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Android: "Traffic Growing at Compounded Monthly Rate of 32% per Month"

For mobile news, the best reading each month is the AdMob Mobile Metrics Report (see previous coverage here). The March 2010 report is noteworthy for a few reasons and have a consistent theme: Android has arrived: 1. Device proliferation / diversity "Two Android devices, the HTC Dream and HTC Magic, collectively represented 96% of Android traffic in September 2009. Seven months later, 11 devices represented 96% of Android traffic in the AdMob network."

2. Manufacturer diversity

"Motorola was the leading Android manufacturer with 44% share of traffic in March 2010 due to the success of the Droid and CLIQ. HTC was a close second with 43% of requests, followed by Samsung with 9%."

3. Significant, compounded growth

"The Android platform has experienced significant growth in monthly traffic over the past year. Android traffic has grown at a compounded monthly growth rate of 32% per month, going from 72 million requests in March 2009 to 2.0 billion in March 2010. AdMob overall worldwide traffic for March 2010 is up 18% month over month."

4. Android's operating system share within the US is accelerating; iPhone's is declining (based on AdMob's metrics

Android: 2% Smartphone Requests in Feb 2009, 24% in Feb 2010

AdMob's monthly mobile metrics reports provide terrific, real insights into mobile trends (hardware, software, OS, and mobile usage).The February report has two important trends that I have highlighted over the last few months:

1. Android continues to ramp and take significant market share: "Android was the fastest growing operating system in the AdMob network year-over-year. Android's share of smartphone requests increased from 2% in February 2009 to 24% in February 2010. The top five Android devices worldwide, by traffic, were the Motorola Droid, HTC Dream, HTC Hero, HTC Magic, and the Motorola CLIQ."

2. The iPod Touch and other web devices are becoming significant mobile devices... and wait until the iPad and tablets emerge

"The mobile Internet device category experienced the strongest growth of the three, increasing to account for 17% of traffic in AdMob’s network in February 2010. Although the vast majority of traffic in this category comes from the iPod touch, the category also includes devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DSi."

Android Now 27% of Smartphone Requests (Doubled since August); Droid Now 15% of Android Devices

Interesting and impressive data around Android and the Motorola Droid from two sources today: AdMob's November "Mobile Metrics" report and Betanews.

- According to Betanews, 15% of all Android handsets are now Motorola Droids - And, according to AdMob, the Droid represents 25% of all Android mobile requests Most impressively - and most importantly - Android's growth is significant. Android now represents 27% of smartphone requests - up from 20% in October, 17% in September and 13% in August. That means, since August, Android's has more than doubled it's market activity as defined by AdMob's request metrics (which is based on their huge mobile footprint and is directionally accurate).

More Android tidbits from AdMob: - Traffic from Android devices has increased dramatically over the last year, particularly with the new devices launched in the last two months. Android generated 27% of smartphone requests in the US in November 2009, up from 20% in October 2009. - In November 2009, 88% of Android traffic in the AdMob network was generated in the US. The UK was with second largest market with 4% of requests. - As the number of Android devices proliferates around the world, the popular Android handsets may vary from region to region. In the US, the Motorola Droid quickly became the number two Android handset with heavy marketing support from Verizon. In the UK, the HTC Dream, HTC Magic and HTC Hero make up 92% of Android requests.

Android Data from November 2009

motorola droid success

Android Data from October 2009 (when I wrote, Android is about to explode)

Android is About to Explode: 17% of Smartphone Traffic, Droid Launching

On the eve of Droid's much anticipated launch on the Verizon network, Android is poised to take off and grab challenge the Apple's recent dominance. Even with Droid's launch, Android saw significant market growth in September - representing 17% of smartphone activity vs. 13% in August. According to AdMob's September 2009 Mobile Report:

Devices running on Android accounted for 17% of smartphone traffic in the US in September 2009, up from 13% in August 2009. The HTC Dream (G1) was the number three device and the HTC Magic was the number 10 device in September 2009 in the US. As with the iPhone OS, much of the Android traffic in AdMob’s network came from applications.

The iPhone still represents 48% of smartphone activity, but Android has moved ahead of RIM (14%). And the future for Android is bright considering:

- Droid's rave reviews - Droid's multi-handset product line and low prices - Android's carrier agnostic approach (while Apple is currently tied exclusively to AT&T)

android vs iphone

Also noteworthy, the iPhone now represents a staggering 60+% of AT&T's smartphone activity. If Droid, for instance, reached even a fraction of that dominance on Verizon (which is dominated by RIM AT ~35%), Android will realize serious growth.

att iphone

iPhone and iPod Touch Account for +42% of Mobile Advertising Calls in US

Each month, I look forward to reading AdMob's detailed 'Mobile Metrics' report. It is a comprehensive report of mobile usage by geography, device, OS, and so forth - and based on the size of AdMob's network, the report is as interesting as it is powerful. The June report focuses on global iPhone and iPod Touch usage. The most striking data (and something I have written about before) is how important the iPod Touch has become from a device and advertising perspective:

* We estimate that 13 million iPhones have been used in the US. More than 1 million iPhones have been used in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. * We estimate that 12 million iPod touches have been used in the US. More than 1million iPod touches have been used in the United Kingdom and Canada.

