Mobile app projects
There is no doubt that mobile app projects are the fastest growing online space, and that native mobile app projects are leading that explosive growth. Whether it’s an app developed by a marketing agency then licensed to a major corporates for their employees, or licensed directly to consumers, mobile app projects are at the leading edge of corporate and social innovation.
But why all this excitement about app projects? Having been around during the Dot.Com bubble which eventually popped, is this excitement about mobile app projects yet another bubble? I’m not sure, but here are 10 good reasons why mobile apps deserve the attention they are getting in no particular order.
1. Business: there is no secret as to where the big technology deals and advertising deals are being done these days. Recently there was the Ali Baba investment of $215m into messaging app Tango. The purchase of What’s App, a messaging app with 450 million monthly users, by Facebook for $19 billion adding to the growing fervour surrounding building custom mobile apps. New emarketer research forecast UK mobile ad revenue to overtake newspaper ad revenue in 2014. Mobile ad spend will top £2bn this year and £9bn by 2017.
2. Control: for major content owners releasing their content through a mobile app gives them far more control over that content than through a web or mobile site.
In 2012 EMI Publishing development opened its vault to support mobile device application development. This was a clear sign that everyone including major entertainment content owners were already aware that mobile apps would play a big role in the consumption of everything including music in the near future. The company wasn’t abandoning copyright it was acknowledging that there was a shift in content consumption that needed a new approach from content owners. EMI launched the OpenEMI initiative. The OpenEMI initiative gave app developers access to parts of its catalogue, under a licence and a revenue-sharing deal, as long as they develop innovative music apps.
By connecting the mobile app developer with the music management team, artist, label and publisher, OpenEMI created a way of gifted app developers being able to access the music world and to use their skills to improve music consumption innovation. What EMI and many other smart companies realise is that website and mobile sites are fast becoming the so called ‘mom and pop’ stores of the digital age. Apps rule the digital revolution. An application programming interface, allows a content owner to dictate terms to developers in order to grant access to the content.
EMI isn’t alone in seeing the potential of the API. Island Def Jam Music Group also have a similar initiative.
Source: Billboard. 9/29/2012, Vol. 124 Issue 34, p6-6. 1p.
3. Entrepreneurship: mobile app projects development is one of the few businesses where one person or a couple of people can have an idea and make it big time. In turn consumers can get a great quality product for very little money. In the business world we live in today there are endless providers in the supply chain between the original service provider and the customer or end user. All the different stakeholders in the supply chain take a cut of the action. Take music for example. When a major content owner talks about protecting copyright, how much of that copyright content is actually owned by the people who made it? For those who consider that intellectual property ownership is linked with honour, making sure the people who actually created the work get the reward for creating it is the honourable thing to do. This might be why online music piracy is so rife. Infringers think that they are not taking food from the mouths of the actual singer/songwriters, but from the faceless corporate machines that are allegedly exploiting the singer/songwriters. With app development, creators of apps range from individuals, small businesses along with major companies. Take a look at Google Play and you will see plenty of examples supporting this assertion. The end user knows that when they are buying from these small businesses their money is going directly to the creators of the app. This supports a creative cycle since the apps creators are getting direct feedback and are inspired to build even better apps. Further when you pay for a mobile app you know that the creators are not getting their revenue stealthily by selling your personal data to advertisers. When creators operate a freemium model based on ad revenue they receive revenue in dribbles and do not have a true measure of how their app has been received.
4. Disruptive – Free calling: at 9 below I list the disruptive element of mobile app projects as one of my reasons for their supremacy in the digital age. But I have listed free calling on its own because it has had such a profound disruptive effect on the old land line and mobile system. All you need is Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi enabled device and you can make free international calls anywhere. Just a few years ago international phone bills used to be astronomical. If you used your UK mobile phone on a trip to the US for say an aggregate of 1 hour, your bill could be as much as between £500 to £1,000.00. Those days are gone. Smart phones and the Internet have made expensive international calls a thing of the past. Now an International call through the Skype app is to another Skype user is free. Skype is not the only provider in town, there is Kakao Talk, Viber and many more.
5. New platforms: apps have enabled so many new platforms. There are now smart watches, smart fridges, Google Glass, apps in cars, apps in clothes; the Internet of things means there is just about an app being built to make everything smarter.
6. Education: apps are transforming education as we know it. Children as young as 8 are making apps and using them. Apart from Apps that teach children literacy, maths and science , there are apps to help teach children the value of money, in Sweden teachers are even teaching children using gaming apps . Incidentally Scandinavian schools have topped just about every educational league table ever.
7. B2b apps for enterprise: it’s not just B2C apps that are leading innovation. There is innovation going on between businesses to solve problems ranging from security to how to improve the supply chain.
8. Culture: normally the complaint is that device usage is taking over from normal human interaction. Instead of communicating with each other we spend all our time on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. But apps are being made that bring people closer together. There are a growing number of dating apps based around location data. Also educational apps based on location data support knowledge and culture. This means people are better informed, increasing interest in museums and art galleries and even love.
9. Disruptive: apps are being built everyday to challenge the status quo in just about every industry. Uber and other taxi apps ensured that even taxis have felt the pressure of the innovation and the power of the app. Apps like Airbnb are challenging the hotel and bed and breakfast industry.
10. Speed and convenience: given the fact that we are always on the go in the digital age, apps support our busy lives by allowing us to speed up the process for much of our daily chores. The small size of most of the devices that run apps also supports convenience.
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