Author Archives: John Koetsier

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Mobile ad fraud: Twice as high on Android as iOS

Ad fraud is twice as high on Android devices as it is on iOS smartphones and tables, according to a recent report by Datavisor.

The report, which studied 140 million app installs across almost 500 ad networks and publishers, says that average app install ad fraud on Android is 5.8%, while on iOS it is 3%.

The app install business was almost a $6 billion business last year in the U.S., the report says, citing eMarketer, while Business Insider estimated it to be $5.5 billion. I’ve studied mobile ad fraud extensively, and I’ve estimated the size of the global market at north of $10 billion in 2017, and possibly as high as $15 billion.

App install fraud occurs when fraudsters fake app installs, falsely claim credit for legitimate app installs, or use malicious apps to download real apps onto real users’ devices without their knowledge.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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49% of Apple Watch owners likely to upgrade to the new Apple Watch 3

Half of current Apple Watch owners are likely to upgrade to the new version that Apple will start shipping on Friday, according to data from a 2,500-person survey by Fluent.

If true, this means that Apple should sell 15 million units over the next 12 months without adding a single net new Apple Watch owner, since the company has sold about 32 million Apple Watches to date. Add in some net new buyers, and Apple has a shot at selling more Apple Watches over the next year than it has since launching the device category in April 2015.

Get the full story in my article on Forbes … 

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In iOS 11, apps will engage or they will die

In 2015 I downloaded an app called Touch of Modern. The company behind it is a retailer that sells cool modern products for men, including furniture, watches, a gadgets.

In 2016 I barely touched the app. Maybe never.

In 2017 I ordered perhaps $2,000 worth of product right from the app.

After downloading and installing iOS 11 today, it struck me that if iOS 11 had been around in 2016, I might never have had the opportunity to see the app icon on one lazy weekend, tap it out of sheer boredom, browse the products, and so get sucked back into buying cool stuff that I barely use. And Touch of Modern would have been out $2K in potential purchases … without ever knowing it.

Get the full story in my post on TUNE’s blog …

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Tesla CTO JB Straubel: The One Key to Great Networking (And The Single Biggest Mistake)

Networking is critical to success. Unfortunately, the way many people network is also critical to why they fail.

At last week’s Waterloo Innovation Summit, Tesla CTO JB Straubel talked about working with the best of the best — like Elon Musk. Straubel, who was on the founding team that started the iconic electric car company, also talked about the biggest mistakes young professionals make when starting to spread their wings and network.

Networking, he admitted, is essential … even if he hates it.

See the rest of my post at Inc. Magazine …

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86% of marketers can’t consistently measure customers’ cross-device activity

You want to understand your customers, which means you want to understand their journey. How do they become customers, and what steps do they follow on their path? And, is digital compressing the traditional marketing funnel from weeks to days, even hours, as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has suggested?

We surveyed 647 marketers about the value, technology, and problems with customer journeys. We also asked marketing influencers — including media, analysts, CMOs, and journalists — how customer journeys work, what’s wrong with them, and if marketers should even bother.

Mobile and other new technologies make customer journey mapping more challenging, because they increase the number of options.

But they can also make it simpler.

First, let’s briefly look at the challenges.

Get the full story in my post on TUNE’s blog …

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Augmented Reality Spending Exploding 11X To $36.4B in 2023, Greenlight Says

Apple just released ARKit and Google just released ARCore in the last few months. But revenue for augmented reality devices and content will hit a massive $36.4 billion in 2023, according to Greenlight Insight’s newest report.

That’s 11 times higher than the estimated $3.4 billion in revenue in 2019.

Current devices in the space include Microsoft’s Hololense, Google’s second version of the Google Glass, and the Meta 2. Apple’s new iPhone X and high-end Android-powered devices are the thin edge of the wedge driving augmented reality experiences into the consumer consciousness.

We’re about to see a lot more devices, however:

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Jay-Z’s Much-Dissed Music Service Tidal Now Third In App Store Revenue For Music Apps

Remember Tidal, the lossless music streaming platform that everyone loves to hate? It’s now the 27th top-grossing app on the iOS App Store and the third-highest-grossing music streaming service, according to App Annie.

That might not be Pandora or Spotify money, and sure, it’s behind Supercell’s super-successful Clash of Clans game, but it’s not chump change either.

And it’s a big swing from being the most-laughed-at app app of 2016.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Apple’s New FaceID Will Make It Easier For Police To Access Your iPhone X

Apple revealed its new FaceID today in the Steve Jobs theater on its campus in Cupertino, California. Law enforcement officials who have had trouble unlocking Apple phones in the past must be salivating at the news.

