EA: our fastest growing platform is the iPad

By: by Michael Grothaus Jul 27th 2011

There was a time when the majority of games were played on dedicated consoles like the Xbox or PlayStation but, as they say, “those times are a’changin.” Speaking toIndustryGamers, EA CEO John Riccitiello said consoles are no longer the dominant force in gaming. Up and coming devices like the iPad are:

Consoles used to be 80% of the industry as recently as 2000. Consoles today are 40% of the game industry, so what do we really have? We have a new hardware platform and we’re putting out software every 90 days. Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago.

Riccitiello does admit that consoles can offer better graphics, but he doesn’t see those graphics benefits lasting forever. Sooner rather than later a mobile device like the iPad will be able able to offer the same graphics as the Xbox. And he believes graphics won’t be the driving power in console adoption in the future. “I would argue that there’s more to be provided in terms of value for the consumer in micro-transactions and social experiences and driving those better in cross-platform gameplay between a console and a PC and a handheld device and a social network than there is supercharging graphics.”

EA current has 32 games for the iPad with many more to come judging from Riccitiello’s statements.

Mobile & Social Usage Stats


  • 303 million Americans reported that they own a mobile device (CTIA)
  • 96% of the U.S. Population owns a wireless device (CTIA)
  • 26.6% of U.S. households are mobile-only, meaning that they do not own a landline phone (CTIA)
  • 63.2 million Americans own a smartphone (comScore)
  • 50% of consumers ages 25-34 have smartphones (comScore)
  • 35% of smartphone users access the mobile Internet from their device (comScore)
  • Two-year growth (2008 – 2010) of more than 2,000 percent in mobile-ready web sites. (DotMobi)


  • 82% of consumers have used their mobile phones in a store (Insight Express)
  • 55% percent in a doctor’s office or hospital (Insight Express)
  • 17% during a movie at the theater (Insight Express)
  • 14% while flying on a plane (Insight Express)
  • 7% percent during church service (Insight Express)
  • 17% of mobile users have shown a clerk in a store a picture of a product on their mobile phone
  • 45% of users check their mobile devices first thing in the morning (Insight Express)
  • 1/3 mobile searches have local intent (The Kelsey Group)
  • 1/3 of all mobile users already actively engage with Web content on their mobile phones (comScore)
  • 53% of smartphone users routinely engage in mobile Web browsing activities
  • E-mail represents 41.6% of mobile Internet time for users in the United States (Nielsen)
  • 86% of mobile internet users are using their device while watching TV
  • Average US mobile user spends 2.7 hours socializing per day on a mobile device


  • 8% of total eCommerce sales will come from mobile by 2014 (ABI Research)
  • Mobile coupon users in North America increased more than tenfold in 2010. Triple-digit increases are expected in both 2011 and 2012. (Yankee Group)
  • $2.37 billion of mobile coupon transactions will take place in North America in 2013, up from $5 million in 2010. (Yankee Group)


  • Apple hosts more than 350,000 mobile apps in the Apple App Store
  • Apple offers more than 65,000 iPad apps
  • Currently more than 150,000 apps in the Android Market
  • There were 10.9 billion worldwide app downloads in 2010 (International Data Corp)


  • U.S. mobile advertising spend was estimated at $743.1 million in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Display mobile advertising spend will reach $334.5 million in total ad spend by the end of 2011, up from $202.5 million in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Spending for ads delivered via mobile apps in the U.S. will explode from $305 million in 2010 to $685 million in 2011 and more than $8 billion by 2015 (Borrell Associates)
  • Google currently dominates mobile search advertising, with an ad revenue market share of 91.4 percent.
  • 21% of Google’s largest advertisers have a mobile-optimized Web presence. (Google)
  • 47% of mobile application users say they click or tap on mobile ads by mistake more than they do on purpose. (Harris Interactive Survey)
  • Mobile search advertising spend will reach $295.1 million in 2011 (eMarketer)
  • Mobile video advertising spend will reach $50.8 million in 2011, up from $28.3 million in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Mobile made up 3% of total online advertising budgets in 2010. This number will grow to 5% in 2011. (IDC)
  • Mobile advertising is four-to-five times more effective than online advertising (InsightExpress)
  • iPhone users are more likely to respond to a mobile Web ad than owners of other smartphones. (Luth Research on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association)
  • For smartphone users, seeing a mobile ad triggers a response with 43% of consumers seeing an ad (Luth Research on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association)


  • 65% of consumers have seen a QR code (MGH)
  • 49% Of those respondents who had previously seen a QR code have used one (MGH)
  • 72% of smartphone users would be likely to recall an ad featuring a QR code. (MGH)
  • 35% of U.S. shoppers were interested in using QR codes as shopping tools (In-Store Marketing Institute conducted by Catapult and Ipsos OTX)
  • Among those who were identified as being interested in QR Codes, 87% responded with an interest in using QR codes to gain coupons, deals or discounts. (MGH)
  • 60% of those interested in using QR codes would use them to make a purchase. (MGH)


