My week in mobile: IAB’s UK mobile ad spend, Google vs. newspapers and Draw Something!

The Internet Advertising Bureau revealed their full year UK mobile ad spend figures and confirmed what many of us knew already. From the sheer number of phones (53% penetration), to the increase in mobile internet users (now 24.6 million), the percentage increase of visits to retail sites (from 2.6 to 8.2 in a year), to 1 in 8 clicks now coming from mobile – it is becoming increasingly embarrassing for the brands who haven’t yet ‘done it’.

Given that Google now attracts more revenue than all US newspapers combined, we were not surprised to see that instead of creating a paywall, the UK newspaper group, the Johnston Press, is concentrating on digital advertising, and a new, increasingly mobile audience. The Daily Mail, the newspaper the British public love to hate (but definitely must read!) not only won best newspaper at the British Press Awards, but also overtook the New York Times to become the most visited online news site. No subscription required.

Just as we are starting to see a shift, with newspapers finally facing up to the digital future, a report from Pew has begged the question ‘Could Facebook swallow up the Washington Post?’. We’ve seen a lot of social news recently, and a lot of buyouts by the big tech players. Never say never.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Everybody’s favourite new app ‘Draw Something’ sold this week for $180 million. As an app that got 1 million users in just 9 days, compared to the mighty Facebook’s 9 months, many were crying that they’d moved too early. But an app in the market today is almost incomparable to a Facebook of 2004. With hundreds of cheeky developers quick to emulate success, there would have been a few ‘Scribble me this’ type copies before the month was out, so they probably counted the pennies correctly.

Despite a UK budget that was mostly revealed beforehand, and delivered a blow to the elderly, middle-income earners, and those at the bottom – everyone really- the UK makes the highest percentage of GDP from digital of all the G20 nations. The so-called ‘Internet Economy’.  Although that might be impressive, check out the world’s biggest employers. Yikes.
From mighty armies, to those with former glory, our favourite underdogs RIM are being outsold by Apple in their native Canada… It’s getting hard to watch.

Don’t watch. Draw!

Written for Somo and first published here:

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