Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘idc’

Article by John Backus, Partner New Atlantic Ventures

“Much has been written about the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets, but apps are what make them useful and are driving their adoption. IDC estimates mobile app downloads will reach nearly 182.7 billion in 2015. There are now nearly one million apps, mostly for Apple and Android devices, and Gartner projected app revenue from app stores alone will reach $58 billion by 2014. Apps are big business.

But this sheer volume of apps creates real complexities for app developers and consumers alike. As a developer, how does your app stand apart from the pack? As a consumer, finding the right app is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Conventional wisdom suggests that search is the answer. Chomp, Quixey and even Yahoo! let you discover apps through search. Others are trying to help you search for apps with various algorithms, through social networks and games.

I disagree with this this entire approach.

Search is not the answer for app discovery – finding the top apps is serendipitous.

We find our best apps today by talking to our friends at a restaurant, by reading about them in a blog or an article, or by stumbling upon them on a recommended or top ten list.

Not a month goes by when an entrepreneur I meet, developing a smartphone app, can’t quite answer a simple question: How will you market your app to your customers? All too often the answer lies somewhere between “Apple is going to feature my app,” and “I’m going to advertise it in other apps.” Neither is a compelling answer, nor likely to help developers build a big business.

We’re placing a big bet, alongside VC media giant, Syncom, that serendipity will drive the app discovery process. That’s why we invested in Apptap. Similar to what an ad network does today, serving you ads based on the content of the web page you are viewing, AppTap serves you apps to consider, based on that same content.

A USA Today online reader, browsing an article in the sports section, is likely interested in seeing sports-related apps. A visitor to TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) is likely to be intrigued by cutting edge Apple iPhone or iPad apps, but not by an advertisement on basket weaving. A Pandora iPhone listener, on the other hand, is likely not interested in clicking out of Pandora to check out a flashing app advertisement.

So if you are a developer, quit trying to trick customers into downloading your app via incented downloads. Don’t run random app ads, it is too reminiscent of early run-of-site banner ads. And don’t think that hoping to be featured in someone else’s app store is a good strategy.

Instead, put your app where your customers are likely to discover it, and you will be well on your way to growing your audience with users actually interested in your app.

Originally published on the Huffington Post, January 13, 2012. Follow John on Twitter @jcbackus”

Read original post here.

Read Full Post »

Article from SFGate.

“Three years from now, the data equivalent of every movie ever made will cross Internet networks every five minutes, according to Cisco Systems predictions. How to manage all that information is what will be driving technology mergers and acquisitions in 2012.

In a bid to transform that torrent into profits, a cash-rich industry is poised to surpass 2011’s almost $200 billion volume of announced mergers and acquisitions. Companies such as Cisco and IBM are searching for deals that will boost their capacity to provide new storage, analytics and security services to enterprise customers.

Big data, mobile and cloud technologies will lead to “bold investments and fateful decisions,” market research firm IDC said in a recent report. The volume of digital information may balloon from 2.7 zettabytes this year – the equivalent of filling 2.7 billion of Apple’s priciest iMacs to capacity – to 8 zettabytes by 2015, according to IDC.

“The speed at which technology innovation moves is such that you can’t miss a step,” said Jon Woodruff, the San Francisco co-head of technology investment banking at Goldman Sachs, the industry’s top adviser on deals last year. “Every tool has to be used for speed and nimbleness sake, and M&A is one of those significant tools.”

Abundant cash and investor pressure to jump-start sales growth will also propel deal-making. Cash levels have expanded 21 percent in the past year to $513 billion, based on holdings of the 35 companies that comprise the Morgan Stanley Technology Index.

Large companies will be leading the charge. Hewlett-Packard, Google and Microsoft led a 36 percent gain in technology deals last year, outpacing a 4.1 percent advance for all M&A worldwide.

In one of the biggest deals last year, HP agreed to buy Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion in a bid to build its software business and scale back on its PC manufacturing. Though viewed negatively by some investors, the move will enable Hewlett-Packard to offer database search services and other cloud-related services for business. CEO Meg Whitman said in November that the company doesn’t plan “large M&A” this year, though it may seek small software deals.

Cisco, which has made about 150 acquisitions in its history and has $44.4 billion in cash on the balance sheet, said in November that it will “continue to be aggressive in acquiring technologies.”

Bigger volume

“This year’s technology deal volume could be bigger than last year’s and 2007’s,” said Chet Bozdog, global head of technology investment banking at Bank of America.

Industry takeovers in 2007 reached $264.4 billion, the biggest year since 2000’s record high of $585.2 billion.

“Convergence between hardware, software and services will continue to add products to the same sales chains,” said Bozdog, who is based in Palo Alto.

Cloud computing, which allows companies to access information over the Internet from external data centers, and the shift from desktops to mobile devices, will continue to be “huge multiyear trends,” said Drago Rajkovic, head of technology mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan Chase.

As part of this trend, SAP, the largest maker of business-management software, agreed to buy SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion in December to create a “cloud powerhouse,” co-CEO Bill McDermott said at the time.

Gaining patents

Google announced in August it would buy Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion in its largest acquisition, gaining mobile patents and expanding in hardware. Microsoft purchased Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in October, the biggest Internet takeover in more than a decade, in an effort to catch Google in online advertising and Apple in mobile software.

