Monday, February 14, 2011

Mobile apps turbo-charge legacy digital media

We already knew mobile phones were a big thing but who knew the power they had to turbo-charge the growth of digital media that got their start on the desktop?

The dramatic ability of mobile apps to drive growth at legacy digital properties is illustrated in the latest mega-survey of the media marketplace from
Mary Meeker, a former Wall Street analyst who recently became a partner at the legendary Silicon Valley venture firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Though Meeker’s primary job nowadays is picking promising companies to back, she also continues to track the rise of what she and her new boss, managing partner John Doerr, call the SoLoMo (Social/Local/Mobile) Media.

As Meeker shows in this must-see presentation , the growth of the SoLoMo Media has been anything but slow-mo.

Here’s how vigorously mobile apps are powering growth – and revenues – at digital companies that got their start in the days before Androids and iPhones ruled the media world:

:: Facebook – The number of individuals downloading the Facebook mobile app increased 300% to 200 million since September, 2009. Mobile Facebookers are twice as active as desktop users.

:: eBay – Sales volume at the mobile portal of the shopping service tripled to nearly $2 billion in 2010 and is expected to double in 2011, according to John Donahoe, the chief executive.

:: Twitter – Half of all active users on Twitter are using its mobile platform. Mobile tweeters also are 40% more active than those parked in front of laptops or PCs.

:: Shazam – A service that magically identifies a song after hearing a few bars of it, Shazam doubled its mobile base to 100 million users in 12 months.

:: Pandora – The custom radio service reports that 50% of the 3 million users it adds each month are coming through its mobile app.

:: Spotify – The European music-delivery company found that users of its mobile app are twice as likely to upgrade to its paid service than those who access it via computer.

As each of these companies has found, the key to a successful mobile strategy is to be compelling, customizable, viral, transactional and fun. But you knew that.


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