones and iPod touches, Apple still lost share to Android year over year.
Why do Android’s gains matter? Can’t Apple just hold onto the “premium” segment of the market?
The Android gains matter because technology platform markets tend to standardize around a single dominant platform (see Windows in PCs, Facebook in social, Google in search). And the more dominant the platform becomes, the more valuable it becomes and the harder it becomes to dislodge. The network effect kicks in, and developers building products designed to work with the platform devote more and more of their energy to the platform. The reward for building and working with other platforms, meanwhile, drops, and gradually developers stop developing for them.
(This has not happened yet. Developers are certainly gearing up to develop for Android, but most say that they develop for the iPhone first. And Apple’s app distribution and payment mechanism is still far superior to Android’s. But lots more developers now develop for Android than they did two years ago.)
Importantly, it’s not a question of which platform is “better.” (This is irrelevant.) It’s a question of which platform everyone else uses. And increasingly, in the smartphone market, barring a radical change in trend, that’s Android.
So that’s why Android’s gains matter. And, yes, Apple fans should be scared about them.
As we’ve said before, Apple is fighting a very similar war to the one it fought–and lost–in the 1990s. It is trying to build the best integrated products, hardware and software, and maintain complete control over the ecosystem around them. This end-to-end control makes it easier for Apple to build products that are “better,” but it makes it much harder for the company to compete against a software platform that is standard across many hardware manufacturers (Windows in the 1990s, Android now).
As we explain here, two important things are different about the current Android - iPhone battle as compared to the Mac – Windows war in the 1990s. First, Apple is maintaining price parity (or better) with the leading Android phones. (Macs were always priced higher than PCs). Second, Android is still a fragmented platform, which significantly reduces the benefits of “interoperability” across multiple manufacturers.
Google is working to fix the second problem, though–enacting much tighter rules about how Android can be used. And if the platform is to become dominant and ubiquitous, it will likely continue to tighten these rules.
And Apple’s price parity certainly does not appear to have stopped the Android juggernaut so far. And the reported delay in the release of the iPhone 5 until September won’t help.