Tuesday 21 July 2009

MomoLondon: Mobile Entertainment Applications

A fairly slow evening, but some nice gems tucked away. Lots of interesting stats from Flirtomatic (and a few interesting ones from GetJar). Interesting to hear that Vodafone widgets will be marketed as apps to customers (but widgets to developers).

Anyway on with the notes…

Adverts for upcoming events

EcoMo — code camp

Over The Air

GetJar - some stats on downloads

Patrick Mork

  • aim to make it seamless for downloads for 1500 handsets
  • Half a billion downloads reached last month
    • but the Apple app store has been going for a much shorter time and reached 1.5bn just recently…
  • 75% of downloaders are under 25
    • breakdown something like:
    • <10 12-13%
    • 11-17 23%
    • 18-24 28%
    • 25-34 15-18%
  • 70-80% male
  • all downloads on getjar are free
    • developers monetize content themselves
  • no cost to upload content
  • GetJar make money by paid placement:
    • 20-25% of developers bid for placement on their catalogue
  • GetJar’s experience is that you must make the initial experience free to the user
    • the general public are not used to downloading apps yet so we need to provide free tasters with no bill shock
  • Over 50% of users are downloading content at least once a week
  • Top 10 downloaded apps in UK last month:
    1. Ebuddy
    2. Nimbuzz
    3. Google Maps
    4. Opera Mini
    5. Change Ringtone
    6. Magic Bluehack
    7. TV To Go
    8. GetJar (web site shortcut)
    9. Qeep
    10. Facebook (web site shortcut)
  • which platforms?
    • 70% of getjar downloads is JavaME
    • mobile web growing fast!
  • “applications is not about smartphones — it’s about everyone”
  • #1 handset in Indian market: Nokia 6600
  • games are growing and probably will grow faster when billing is easier
  • what are people searching for?
    • often specific programs (e.g. ebuddy, mig33)
  • over 30% of new people from word of mouth
  • in Egypt see a lot of download for religious apps (e.g. prayer times)


  • Chair: David Murphy from Mobile Marketing Magazine
  • Audience:
    • few app developers
    • similar operators
    • slightly more agencies
    • one client side developer
  • Patrick Mork: getjar
    • used to be at Glu and iPlay
  • Andreas Constantinou: Vision Mobile (Analyst)
  • Joachim Hoffman: Fjord (Services Agency)
  • Mark Curtis: Flirtomatic
  • Dan Appelquist: Vodafone Group R&D

The Panel

How do you go about making money from mobile apps?

  • PM: see various business models: adfunded, freemium, virtual currency
  • AC: sharing revenue (e.g. Nokia Ovi sharing with operators)
    • sharing cost using open source (e.g. Symbian)
    • now talking of wallet sharing
  • JH: funded (e.g. BBC iPlayer); ad-funded (and you have to make your service sticky)
  • MC: 160m WAP pages in UK in May
    • every now and then they want to buy things
    • “every time we’ve given away flirt points we see an upsurge in spending a few days later”
    • users sent each other 5,000 ice cubes during the heatwave (at about 50p each)
    • “cost of materials was very high” :-)
    • most nights top spenders will be spending £20-30ea. to keep themselves at the top of the ratings!!
    • when we increase inventory, they respond within three or four hours
    • also do alerts (e.g. when people log in)
  • DA: have been spearheading mobile widgets over past year
    • cross-platform, cross-operator
    • Voda will introduce an app store later this year with a “competitive” revenue split
    • are also launching in-app or in-widget billing events
    • when Voda launch widgets, it will be called Apps
    • Flight Control — see high scores of people playing around you (and on your twitter network)

Why does a developer develop for Vodafone and not for Nokia or SonyEricsson?

  • DA: widgets mean you can make one thing for everybody
    • however, there is fragmentation for the operator APIs
    • widget specification is bedding down — next step is to get operators
    • setting up device APIs working group (Nokia, Mozilla, Google)
    • already have geolocation API standard launched in iPhone 3.0, Firefox 3, Opera 9(?)

Flirtomatic stats in May

  • top handset was Nokia N95 and only 6%
  • only 4 or 5 other handsets above 1%
  • Vodafone is well over a quarter of our users in the UK

Is the future apps or web-based?

  • PM: a mix
    • a lot of criticism a few months ago when Yahoo dropped apps apart from iPhone & BlackBerry
    • but GetJar Yahoo shortcut was doing 40-50K downloads a week, so app would have to be very good to be worth more than that
  • JH: SportsTracker vs. Flirtomatic: SportsTracker needs hardware integration (bluetooth, etc)
  • MC: had an appalling experience making a Flirtomatic app a few years ago with Jo Rabin
    • tried to make the service work in the tube offline
    • speed of development on web is much faster
    • games development are sold shrink-wrapped like a film — and are paid as such
    • web-based dev often gets paid by usage, or with ongoing revenue so need to be able to change things quickly

Since most widgets are free, does calling them widgets endanger the market?

  • DA: you’ll be able to sell widgets through Ovi, Voda & others
  • PM: Loopt — mapping service to share locations with your friends
    • make money by selling the service & helping operators sell data bundles

Flirtomatic: do you see a time when auction stuff will rival fixed price

  • 25% revenue is advertising
  • 75% is premium services
  • about half of premium service income is auction-based

Where do you think mobile entertainment is going? What type of apps?

  • DA: Casual gaming really taking off
    • Augmented reality making a lot of noise at the moment, but really in its infancy still. Will play out over a couple of years.
    • More interesting when put it together with advanced displays — in your glasses, or in your environment
    • “We could either end up in a very dystopian world or we could end up in a utopian place where the user in control and their privacy is paramount…”
  • AC: augmented reality become possible due to simple sensor: compass
    • temp sensor could pick up if your phone is in your pocket
    • sound sensor could tell if you were at work or at home
  • PM: frustrated that can’t get a basic cell phone reception on a train back from Northern England
    • apps must be useful for consumers
  • MC: sneaky suspicion that NFC will be huge
    • Oyster went from nothing to mass market in 3 years (admittedly only in London)
    • “When TfL get a 95% revenue share, the rest of us won’t be stuck in a corner called special needs”
  • JH: error handling has to be good

Are fragmenting app stores making getting money for development harder?

  • J2ME development a lot better than it used to be
  • PayForIt at least enables off-portal payment
  • 3 UK can now go off deck

What are the next moves aside from technology?

  • PM: Coming along a huge way since a year and a half ago, people now know about downloading apps
    • Apple started actually advertising download apps
  • DA: Social apps will drive it e.g. Facebook
    • Flight Control local high scores shows how sensors enable cool features that drive user engagement
  • AC: sensors will change how we communicate

1 comment:

Eric Donovan said...

Thanks Adam, I couldn't make it so this was really useful!