Mobile Ad Reach Doubles, Health Apps Off and Running: Citrix

The report provides insight into subscriber behavior and related factors that determine quality of experience (QoE) for mobile data services.

Mobile ads 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 1-in-20 subscribers are currently served video ads.

The report projects 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.

The 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 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.

"The Mobile Analytics Report serves, in part, as an early warning system for mobile operators’ network, marketing and customer care organizations, providing insight into potential network pitfalls and opportunities to deliver exceptional subscriber experiences," Mark Davis, senior director of product marketing and service provider platforms at Citrix, said in a statement.

Ten percent of smartphone subscribers play network-connected games, with mobile games generating 1.5 percent of an average smartphone subscriber’s data volume, comparable to the volume attributable to mobile advertising as reported in November 2013.

The top 10 most popular mobile health apps by subscriber usage are related to fitness and running, weight loss and nutrition, and women’s health, the report revealed. Just more than half (52 percent) are using their mobile health apps more now, as compared to when it was first downloaded.

The report also found 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.

"We expect that activity trackers and other wearables such as the FitBit, Nike+, Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will generate ever greater network impact as they integrate more fitness and mobile health apps into their functionality," the report projected.

The data content on social networks now consists of 32 percent video, while images contribute 63 percent and text contributes 5 percent, thanks to Twitter’s introduction of video-sharing site Vine last year and the integration of video into Facebook’s Instagram application.

"In many regions, consumers now expect wiredlike performance on their mobile device and, when they don’t get that performance; their frustration is directed at the operator," Davis continued. "But a great subscriber experience is just the start. Operators looking to transform their businesses need to understand data usage such as that detailed in the report, and find ways to translate that understanding into incremental revenue."