App downloads have accelerated since the beginning of the year. Approximately 10 billion apps were downloaded last year, up from ~7 billion in 2010. With ~10 billion apps downloaded through the first six months of 2012, downloads will more than double this year.
It’s that time of year when we all reflect on the past, search our souls and determine what we want for the next year. I’ve been reflecting on what it means to work with a company that controls so much of the market, provides such a broad set of capabilities and delivers such a large percentage of monthly revenues to publishers. Of course, I’m thinking of Google and what their dominance in the ad market means for a publisher’s future and its ability to remain relevant to marketers.
What do we know about Google? They are this great company that gives consumers some of the best digital products available on the Web: search, email, maps, Android, apps and more. This has catapulted Google to the rank of second most valuable brand, behind only Apple, according to Millward Brown. This seems to be great for consumers, but what about the businesses who are now reliant on Google for search and display revenue, advertising technology and various business applications like Google docs, Android OS, Chrome, etc.?
Many of the businesses I meet with hold Google in high regard because of the products they represent and the amount of revenue they provide. However, these businesses are equally concerned about Google’s consumer stranglehold, their influence over the ad ecosystem and their focus on automation, all of which lessens the publishers’ worth in the value chain as a whole. Google’s market dominance stretches well beyond search, which in itself is obviously enormous. This expansive dominance should be alarming for every marketing-related business, including publishers, advertisers and agency and marketing services technologies. Here are a few stats on Google by category that will likely frighten even the largest of these businesses:
- 65.38% Share of Search, Oct-11 Hitwise
- 44.1% Share of Ad revenue, Oct-11 PCMag
- 43.8% Share for Video, Oct-11 Comsccore
- 30.03% Share for Travel, Oct-11 Comscore
- 22.38% Share for Automotive, Oct-11 Comscore
- 18.69% Share for Shopping, Oct-11 Comscore
- 16.29% Share for Health, Oct-11 Comscore
If these stats weren’t enough to dampen your holiday spirit, Google now is even prioritizing their own products above the paid search listings on their search engine. This creates a major conflict for the advertisers that have made Google what it is today and may force those clients to pay even more if their advertising is to remain competitive in this new bidding landscape. Google clearly is leveraging its position of power with consumers to launch new products and ensure their own success. The latest example of this is the promotion of their Chrome browser on the Google homepage. As you can see from the chart below, Chrome is rocketing to the position of #1 browser, a rank it is projected to achieve by June 2012.
Google is now a major threat to every business in the publishing and advertising marketplace. In the short term, while they may appear to be a superior partner that provides revenue and marketing innovation, I believe that over the long term they are eroding the value of each and every business in the media sales and publishing value chain. And, worst of all, they are charging heavily for the privilege. I’d estimate that for every dollar spent by an advertiser in the media buying process, Google captures upwards of 25% in tolls (via their various ad services, DFA, Invite, DFP, AdX, Motif, Admeld, etc.), thereby minimizing revenue and profits for publishers and other vendors along the way
So as you reflect on 2011 and consider whom you want to partner with in 2012, give some thought to the short versus the long term. What is your value proposition to clients? And who do you ultimately want to run your business … the Grinch or You?
Have a great holiday and Happy New Year!
The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc
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Sure, Microsoft may have given away its lead and legacy in mobile and probably jumped into too many hyper-competitive sectors, but they still have the widest reach in technology. And they’re still pretty damn successful.
In recent years, Microsoft may be a step or two behind, but they’re relevant in nearly every sector. And with Office 2010, a new Xbox 360, Kinect, and perhaps most importantly, Windows Phone 7, all receiving substantial upgrades this year, 2010 is shaping up to be absolutely huge for them. And that’s coming off a 2009 where Windows 7, Bing and the Zune HD were introduced. We’re just so used to Microsoft being around that we sort of take them for granted for all the good that they do.