While Google and Microsoft paid in cash for their deals, the purchases didn’t put a dent in their funds. Microsoft’s cash and equivalents jumped 41 percent from a year earlier to $51.7 billion, based on its latest filing, while Google increased cash by 28 percent to $45.4 billion.

Apple, which has no debt and the most cash among technology companies at $97.6 billion, said Jan. 24 that it is discussing ways to spend its funds and would consider acquisitions.

“There’s more cash in technology than in any other sector and the low level of debt makes it very easy for companies in the industry to buy growth,” said JPMorgan’s Rajkovic, who is based in San Francisco.

Affordable targets

“As cash piles have increased, some potential targets have become more affordable. Shares of F5 Networks, whose software helps companies manage Internet traffic, lost 18 percent of their value in 2011 even as sales grew 31 percent. Riverbed Technology, a provider of equipment to boost networks’ speed, lost 33 percent while its revenue increased 32 percent. Shares of Acme Packet, a maker of devices that help networks transmit phone calls and video, dropped 42 percent last year while sales jumped 33 percent.

“You will see more M&A than last year, with some very strategic technology companies involved as valuations have become more reasonable,” said Larry Sonsini, who co-founded Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, the law firm that brought Apple public in 1980.”

Read more here.

Read Full Post »

Here is an article from SF Gate.

“Google Inc. executive Mike Steib is courting customers such as Progressive Corp. and touting tools that let marketers create the snazzy, interactive ads that rival Apple Inc. has been using to snatch mobile-ad business.

“We have a significant investment in mobile, and competition is going to push us to be really, really good,” Steib said in an interview the day Google closed its $750 million acquisition of AdMob, which places ads on mobile programs and Web pages.

As Google’s head of mobile advertising, Steib leads the effort to build his company’s next $1 billion business from sales of ads on wireless devices – and lessen its dependence on Web-search ads. With a team based in a former cookie factory in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, Steib is striving to persuade advertisers they will win over more consumers by working with Mountain View-based Google than with Apple.

“It’s safe to say Google will respond to iAd and respond very strongly,” said Michael Collins, chief executive officer at Joule, a mobile-ad agency that’s part of WPP Plc. “They have too many assets to pull from, too many arrows in their quiver.”

Staying ahead may not be easy, now that Apple is luring advertisers to iAd, a service that places ads inside applications that run on its iPhones and other mobile devices. Apple has sold more than $60 million in advertising on iAd since it was announced in April, CEO Steve Jobs said at a conference Monday. That represents about half of the mobile display-ad market for 2010, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Tension between the companies escalated Wednesday when AdMob accused Apple of barring developers from using Google ad services to create ads for the iPhone – a move that may threaten AdMob’s ability to get revenue from the device.

This year, AdMob and Google together may generate more than $100 million in U.S. mobile-ad sales, according to IDC in Framingham, Mass.

Apple won business as Google awaited a green light from the Federal Trade Commission for its $750 million AdMob acquisition, announced in November, Joule’s Collins said.

Introducing iAd “gave Apple the opportunity to suck all the oxygen out of the room,” he said. “Apple is on a tear these days with the iPhone, iAd, the iPad.”

As sales of smart phones rise, more users are viewing ads on handheld devices in addition to – and sometimes instead of – computers or televisions. Spending on mobile ads in the United States is expected to reach almost $500 million this year, from $220 million in 2009, according to IDC.

In the next three years, as much as one-third of global digital ad spending will be devoted to mobile, according to Alexandre Mars, who oversees mobile ads for Publicis Groupe SA.

“You’re seeing advertisers who see mobile marketing as a significant business driver,” said Steib, who joined Google in 2007 from NBC Universal. “This is a big part of the conversation.”

Google’s strategy includes creating tools that help developers embed videos and make ads more interactive, similar to what Apple’s iAd can do. Google also wants to sell more ads tied to a user’s location and deliver coupons for nearby deals, said Steib, Google’s director of emerging platforms.

The company is keen to make money from delivering coupons for nearby businesses and selling ads alongside a tool that lets customers take photos of an item and search for it on the Web, said Steib.

That way, a bistro could offer free appetizers to a nearby customer who’s searching for a place to eat, and the user could later see where to buy a bottle of the wine paired with dinner. The restaurant and wine seller would pay Google for the ads.

Google and AdMob together had 21 percent of the U.S. mobile ad market in 2009, said IDC analyst Karsten Weide. Quattro Wireless, which Apple acquired in January after losing out on AdMob to Google, had 7 percent.

‘Short-term disruption’

Steib says iAd may create “short-term disruption.” Still, Google can contain the fallout in part because it has experience letting customers manage campaigns on multiple Web sites and it can change ads on the fly based on performance, said Steib, who himself is an avid user of Apple products. He owns about a dozen iPods, iPhones and the new iPad.

Bank of America Corp. went from buying an occasional mobile campaign to paying Phonevalley, the agency run by Publicis’ Mars, a $1 million annual retainer. Google’s AdMob is among the ad-placement companies used by the financial institution, the largest U.S. bank by assets.

“We did take a hard look at iAd and we passed on it,” said Kathryn Condon, a vice president of digital marketing at Bank of America. She said she’s not convinced it will provide more value than AdMob and the other companies the bank uses.”

Read more here.

Read Full Post »