Few technologies in the world have created as immediate and widespread an impact as cell phones. Hand-held phones have completely changed how the world communicates in the span of a decade or so.
We are only a few years from there being a mobile phone subscription for every human being on earth.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, there were 6.4 billion mobile phone subscriptions at the end of 2012, translating to 91% penetration globally. That’s up from a mere 662 million subscriptions a decade ago.
(The world has some 7 billion human inhabitants.)
Of course, mobile subscriptions are not spread evenly between the developed and developing world, and there are many people in the developing world without mobile phone service. Penetration was 124% in the developed world, as a significant number of users have more than one phone. Nonetheless, penetration was still 84% in the developing world.
The ITU forecasts that penetration will take another jump this year. It expects there to be 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions at year-end 2013, good for 96% penetration. It forecasts penetration in the developing world will grow to 89% this year.
Elsewhere, the ITU forecasts there will be 2.1 billion mobile broadband subscriptions (i.e., smartphones) by the end of 2013, suggesting global smartphone penetration of 30%.
There’s nothing worse than watching a 30-second ad to watch some 30-second clip of something the world inevitably finds funnier than you do. Google/YouTube are acknowledging this phenomenon of the consumer psyche and will introduce an ad-skip button this year.
The idea is as simple as this: If an advertiser’s commercial isn’t captivating enough to watch in its own right, it’ll be skipped by viewers. If viewers don’t watch the ad, Google doesn’t charge the advertiser.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Why would anyone watch an ad voluntarily? See exhibit A, the lead video in which the god of the infomercial, Ron Popeil, does his thing. The only way that 9-minute clip could be more captivating is to put ANOTHER 9-minute Ron Popeil clip in front of it.
This skippable ad model will inevitably lead to better ads—at least in terms of catering the online attention span—and, for those of us* with the libidinal fortitude to turn a blind eye on GoDaddy-esque BOOBIES BOOBIES BOOBIES teasers, a lot more free time. [WSJ via Fast Company]
* OK, maybe I don’t skip every such commercial. But I only** watch them to be educated enough to write about them on Giz.
** This is a flat-out fabrication***.
*** What sort of monster have I become?
A video on YouTube gets 50% of its views in the first 6 days it is on the site, according to data from analytics firm TubeMogul. After 20 days, a YouTube video has had 75% of its total views.
That’s a really short life span for YouTube videos, and it’s probably getting shorter. In 2008, it took 14 days for a video to get 50% of its views and 44 days to get 75% of its views.
Why? In the last two years, YouTube has improved its user interface, which helps videos get seen early on. Also, the world has gotten more adept at embedding and sharing videos in real-time via Twitter and Facebook. (And there’s probably more video to choose from.)
What’s this mean for publishers? For one thing, publishers should have advertising/monetization schemes ready to go for their videos right when they’re published, because the hits come early.
It also means companies should be actively uploading videos to YouTube, says David Burch, a rep at TubeMogul. He notes that major companies like the NBA have been good at getting clips on YouTube quickly. If they didn’t act fast, then they could miss an opportunity to get eyeballs.
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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.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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