Mobile Monetization 2.0

Mobile monetization 2.0 is going to happen in 2011.  Marketing budgets against mobile are showing up in the hundreds of millions, some new monetization schemes (CPL and CPD) are paying good eCPMs, 4G is coming, and this is all really great news for entrepreneurs and mobile app publishers as everyone everywhere taps into mobile apps.

Mobile Monetization 1.0 was a real yawn.  AdMob pays $1 effective CPMs on a good day.  Why?  Fill rates are low, and click through rates are low.  Why?  Because of the rotten user experience.  A tiny banner for a lousy offer that clicks through to a painfully slow browser page.  To quote NAV’s own John Backus:  Yuck!

Enter mobile CPL, or Cost Per Lead, and CPD, or Cost Per Download.  Both of these are born and bred for the mobile user experience, and pay MUCH better than PPC campaigns from Google or Apple.  Mobile CPL is a product from Pontiflex (disclosure – I sit on the board) that lets publishers prompt users to opt-in to offers with name and email address.  There is no clicking away from the app to get paid.  Since the phone already knows the user’s info, it is essentially a button press and the transaction is over.  Back to your game/twitter feed/etc.  And each opt-in can garner $.50.  Better than most clicks.  This “AppLeads” product is exploding for Pontiflex, and I am pretty excited about that.

Cost per Download is another rapidly growing model.  There are plenty of folks out there who want their app on the handset today, so they can be one of the chosen “top” apps when the serious smartphone volume starts hitting late next year.  The going rate for a typical free app is $1.  If you go through a demand aggregator (I only found one) then they will probably cut you back 50% so expect $.50.  But again, this doesn’t ask the user to interact with a dysfunctional mobile web page.  A quick app download and the user is back Doodle Jumping or Facebooking.  I don’t have a play here.  Yet!

Combine these new ad models with faster networks and faster phones, and this is a match to gasoline in 2011.

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