Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How Do We Monetize Mobile?

The big open question scaring tech companies is: how do they make money off of mobile devices? There is a list and some unknowns. Here is what we know:

  • Hardware such as phones and tablets and watches. Unlike computers that are upgraded every 3-8 years a cell phone is upgraded every 12-36 months. So there is money to be made there.
  • Software such as the App Store allowing people to buy programs and games.
  • Subscriptions to magazines and newspapers and games. This is likely to be a larger part of the future because it is so easy to pay $.99 versus travel out somewhere and buy a $7 economist or fill out another subscription. With only a couple clicks it is done.
  • Prestige, okay, I made this one up, but one time in-app purchases for games or inevitably articles and other restricted information. It is one time and not software. Yet not what we currently think of as media.
  • Media such as music, movies, serial shows, books, you name it.
  • Advertising for one of the above or physical goods like cars. Although on small screen space there is less tolerance and click through of ads.


What else is there? I don't know, and very few others do either. Perhaps the reason people like mobile so well is that it is a more direct line to the information than sitting in a chair with a large screen and keyboard.

This is significant because Apple's stock has been taking a beating lately, but if you look at all of the above business models that they are taking a percentage of sales, it's all of them. Another note on monetization, I don't intend to clutter this website with ads, except for maybe things that I might be selling like a book, because I now make enough from Squidoo to cover the $11 a year it takes to own my domain name.

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