While in one way FaceID is more secure than the company’s TouchID, which uses your fingerprint to open your phone, it’s also more insecure.

Get the full story in my column at Forbes …

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The battle for the future of commerce and retail

Sears’ revenue dropped $3 billion in 2016. Macy’s net income dropped 43 per cent, and JC Penney generated $5 billion less revenue in 2016 than it did in 2011.

But in the last year alone, Amazon captured almost $102 billion more stock price growth than all of its retail competitors combined.

What’s happening? Is it a retailpocalypse?

It almost seems that way, especially with Amazon’s recently completed acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon cut food prices by almost halfimmediately, and $40 billion in market value vanished from new grocery competitors Kroger, Costco, Target, and Walgreens overnight.

Amazon certainly makes a convenient target …

Read the full story on the University of Waterloo’s website.

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Apparently, I’m a top-15 global influencer on sales

I would never have guess this, but apparently, I’m a top-15 global influencer on sales.

That’s surprising, because I focus on tech. Specifically, mobile, AI, IoT, AR/VR, and a few other broad areas in martech and adtech.

Ah well … I’m happy to be influential at something 🙂

Here’s how Onalytical determines influence, by the way. The TL;DR version? People who show an interest in a topic, have a strong social following, influence other people on thatose topics, and connect stakeholders tend to be influencers.

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Excellence is not easy.

Excellence is not easy.
I played some ice hockey with my 14-year old son Aidan today. He got frustrated because his cross-ice saucer passes were ugly and wobbly.
The problem? We hadn’t been on the ice all summer.
How could he be great, if we hadn’t practiced in four months?
It made me think: too many people expect excellence at no cost. They expect to be able to be good at something instantly, or at least quickly.
In other words, they’re dreaming.
Anyone who is excellent at anything difficult and worth doing well has put in long hours of effort, practice, and energy. They’ve endured sucking, worked hard to win skill, passed through tears and blood to graduate to competence, and eventually, have sweated their way to excellence.
Expecting easy success is the surest route to failure. Expecting the process of achieving excellence to be hard, painful, sometimes humiliating, and often humbling is the path that will lead to investing dedicated time and effort.
And dedicated time and effort do, over time, usually lead to success.

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Mobile Ad Fraud In India: Click Fraud Is 2.4X Worse, App Install Fraud 1.7X Higher

Mobile advertising click fraud in India is 2.4X higher than global averages, and mobile app install fraud is 1.7X higher. While global mobile ad fraud averages just over 15%, ad fraud in the Indian subcontinent is much higher: 31.9%.

Months ago, I studied 24 billion clicks and taps on ads that marketers measured over January, February and March of this year, discovering a global 15.2% mobile ad fraud rate. (My day job: mobile economist for TUNE, a mobile measurement company.)

Recently, our India team asked me to look at India specifically.

The results were not pretty.

Get all the details in my post on Forbes …

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Sonos And Alexa, Together At Last: Sonos Teases Amazon Echo Integration

Sonos pre-released a new privacy policy today to existing customers, explaining upcoming changes and privacy protections.

The most interesting part?

Sonos essentially confirmed the near-term release of its long-awaited Amazon Echo integration, which will allow Sonos owners to control their music by voice.

From the blog post:

“First, you’ll notice that we’ve added a section on what it means if you choose to enable a voice assistant to control your Sonos system when that becomes available in your country … the most important thing for you to know is that Sonos does not keep recordings of your voice data. It goes to the voice assistant service (for example Amazon) that you’ve activated on your Sonos system.”

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Mobile ad fraud in India: 2.4X higher than global average

Click fraud in India is 2.4X worse than the global average, according to a recent study of mobile ad fraud. And mobile app install fraud is 1.7X higher.

I studied 24.3 billion clicks on 702 ad networks, plus 437 million mobile app installs in 131 countries. Globally, click fraud across all those ad networks is 15.17%. Eight ad networks are 100% fraud, and 35 ad networks are 50% or greater.

In terms of mobile app installs, 10% are clearly fraudulent.

Get this full report in PDF for free

Recently, TUNE’s India team asked me to look at fraud in India specifically. So we re-crunched the numbers to focus specifically on networks that are either from India or do a significant amount of business in India. And then we focused specifically on mobile app installs in India to see how fraud here compares to the world at large.

The results were sobering.

