Ronnie05's Blog

Mobile Apps as media channels

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces by Manas Ganguly on April 4, 2011

Sharing a perspective paper on the future of Mobile-applications as media channels that allow brands and sponsors to engage their users and consumers. The Potential of this market is currently not measured but estimates put the magnitude of spends on mobile media at 1/3rd of total marketing budgets.

Reference posts:

New Monetization paradigms sought to support Profusion of App stores
Apps: The new face of Internet (Part II)
Apps: The new face of Internet (Part I)
Evolution of App Stores (Part II): Putting the Brands perspective to Monetizing Apps stores
Evolution of App Stores (Part I)


5 Responses

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  1. Lenny said, on April 5, 2011 at 4:00 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed your paper! This is by far the most insightful analysis of the mobile app landscape that I’ve read to date. I do have a question however. As the popularity of apps continue to surge, I feel like it will become increasingly difficult for advertisers and brands to get their app noticed (e.g. iPhone and Android app stores). As you mentioned in your paper, apps as a media will be part of a multi-channel strategy, but I wonder if you have thoughts on what advertisers and brands can do to make sure that their target audience is made aware of their brand app. Thanks!

    • Manas Ganguly said, on April 5, 2011 at 10:44 am


      Thanks for writing in. Discoverability will always remain a big challenge.

      But when i speak of a multi-channel strategy that Branded Apps will be a part of, i also mean that in its initial days search and discoverability of the Branded App will be aided by other channels: TV, Print, Web, Radio. That will be a concious tactic behind launch of the app.

      The way brands will see this is that all other media channels will be costler in terms of efficacy of consumer-engagement. An App however will be an active, always on, aware mechanism of engaging the consumer. So even if the consumer does not necessarily check P&G products before going to the super-store, the moment she enters the store, the App is able to produce to the consumer, new launch info, best deals, bargain prices. You will need a lot of engines to drive this at the back-end.

      The real issue here will be about How much data about the consumer should be minned using apps… Thats something i am not aware enough to be commenting about.

      Thanks again
      Do stay in touch

      • Lenny said, on April 12, 2011 at 2:44 am

        Hi Manas,

        Consumer data and expectation of privacy are definitely starting to become hot topics. The music sharing site Pandora is now part of an investigation into how their mobile apps are collecting and sharing data (

        I used to work in e-mail marketing and the general rule was that it’s “OK” to use behavioral targeting so long as you’re not collecting and storing information that could uniquely identify an individual. However (as you point out in your paper), part of the appeal of mobile (for both consumers and brands) is the ability to provide a customer an individualized and customized experience. My guess is that there will be stricter guidelines on how users “opt-in” when installing apps. For example, in the future the user might be prompted with something like, “I agree to allow ads to be served based on my location”.

        Ironically, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, I feel like the expectation of user privacy is much much lower that what it was a couple years ago. In other words, I think people will be more willing to share information with brands as long as it provides a better user experience.

        Best Regards

      • Manas Ganguly said, on April 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

        Hi Lenny

        Thanks for the comment.

        I agree that the data collection mechanisms which would serve to customize the app experience is a Black Box and issues about privacy are far for sorted. Your thought about Opt ins is a great mid-path really. Customers then will have an option to share specifics.

        What could also drive this is the brand actively pushing the app. Not only does that aid discoverability, but it also increases app legitimacy. For instance in the car purchase example, i will buy XYZ brand tyres for my Ford car because Ford recommended them basis my usage and driving profile.

        On a later day, i believe users will be compensated and paid for letting the app engines follow them. That is immersive engagement strategy where brands follow your lifestyles and pay you bonusses. In return the brand is able to sell you stuff that is “profiled” for you.


  2. […] Secondly, as a pointer, the current app eco-system with its free, paid and freemium models will not possibly be the best in terms of monetization. Developers would make money when their apps are channels or media for advertisers to engage their customers better (and i am not talking advertising here). Refer here for details on apps as media channels. […]

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