The Big Mobile Questions in 2015

 In Industry News

In our last post we looked at the digital trends in 2015. But we live in an uncertain world, and so here’s our take on the top five big questions for 2015:

Will There Be a Cookie For Mobile?

The modern web relies on cookies for personalizing, unifying, and targeting both content and advertising across networks of sites. In mobile, this kind of targeting remains quite difficult: Advertising IDs are platform-specific, manufacturer’s hide device IDs, and consumers’ (reasonable) privacy concerns are raising both regulatory and self-regulatory pressures. But the flexibility and power of cookies fueled an unprecedented boom in web advertising and content, and so we wonder whether the mobile industry will develop a similar capability, a “mobile cookie” that will lead to increased standardization and faster industry growth?

Will Asian Companies Go Global in Apps, Devices, or Both?

Japanese, Chinese, and Korean companies have already shown that they can create new innovations with massive success (consider the Line messaging app, or Xiaomi devices in China). However, in the mobile industry their successes have with few exceptions been local, with some forays into the developing world (India, in particular). Will these Asian powerhouses gain a foothold in Western or other global markets, either through their own efforts or through aggressive M&A?

Will Mobile Advertising’s Value Be Unlocked?

For the moment, mobile advertising is dominated by programmatic buying, app advertising SDKs, and mobile advertising networks. With few exceptions (e.g. beacons/geofencing and contextual targeting), this leads to a largely undifferentiated audience which depresses CPMs. The net result is that even the most successful mobile publishers consider an advertising business model to be a sign of failure.

Nevertheless, brands need to engage with consumers, they have significant resources, and they value demonstrable reach, frequency, and engagement. Just as the growth of web advertising was inhibited by the availability of accurate and robust audience data, the growth of mobile advertising and the resulting increase in CPMs is today inhibited by mobile audience measurement’s immaturity. To access premium advertising budgets, the mobile industry needs data that shows where advertisers can reach a premium audience. Will the industry demonstrate the value of its audience in 2015? That remains to be seen (but of course, we will do our part to help).

How Will The Platform Game Change? While Android has ruled the low to mid-tier smartphone market, Apple has taken the lead in tablets and premium smartphones, leaving Microsoft’s Windows Mobile a niche platform. How will the power struggles evolve during 2015? How will Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia change its mobile strategy in 2015? Will Apple continue its push into lower price categories? Can Google manage Android fragmentation and keep device manufacturers happy?

What Will Happen with Mobile Payments?

Mobile payments are a concept nearly as old as the mobile telephone. And while there are various solutions in the market today, including Apple Pay, NFC-enabled mobile transactions, Square, the question remains: Will consumers adopt these methods in their every-day transactions? In developing markets, particularly Africa, the answer is a resounding yes. But how will adoption of mobile payments evolve in the developed world, where sophisticated banking and credit card systems are already well-established? And how rapidly will the mobile payments industry grow in light of consumers’ (justified) privacy/security concerns, and fragmented regulatory frameworks in different markets?

There’s no question 2015 is set to be an interesting year, and our data and services can help you understand the evolving digital landscape.

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