In the below graphic, notice how the split between iPhone and iPod Touch users in North America is roughly 63% / 37%.


But, despite that ration - iPhone and iPod Touch devices represent a more even percent of ad requests: 22.6% vs. 19.8% respectively.... suggesting that iPod Touch users are more actively browsing the web and using applications.

Also notable, the #3-#20 US devices account for 31% of ad requests... Apple's two devices alone account for over 42%:


For 40% of Users, Mobile Web has Replaced the Regular Web

It is time to start thinking of mobile devices as netbooks or, for that matter, laptops. Data from AdMob suggests that users of the iPhone and iPod Touch are highly captive consumers of content and entertainment. The most remarkable statistic: 43% of iPhone and iPod Touch users spend more time on the mobile web than on a computer or laptop.

More than 40% of users of both devices reported using the Internet on their mobile device more often than using the Web from their computers or listening to the radio.


iPhone Now #4 Worldwide Handset, 103mm AdMob Ad Requests in September

I've written a fair amount about delivering engaging emails - and just provided a great example of how not to... ironically as demonstrated by Apple.

AdMob is among the best at delivering valuable, insightful emails about the industry and their platform. Each month, AdMob sends a "Mobile Metrics Report" which really distinguishes them as leaders in the mobile space - both as thinkers and ad providers. The September report is available online and there are some fascinating nuggets. I encourage you to read the full report as it is clear that the mobile advertising space is growing remarkably fast - and it is being powered by smarter phones, bigger screens and better bandwidth. These trends will continue:

AdMob Monthly Metrics Report

* The number of monthly ad requests in the AdMob network tripled over the past 12 months from 1.6 billion in September 2007 to 5.1 billion in September 2008. This growth is widely distributed with 34 countries sending more than 10 million requests in September 2008, compared to only 16 countries in September 2007.

* In the US, 16 of the current Top 20 devices are new from September 2007. These new devices, such as the Samsung Instinct and Apple iPhone, deliver an improved mobile web browsing experience including larger screen sizes, faster network connections, and other enhanced capabilities. However, the Motorola RAZR and KRZR are still the top two handsets in the United States today.

* Worldwide, the Apple iPhone is now the number 4 handset after the Motorola RAZR, Nokia N70, and Motorola KRZR. There were 103 million requests from iPhones worldwide in September 2008.

AdMob Nails Universal Mobile Advertising via the iPhone

Earlier in the week, I wrote about how AdMob, Google and Developers seem best poised to monetize iPhone Apps ...instead of Apple. Now AdMob is demonstrating that monetization can uniformly move beyond Applications and across all of the browsing / web-based utilities that the iPhone enables. AdMob has released a suite of iPhone specific real estate / ad units - and the interactivity is far better than the mobile text ads that are rendered through the Blackberry, sit across many sites and/or are used by Applications like Sports Tap (who uses Google). The question is how much rich inventory currently exists for these formats? Asking advertisers to produce a new 'standard' of creatives is always difficult and a potential bottleneck.

I love AdMob's approach: universally release the new ad units and showcase the formats in a simple, well presented video that coincides with MobileBeat 2008. I am excited about the innovations coming out of AdMob and companies like Twitterific and the New York Times who are creatively integrating ads into their popular iPhone applications.

Who is Monetizing the Free iPhone Apps? Google, AdMob, Developers - But Not Apple

I believe that most of the content-based iPhone applications are going to be free over time... and early indications are that this is the case with top free apps include the New York Times, Wordpress, Twitterific, Sports Tap, Jott, etc subscribing huge numbers of new users and downloads.

But as free becomes more prevalent on Apple's App Platform, it's early business model starts to crumble. The premise is that developers charge for downloads and Apple takes a cut of each purchase; but developers are doing two things that jeopardize that model:

1) justifying the apps and 'free' distribution as an effective lever for user acquisition. Jott and other brands are experiencing huge recognition and user-growth.

2) monetizing the app with-in-application advertising.

The latter point is fascinating because it cuts Apple out of the direct monetization path. Here are three prominent free applications and their in-app monetization:

SportsTap has a persisent Google Mobile ad atop each 'page'. Notably, I've missed clicked the remarkably-small "home" icon and accidentally made SportsTap a fair amount of AdSense revenue.

Twitterific introduces ads inline among the message stream. The ad unit seems to be built and sold in-house. It's good looking and says "Ads via the Deck".

New York Times also seems to be selling in-house ads that are colorful and persistent on the bottom of each article page. No ads appear on the home screen or category screens.

So who wins here? It's a major platform for AdMob to extend their mobile advertising reach and for Google Mobile to make a serious splash. Google has struggled to win mobile thus far but could hypothetically increase publisher payouts to win real estate being opened via the iPhone (akin to how Yahoo tried to win real estate during the Yahoo Publisher launch). The ad formats aren't (yet) standard, so I also suspect we will see a significant amount of ads sold in-house by the major players... similarly, I don't suspect there will be huge ad variety in the short term (inventory and quantity of advertisers does not yet match the available real estate).

But what will Apple do? Clearly the platform growth is important and beneficial... but as Google, AdMob and Developers monetize their applications, you can bet that Apple will try to figure out how to get in that stream.