Get the full story in my post on TUNE’s blog …

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Job Apocalypse: MIT fellow Amber Case on AI, robots, and automation

Technologist, inventor and founder Amber Case is decidedly an optimist in an era of artificial intelligence, automation, and smart robots. Especially when millionaire Silicon Valley nerds are buying citizenship in New Zealand and building end-of-civilization compounds in the back woods of America’s Pacific Northwest.

“Within 30 years, half of humanity won’t have a job,” former Facebook executive Antonio Martinez recently said.

The results will not be pretty, Martinez thinks, adding that “there could be a revolution” after technologists invent intelligent machines that build products, transport them without human intervention, and automate much of what we currently pay people to do, like building houses. In preparation for civil unrest, he’s building that compound in a forest and stocking it with supplies in anticipation.

The new horror, apparently, is not the zombie apocalypse. It’s the job apocalypse.

Case, on the other hand, is much less optimistic about technology, and much more optimistic about people.

Get the full story in my post at the University of Waterloo …

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“We needs to take a call on mobile ad frauds”

My latest research landed in India’s Economic Times print edition a couple days ago (Bangalore edition) and yesterday (Chennai and Hyderabad editions).

I wouldn’t say things exactly the same way they say things … but I appreciate the coverage nevertheless!


If I can find the coverage online as well, I’ll add a link to it.

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Beats For Cash: 300K Artists Making $20M In The Music Industry’s New Gig Economy

Today anyone with an iPad and GarageBand can make the ingredients of modern music: beats. And 300,000 artists in their garages, bedrooms and condos are doing exactly that … with some of them making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling short slices of music on a new for musical mixes, Airbit.

“After using Airbit for a while I started making six figures,” says US music producer Tone Jonez.

Technology has enabled the disaggregation of work, as any of today’s gig economy workers at TaskRabbit, Uber, Fiver, Airbnb or Postmates can tell you. Even knowledge work can be sliced up, divided into tiny segments and sent out to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, where tens of thousands of semi-employed people work on pieces of your jobs.

Music — and art in general — seem different. Platforms like Airbit, however, are changing that.

Get the full story in my column at Forbes …

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How Facebook knows what’s hot before you do (and why there are so many free utility apps)

Facebook knows what’s hot in mobile perhaps before any other company. And the person Big Blue Social has to thank for it is you.

If data is the new oil, Onavo is a big fat pump in a Texas field, pulling black gold out of the matrix. Facebook acquired the Israeli company in late 2013, and the public statements about Onavo’s place in the Facebook ecosystem were all about using data more efficiently so more people can connect and share.

And, a Facebook representative added, “their analytic tools will help us provide better, more efficient mobile products.”


Get the full story in my latest column on Inc.

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Citi: Snapchat Revenue To Hit $3B In 2019, Instagram at $10B

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, could earn more than $3 billion in 2019, Citi Research says. And Instagram could generate nearly $10 billion in that same year.

Why the massive growth?

Revenues should catch up to time spent by users.

Citi released a new research note this morning that could bolster Snap’s stock price, currently trading about half its post-IPO high. Based on the company’s daily average user growth, which should hit 240 million in 2019, and the very high amount of time spent by users in the app — more than 30 minutes a day — Citi sees brighter times in the Snap’s future.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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MC’ing Postback

This was fun. A thousand mobile experts, a musical intro, an amazing group of speakers, and incredible parties.

Here’s how I opened Postback conference after TUNE CEO Peter Hamilton and his merry band of dancers and singers really OPENED the conference 🙂

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33% of mobile revenue now delivered by video ads; rewarded video is most effective

A full third of revenue for top mobile publishers comes courtesy of video advertising, according to a recent AdColony survey. And ads in general account of just over half — 55% — of total mobile publisher revenue.

100% of top publishers, the company says, use video ads to monetize their apps. Only 91% are using in-app purchases.

Of course, that’s based on AdColony’s customer base, which is oriented to video advertising. The company is a significantly player in mobile monetization, however, with 19% of the top 200 apps on the planet using AdColony’s services, according to MightySignal.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Retailpocalypse: Amazon Prime Day Caused 32% Drop In Store Visits By Amazon App Users

People who have the Amazon app on their phones visited retails store like Sears, Target, Kohl’s, and JCPenny 32% less on Amazon’s recent Prime Day sale, according to data from business data firm Sense360.

