In a guest column for Mobile Marketing Watch, Mobile Mandala’s Mark Jaffe offers his analysis as to the three reigning “kings” of the mobile industry. Citing the biggest moneymakers of the double-aught decade as SMS advertising, the Apple App Store, and mobile carriers themselves, Jaffe also offers a few helpful predictions as to how these entities can remain kings of the hill for 2010 and beyond.
While Jaffe’s overall message is obvious but important — adapt and remain flexible, or suffer the fate of the music industry during the ’90s — a few of his observations are particularly relevant to the world of mobile/social games. For starters, Jaffe notes a sharp increase in the number of apps in Google’s Android Market, making it an up-and-coming threat to the App Store. Regardless of who ends up the ultimate leader in years to come, the process of purchasing online content via one’s phone is likely to see an overhaul.
More importantly, though, Jaffe cites app-based ads as one of the key usurpers of the SMS advertising throne. This is no surprise, of course — we’ve all picked up the “lite” version of a game or app which then constantly tells us about its bigger cousin, available for just a few dollars. However, Jaffe’s predictions regarding new streams of “narrowcast” marketing, via their specific phone architecture and applications, suggests we could soon see a Facebook-like system of games and included ads on our own phones. It’s not difficult to visualize; there are already iPhone games which will send data to one’s Facebook account, and pull new content from the same. How difficult would it be to push new links without requiring full app updates? Or for one app to retrieve a list of which other apps are on your phone and refine your marketing to related topics?