So Microsoft revealed some numbers to serve as a reminder:
• 150 million Windows 7 licenses sold
• 7.1 million projected iPad sales in 2010
• 58 million projected netbook sales in 2010
• 355 million projected PC sales in 2010
• less than 10% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2008
• 96% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2009
• 16 million subscribers to the largest 25 US daily newspapers
• 14 million Netflix subscribers
• 23 million Xbox live subscribers
• 173 million Gmail users
• 284 million Yahoo Mail users
• 360 million Windows Live Hotmail users
• $5.7 billion Apple net income for fiscal year ending in Sept 2009
• $6.5 billion Google net income for fiscal year ending in Dec 2009
• $14.5 billion Microsoft net income for fiscal year ending in June 2009
Yes, they’re patting themselves on the back a bit but the numbers are just staggering. If you’ve forgotten, now you know: Microsoft will always be a very, very big deal. [Official Microsoft Blog via Bits]
Behold, the power of a scary-sounding letter from a lawyer! Paul dropped his Kindle 2 and it broke. Amazon wanted $200 to replace it. Instead, they replaced it and gave him an additional $200. Damn, son!
Seriously, how badass is this letter he sent to Amazon?
August 12, 2009
1200 12th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144-2734
Dear Sir or Madam:
On June 21, 2009, I purchased an Kindle 2 e-book reader from the Amazon.com website. I purchased this device based, in substantial part, on the expectation that it would be reasonably durable. In particular, I expected that it would be approximately as durable as is ordinary in the consumer electronics market.
Amazon.com advertises the Kindle 2 on the basis of its durability. Notably, Amazon.com displays a “drop test” video on the web page for this product. That video displays the device being dropped twice from thirty inches onto what appears to be tile. That video displays a fall with sufficient force that the device visibly bounces, and deliberately creates the impression that the device will function after impacts similar to that sequence of drops.
Despite those representations, the Kindle 2 is far less durable. On July 26, 2009, I dropped a messenger bag containing the device onto the sidewalk, from approximately two feet above the ground. It was dropped only once, and the messenger bag absorbed enough of the shock that nothing else in the bag, including a Macbook laptop, suffered an! y damage whatsoever. (Unlike the drop displayed in Amazon.com’s video, for example, nothing actually bounced.) Moreover, there was no visible damage on the exterior of the Kindle 2. Nonetheless, the Kindle 2 became completely unusable, with over 50% of its screen no longer able to display any text.
I called Amazon.com support and was told that, because of the accidental drop, you would not be willing to supply a replacement device under warranty. You did, however, offer to sell a new device at a discount, for $200.00. I took advantage of that offer under protest, and explicitly reserved my rights to bring a claim against you based on the unreasonable fragility of the device and the misrepresentations in your advertising. It is that claim that forms the subject of this letter.
I am prepared to offer an immediate settlement of my claims against Amazon.com for a payment of $400.00. That sum represents the $200.00 replacement fee I paid plus $200.00 to compensate me for the diminution of utility and value of the device as well as of the e-books I have purchased for that device, in light of the fact that the replacement device, too, can be expected to be far more fragile than advertised and prone to destruction under the slightest stress. This offer expires thirty days from your receipt of this letter. If you do not accept this offer, I intend to bring suit either individually, or, if I decide it is warranted, as representative for a class of similarly situated plaintiffs. At that time, I will seek the amount noted above, plus punitive damages under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civil Code §1750 et. seq., costs, fees, and such other monetary damages as provided for by law, including without limitation Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200 et. seq., the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and other relevant law.
Also, you have demanded the return of the broken device as a condition to the unreasonable discounted replacement offer which I accept! ed under protest. Your agent has informed me that you will charge my credit card for the full price if the broken device is not returned to you. I am considering seeking a protective order placing that device in the custody of the Court pending litigation. However, should I instead return the device, you are hereby notified that it is evidence in the anticipated litigation to which this letter refers. Should you modify, destroy, or resell the broken device, I will ask the Court to treat that as deliberate spoliation of evidence and make adverse inferences as appropriate.
Very truly yours,
And here’s Amazon’s response:
Pretty awesome. Just goes to show that if you put your somewhat-unreasonable request in an official-looking form and also threaten to sue, big companies will be happy to toss a token amount of money your way to make you go away. [Consumerist]
Google accounted for 71.08% of all US searches conducted in the four weeks ending Oct. 3, 2009, while Yahoo Search, Bing and Ask.com received 16.38%, 8.96% and 2.56%, respectively, according to an analysis by Experian Hitwise.
Despite a significant challenge from Bing since the alternative search engine’s introduction in June, Google’s share of search increased [...]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/marketingcharts/~4/eGi2lbpaZDQ" height="1" width="1"/>
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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