That’s on average. Specifically, the drops were better or worse depending on chain, as Computerworld reported:

  • Sears: 36% drop
  • JCPenney: 34% drop
  • Kohl’s: 31% drop
  • Target: 28% drop
  • Home Depot: 24% drop
  • Lowe’s: 24% drop
  • Walmart: 23% drop
  • Best Buy: 19% drop
  • Barnes & Noble: 11% drop
  • Macy’s: 9% drop

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Beats For Cash: 300K Artists Making $20M

Today anyone with an iPad and GarageBand can make the ingredients of modern music: beats. And 300,000 artists in their garages, bedrooms and condos are doing exactly that … with some of them making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling short slices of music on a new for musical mixes, Airbit.

“After using Airbit for a while I started making six figures,” says US music producer Tone Jonez.

Technology has enabled the disaggregation of work, as any of today’s gig economy workers at TaskRabbit, Uber, Fiver, Airbnb or Postmates can tell you. Even knowledge work can be sliced up, divided into tiny segments and sent out to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, where tens of thousands of semi-employed people work on pieces of your jobs.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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iCyborg: Apple Just Announced The First Mass Market Cyborg Enhancement

At first glance, it’s a great new product for hearing impaired people. At second glance, it’s the first mass-market cyborg enhancement: technology that penetrates our bodies and enhances our abilities.

Today Apple and Cochlear, an Australian hearing assistance company, announced the Nucleus 7, which connects to an iPhone to stream sound directly to a surgically embedded sound processor.

We’ve seen the early examples of embedded technology … the sometimes icky, bloody, and amateur efforts at integrating technology into the human body. Things like a camera in place of a missing eye. An RIFD chip inserted into a hand to auto-log into a computer or open a door. A chip implanted into your body, allowing you to control a robotic arm.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Talking to 600,000 people on IoT. No pressure!

It’s not every day I send an email to 600,000 people. It’s actually once a week.

I’m now doing Read/Write’s weekly Internet of Things (IoT) newsletter, which has a pretty massive subscriber base. My goal: share what’s most critical, most interesting, and most relevant from the past week.

If you’d like to get this email, just subscribe right here

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Why search won’t save your app, and ASO is table stakes

Search won’t save your app. And App Store Optimization,  important as it is, won’t take you from zero to hero.

At least, not alone.

Here’s the problem: even though 65-80% of apps are found after a search — meaning, you need to be good at getting your app found in searches — it’s not the kind of search you’re dreaming of. People aren’t search for “great football game.”

Get the full story in my post on TUNE’s blog …

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Data Deluge 2017: What People Do on the Internet, Every Minute of Every Day

Every minute of every day in 2017, The Weather Channel provides a forecast 18 million times. Netflix customers watch 69,000 hours of video. YouTube users watch 4.1 million videos, and Giphy serves up almost 700,000 GIFs for the world to enjoy.

It’s not all flowers and chuckles, however.

Every minute, spammers press send on 103 million spam emails.

Get the full details in my post at Inc. Magazine …

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App Developers Losing $3-4 Billion Annually Thanks To 14 Billion Pirated Apps

Mobile app developers and publishers are losing $3-4 billion dollars annually thanks to pirated apps, according to mobile advertising company Tapcore. Up to 14 billion app installs globally each year are pirated installs: stolen from their original creators.

But these pirates don’t fly the skull and crossbones. Instead, they are smart and highly-trained technologists.

The pirated app economy is almost entire invisible to consumers in Europe and North America, where almost everyone installs apps from two sources: Google Play and the iOS App Store. These apps are generally safe and generally kosher. App pirating generally occurs on third-party app stores in China and other counties.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Apple VP on why Apple’s app download metrics are different than 3rd party attribution partners

You’re a mobile app developer, and you use a third-party attribution tool like TUNE to know where your installs are coming from and how to optimize them. But there’s always an annoying divergence between what Apple’s internal search ads metrics show and what TUNE tells you.

What gives?

Apple VP Todd Teresi shared the reason yesterday at Postback, TUNE’s annual mobile conference.

Essentially, there are three reasons why the numbers differ.

See my full post on TUNE’s blog …

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Particle Raises $20M To Clean Up The Chaos Of 450 Separate IoT Platforms

Internet of Things platform Particle has raised $20M in funding. That’s good news for Particle, but it might be even better news for the entire IoT ecosystem.


At last count, IoT Analytics discovered no less than 450 separate IoT platforms. That’s utter chaos, and a disaster for a still-immature industry that needs simple standards, easy connectivity, and seamless integration to unlock its full potential.

Read my full post at Forbes …