  • SMS will make up 24% of total U.S. ad spend in 2014, down from 44 percent in 2010 (eMarketer)
  • Consumers worldwide will send more than 7 trillion SMS messages in 2011. (ABI Research)
  • 36% respond to ads within text alerts, while only 11 percent responded to display ads on mobile Web sites.
  • The US sends 187.7 billion text messages every month. (CTIA)


  • Mobile video has higher viewer retention than online video, with 94 percent in the first 10 seconds compared to only 81 percent on the PC Internet. (Rhythm NewMedia)
  • The number of U.S. mobile users who watch videos on their devices has increased more than 40 percent year-over-year in both the third and fourth quarters of 2010, ending the year at a grand total of almost 25 million people, according to a mobile video report fromNielsen
  • These consumers watched an average of four hours and 20 minutes of mobile video per month in both the third and fourth quarter of 2010, which equals a 33 percent and 20 percent year-over-year bump in each quarter (Nielsen.)


  • 10.3 million tablet users in 2010 and that number is expected to reach 82.1 million by 2015 (Yahoo Research)
  • Tablet sales will grow to 36% of U.S. PC sales, outselling notebooks/mini-PCs, which are expected to be 32% of overall PC sales (Yahoo Research)
  • iPad users are open to advertising, especially if coupled with an interesting video (49 percent) or interactive features (46 percent) (Yahoo Research)


  • 80 Million Twitter mobile users
  • 200 million Facebook users use the service on their mobile phone (Facebook Blog)
  • 200 million YouTube views per day (YouTube Blog)
  • Women aged 35 – 54 are the most active group in accessing social networks with mobile  (Nielsen)
  • 30% of smartphone owners have accessed social networks via browser (comScore)
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Smartphone Owners Access Check-In Services Via their Mobile Device (comScore)

HSN pairs mobile content, commerce with strong results

Even if the HSN isn’t your thing, you have to love this “content to commerce” approach they are taking. Giving shoppers tons of choices on how they not only buy, but how they engage with the content wrapped around those purchases is helping to drive mobile sales, traffic and customer acquisitions.

HSN’s mobile presence includes a mobile Web site and applications across several devices that serve up its TV programming and let users buy the products no matter where they are. “HSN is focused on eliminating the boundaries of how and where people shop and recognizes that mobile is key,” said Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce at HSN, St. Petersburg, FL. “Mobile is our fastest growing revenue stream,” she said. “We’ve already surpassed last year’s revenue in mobile and we are very pleased with how our mobile platforms are taking off. “We’ve seen our mobile site traffic as a big growth area, too.”

Mobile sales
At the core of the HSN’s mobile strategy is the idea of pairing rich content with commerce. For example, users who love food can create their own channel that consists of their favorite food-related content from HSN. The network regularly pushes out updated content. Below the content appears the items for sale that users can purchase from within the app. Items appear in synch with what is being used or discussed in the content.


“Someone watching Wolfgang Puck via the app will have commerce as part of the experience which makes it much more of an immersive experience than a linear e-commerce experience,” Ms. Braff said. One of the ways HSN is looking to improve the mobile experience is by adding greater personalization to its apps and mobile Web site. Sometime this month or in early August, HSN will add a “My Favorites” feature to mobile that will enable users to pick their favorite brands and products.

As a result, HSN will be able to personalize the experience by giving these brands and items more weight within the app or Web site.“Users can also receive notifications and alerts related to the products,” Ms. Braff said. “This is making it easier for people to get what they are looking for, recognizing that time is of the essence when consumers are on a mobile device.”

To further enhance the shopping experience, HSN recently introduced a shopping cart that is shared across devices. The new feature  enables a user to add an item to the shopping cart via their  mobile device and then complete the transaction via a desktop computer, tablet or other device.

Consumer engagement
HSN’s findings from its initial efforts in mobile include that customers like to use mobile in different ways.

“In habits, customers use mobile in two ways – as a second screen that lets them check-out while watching HSN at home or when she’s away from the TV and wants to watch our programming and shop,” Ms. Braff said.

Other learnings from mobile include that users are frequently looking for special deals and what’s on sale via mobile. With this in mind, HSN created a storefront just for the mobile Web site and applications that showcases daily deals and what’s on sale. HSN is also finding that its mobile audience is beginning to evolve now that it has been in the space for a little while.

Initially, HSN’s mobile users consisted mostly of core customers who were migrating to mobile shopping from TV shopping. The benefit of this is that multichannel customers spend more than single channel customers, per Ms. Braff. “More recently, we are finding that many new customers are finding us on mobile – new is growing in mobile,” Ms. Braff said.

Going forward, the shopping network will look to bring HSN Arcade to mobile and tablets in the future. HSN Arcade was launched June 1 and combines shopping, casual gaming and sharing via Facebook.

