Speedy Load Times, Targeted Ads Crucial for Mobile App Success

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2014-02-27 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mobile advertisements are now served to 50 percent of smartphone subscribers, up from 30 percent of smartphone subscribers in February 2013, according to the latest Citrix Mobile Analytics Report. However, even with such growth, mobile ads generate less than 2 percent of a subscriber's daily mobile data volume, and only one-in-20 subscribers are currently served video ads. This year's Citrix mobility report provides insight into subscriber behavior and related factors that determine quality of experience (QoE) for mobile data services. This quarter's report is being released in conjunction with a mobile data subscriber survey commissioned by Citrix. The report indicates dramatic growth in the number of subscribers touched by video ads and the data volume attributable to video ads. Such growth is expected to be driven, at least in part, by such dynamics as auto-play for video ads, as introduced by Facebook in December 2013. In other sectors of mobile growth, the report found Internet radio has doubled in subscriber popularity, with 20 percent of subscribers listening to Internet radio over the mobile network, up from 10 percent as reported in February 2013. Overall, speedy load times, easy access to content, and a careful balance between free content and targeted ads appear essential. Take a look at what this year's report discovered.

 
 
 
  • Speedy Load Times, Targeted Ads Crucial for Mobile App Success

    by Nathan Eddy
    1 - Speedy Load Times, Targeted Ads Crucial for Mobile App Success
  • Android Tablets More Popular for Data Than Android Phones

    Mobile network-connected tablets generate similar data usage patterns as smartphones, with 80 percent or more of data volume being associated with the media player, browsing and the app store. The report found Android-based tablets generate two times the data volume of Android-based smartphones, the same as reported in the February 2013 Citrix Mobile Analytics Report.
    2 - Android Tablets More Popular for Data Than Android Phones
  • Social Media Dominated by Images, Video

    Mobile social networking generates, on average, 8 percent of smartphone subscribers' daily mobile data volume, although the report noted this percentage fluctuates widely by operator and region. Social networking data volume consists primarily of images (63 percent), followed by video (32 percent) and text (5 percent).
    3 - Social Media Dominated by Images, Video
  • Mobile Web Usage Is Dependent on Speedy Load Times

    There has been a reduction in Web page download times, thanks to mobile network technology improvements made by mobile operators. These improvements are likely welcome news to content providers, as a third of subscribers will abandon a mobile Website if it takes more than 5 seconds to load, and a majority (54 percent) will give up in 10 seconds or less. If a Web page takes more than 20 seconds to load, you will have lost 68 percent of your audience, the report warned.
    4 - Mobile Web Usage Is Dependent on Speedy Load Times
  • While Still Slow, Load Times Are Improving

    More than half (52 percent) of mobile Web pages load in 5 seconds or less, a 3-second improvement over the 8-second average reported in the last Citrix report. An impressive 80 percent of Web pages load in 10 seconds or less, and just 6 percent of Web pages take more than 20 seconds to load, an improvement over the 20 percent of Web pages that took over 20 seconds to load in the same period last year.
    5 - While Still Slow, Load Times Are Improving
  • Understanding Media Player Specifics Is Critical

    Any platform's media player is involved in the delivery of most video and audio for both iOS-based and Android-based devices. For example, when a subscriber clicks the YouTube app on either an Android or iOS device, the video is actually played using the media player, not the YouTube app. Understanding the content driving the media player is key to effectively managing mobile network load, the report cautioned.
    6 - Understanding Media Player Specifics Is Critical
  • Presence of Mobile Ads Will Require New Strategies

    Given the fact that 59 percent of consumers believe that ads do not count toward their quota of data usage, operators and publishers such as Facebook will eventually need to reconcile an emerging conflict, opening the door to more numerous and sophisticated sponsored data plans, the report predicted. The percentage of smartphone subscribers receiving mobile ads increased from 30 percent in 2013 to 50 percent in 2014.
    7 - Presence of Mobile Ads Will Require New Strategies
  • Mobile Video Experience Still Stalling

    On Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, mobile videos stall for an average of 15 seconds per 60 seconds of video. On 3G networks, mobile videos stall for an average of 47 seconds per 60 seconds of video. The number of stalled videos increases as the resolution of the video being served increases, starting at 10.5 percent of videos stalled at 240p resolution and rising to 47 percent for video resolution greater than 720p, Citrix found.
    8 - Mobile Video Experience Still Stalling
  • Content Use Varies by Time of Day

    Depending on the content, mobile app developers will want to know when their audience is accessing their app. For example, the report found finance and weather are top-of-mind in the morning, peaking at 8 a.m., while shopping peaks at 9 a.m. and again at 8 p.m. News and blogs capture interest throughout the day, with spikes coincident with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Perhaps unsurprisingly, adult content is most popular in the late evening hours.
    9 - Content Use Varies by Time of Day
  • Health, Fitness Apps Get Up and Running

    The report revealed that the fitness category of mobile health apps tends to generate a higher network load than other mobile health apps, due to the periodic updating of the user's status, such as a runner's progress along a route. Citrix expects that activity trackers and other wearables such as the FitBit, Nike+, Pebble and the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will generate ever-greater network impact as they integrate more fitness and mobile health apps into their functionality.
    10 - Health, Fitness Apps Get Up and Running
  • Network-Connected Games Add to Data Volume

    Ten percent of smartphone subscribers play network-connected games. The report found connected mobile games generate 1.5 percent of an average smartphone subscriber's data volume, comparable to the volume attributable to mobile advertising. Network-connected games now include downloaded video content, a change from 2013, when no mobile games made use of video sent over the network.
    11 - Network-Connected Games Add to Data Volume
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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