Mobile monetization in the USA: problems and trends

Revenue from content on mobile devices is growing, but there is still little investment in advertising in this segment. ARPU and eCPM in mobile games also lag behind the indicators of desktop systems. 

At the moment, mobile devices already account for 10% of the world’s Internet traffic. As for mobile commerce, only in the USA it accounts for 8% of all e-commerce – a 15% increase compared to last year’s result. 

Against the background of these figures, the growth of revenue received from mobile devices is not particularly surprising. However, advertising revenue still leaves much to be desired. In the mobile segment, 71% of revenue comes from applications and only 29% from advertising.

Why is there so little advertising? It’s simple: because so far too little is invested in it. 

In American media, as a rule, advertising costs are correlated with the amount of time that users spend on one or another of its sources. For example, American citizens spend 43% of their total time “communicating” with the media on TV. Advertisers spend about the same amount of their budget on TV – 42%. 

Only with the mobile segment, everything is somewhat different. Despite the fact that American users spend, on average, 10% of their display time on their mobile devices, only 1% of the total advertising budget of the country is spent on advertising in the United States.

However, a well-known Internet analyst at Kleiner Perkins, Mary Meeker, claims that advertising will still catch up. However, according to her, eCPM (effective cost per thousand views) in the mobile sector is five times behind the efficiency of desktop systems. Also on mobile devices, ARPU (average income per player) is noticeably worse than that of the big computer brother. 

However, some mobile companies manage to increase the efficiency of their mobile projects, and in such a way that their ARPU overtakes or correlates with the “desktop” indicators. Among such companies is the Japanese giant GREE, which managed to raise the average income per player from $10 to $24 in a year. 

So Meeker is confident that mobile devices will overtake desktop systems in terms of monetization over the next year or three. 

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