The company is also taking a close look at mobile advertising and marketing and will release news in this area later this year. “Our overarching strategy for mobile across devices is to make it a fully optimized experience,” Ms. Braff said. “We want to allow users to connect with us whenever and wherever they want,” she said. “It is important to have full distribution across platforms and then work on customizing the experience based on the device itself.”

A new contender in mobile gaming

Sony introduced its next-generation gaming device, the PlayStation Vita, which is expected to go on sale before the madness of the 2011 holiday shopping season.

The new device is aimed at competing with the likes of Apple’s iPod Touch and the plethora of smartphones and tablets on the market. After the device was first unveiled in January, the show on Monday revealed other details, including the name and basic price.

Priced at $250 – or $299 for the 3G version – the Vita is Sony’s latest effort to control as much of the mobile gaming market as possible, a difficult feat given the stellar competition posed by the likes of Apple and Nintendo.

Similar to Apple’s initial iPhone carrier strategy in the US, Sony revealed this week that AT&T will be the exclusive carrier for the Vita.

The PlayStation Vita boasts a quad-core processor as well as quad-core graphics to go with dual analog sticks and front and rear-facing cameras.

Although Sony believes it is offering “competitive” pricing on the Vita, more than a few analysts believe that Sony has attached a dauntingly high price tag to make the Vita truly capable of reaching mass-market appeal.

“That’s fine for core gamers who want to play games all the time, but it’s too expensive for the mass market,” Dan Ernst, a Hudson Square research analyst, tells Yahoo Finance.

The global games market is projected to reach $65 billion this year, an increase from $62.7 billion last year.

In the U.S., Tablets are TV Buddies while eReaders Make Great Bedfellows

The Nielsen Company’s most recent research on mobile connected devices sheds new light on how consumers are using their tablets, eReaders and smartphones – and where they are using them, too. According to Nielsen’s recent survey of nearly 12,000 connected device owners:

  • Seventy percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners said they use their devices while watching television, compared to only 35 percent of eReader owners.
  • Sixty-one percent of eReader owners use their device in bed, compared to 57 percent of tablet owners and 51 percent of smartphone owners.

But just how much time are tablet, eReader, and smartphone owners spending using their device while watching TV or lying in bed?

When asked how they spent time with their device:

  • Tablet owners said 30 percent of their time spent with their device was while watching TV compared to 21 percent lying in bed.
  • Smartphone owners say that 20 percent of the time they use their smartphones is while watching TV, compared to 11 percent lying in bed.
  • eReader owners indicated only 15 percent of their eReader time was spent watching TV, though they spent a whopping 37 percent of their device usage time in bed.

Massive growth predicted for tablet sales

…and will likely come at the expense of PC and laptop sales, as we see tablets quickly becoming the new home computer.

Although still a minority overall, the tablet category is quickly growing and users of tablets are very often using their tablets to pay for digital content. An estimated 28 million U.S. web users between 8-64 use tablets, which is a massively wide demographic. They account for roughly 12% of the U.S. “internet population” according to the study from the Online Publishers Association and Frank N. Magid Associates. Moreover, their ranks will continue to grow to about 54 million, 23% of the U.S. internet population from 8 to 64, by early next year, the study found.

Read more.

The Net Effect of “Touch Shopping”

Recently, a new term has emerged, called “touch shopping”. We, ourselves, have been using this term with our clients over the past month. Essentially this term refers to the act of shopping using some sort of touchscreen device, or more specifically, a tablet. In the mobile space, there is really nothing new about the idea of shoppers using wireless devices to make purchases. What is new, however, is the data and intelligence around this purchasing behavior. Since we have the opportunity to work with many clients across many verticals, we can often see what’s working and what’s not. Not only are we seeing longer session times and higher engagement rates, we are seeing that conversion rates for tablets are between 2x and 5x higher on tablets than mobile phones. This tells us that brands who take the time and invest in tablet-based experiences can expect to see a quantifiably higher ROI than simply investing in mobile sites and apps alone. But, sometimes clients aren’t exactly sure how to prioritize what to build first. Our stock answer for that is “look at the data.” By looking at simple web traffic to the website, you can instantly get an idea of what percentage are coming from mobile devices (including tablets) which is a good way of evaluating which platforms to invest in.

Bottom line: Touch shopping experiences increases conversion.

The mighty video game console if falling

It’s been almost 20 years since America was wow-ed by the first hard-core gaming stations such as Play Station and Nintendo. After dominating the market for decades and making their way into 1 out of every 2 U.S. homes, consoles are facing serious competition. The market is apparently reaching a cap. The main reason: the advent of social and mobile gaming. Gamers are abandoning their big-box gaming consoles and big-ticket $40/game price tags for the the more portable and less expensive ($5/game price tag) benefit of mobile devices and tablets. Furthermore, this seems to have direct parallells to the laptop revolution, where we see fewer and fewer people opting for an unportable desktop PC in favor of laptops and tablets. Seems like this is a natural evolution. Read more.