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Dictionary.com exec: 60 percent of mobile audience is on apps

Dictionary.com

A screen shot from the Dictionary.com app

NEW YORK – A Dictionary.com executive at the Media Tech Summit 2012 conference said that in addition to seeing a greater percentage of users on smartphones, iAds in particular are proving to be strong engagement and interaction formats to drive downloads.

Executives from Nexage, Dictionary.com and Varick Media spoke on the “Truth in Mobile Advertising” session about the issues and opportunities that mobile advertising presents. The session was moderated by Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.

“When you think about the world of mobile advertising right now, it’s predominately banner-driven – it’s not very attractive for any of the brands at the moment,” said Shravan Goli, CEO of Dictionary.com, Oakland, CA.

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“From a publisher’s standpoint, one of the things we have that we have found more attractive from an advertising perspective is iAds,” he said.

“IAds are performing really well in the context of our app. Banners are OK and performing fine but we need to move beyond the banner and make it more attractive.”

Small-screen advertising
According to a recent prediction from eMarketer, mobile advertising spend is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2012. This marks an increase from $1.2 billion in 2011.

With the increase through, markerters need to be measuring more than just clicks to gauge a campaign's effectiveness.

Dictionary.com has two versions of its app – a free, ad-supported version and a paid version. When the company initially transitioned its free app to include advertisements, the app saw that ratings went down. Therefore, the company rolled out a paid version, showing how it is important to give consumers options.

Approximately two percent of the company’s app downloads are for the paid version of the app. When it comes to operating systems, paid users shift to iOS devices.

Dictionary.com claims to have 58 million app downloads and 19 million monthly unique visitors.

App users are split between iOS and Android devices and mobile users tend to be 2.5 times more frequent users than desktop consumers.

Building a ship
Victor Milligan, chief marketing officer at Nexage, Waltham, MA, said that in order for the mobile marketing industry to move forward, it has to build technologies for real-time solutions with technologies that everyone understands. This will lead to more opportunities with rich media and location extensions.

Additionally, building services that make sense for brands is critical.

“Often the hidden dynamic in mobile advertising is that we have trained consumers that all things on mobile are free, but it can’t be free forever and has to make money somewhere,” Mr. Milligan said.

CPMs are steadily rising as more publishers provide first party-data and enable rich media and video.

Similarly, Jeremy Hlavacek, vice president of strategy and business operations at Varick Media, New York, said that the way to grow CPMs is through data differentiation.

The executive said that part of the problem with the gap between users spending time on mobile devices and the amount of budget allocated to mobile is a lack of best practice standards. Digital marketing is based on cookies, meaning that marketers are still trying to figure out what it means for mobile phones and tablets.

“It’s about realizing the unique qualities of the media and how it can be used,” Mr. Hlavacek said.

“I think there are two overarching strategies that buyers and marketers look for,” he said.

“There’s a budget that goes towards reach and scale that is often going to be highly standardized and then there is a budget that is going to be closer to brand engagement experiences.”

Final Take
Shravan Goli is CEO of Dictionary.com, Oakland, CA

Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Content, mobile, mobile marketing, Shravan Goli, Dictionary.com, Jeremy Hlavacek, Varick Media, Victor Milligan, Nexage

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