Author Archives: John Koetsier

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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 …

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ICO Bubble?

Initial coin offerings have raised over a billion dollars for early stage startups in the past year. And they’ve done it with blinding speed:, a browsing/messaging app, raised $100 million in under three hours. Brave, a browser startup launched by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, raised $35 million in under 30 seconds.

The kicker?

The pace of this almost magical wealth creation seems to be doubling on a monthly basis, according to CoinSchedule stats:

Get the full story in my latest post on Inc. Magazine …

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IoT Revolutions keynote: San Francisco

Was super-pumped to unveil the new IoT Revolution Landscape at ReadWrite’s IoT event in San Francisco yesterday.

3000 companies in 30 categories in the U.S. and Canada have raised $125B in funding and are now worth $613B in mostly private valuation. They include 95 unicorns (for now!), plus many tiny startups, and a few big old companies.

Interesting: I asked people where IoT is in the hype cycle:

  • expectations rising
  • peak of inflated expectations
  • trending down
  • trough of disillusionment
  • slope of enlightment
  • plateau of productivity

The consensus? There really wasn’t one. People were scattered all over the graph.

Here’s the IoT Landscape that ReadWrite and Spoke Intelligence put together, and that I walked through in my keynote:

For more info, check my Forbes post from yesterday.

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Smart matter: Mobile is the gateway drug to enterprise and brand success

Caterpillar makes massive 100-ton bulldozers. And Caterpillar also makes apps for your 5-ounce smartphone.


Mobile is a gateway to what I call smart matter.

Smart matter is the result of adding three things — chips, sensors, and radios — to all products and environments. Simply put, we’re “smartifying” everything … connecting everything and every thing, giving potentially all matter the ability to sense, to act, to control itself, to be controlled by humans, and to impact its environment.

When matter is smart, it’s worth more.

Check out my post on TUNE’s blog to get the full story …

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IoT In The USA: 3,000 Companies, $125B In Funding, $613B In Valuation, 342,000 Employees

2,888 businesses building the Internet of Things employ 342,000 workers, have raised $125 billion in funding, and have created $613 billion in value.

95 of them are now unicorns: billion-dollar startups.

Spoke Intelligence and ReadWrite, an IoT-focused publication and accelerator, just released their inaugural IoT Revolution handbook, and the numbers are very, very significant. 2,748 companies in the U.S. alone, plus another 140 in Canada, make the IoT scene in North America.

Smart matter
IoT is the “internet of things,” a blanket term for adding intelligence and connectivity to products and sensors. Personally, I prefer the term smart matter, the future result of adding three things to all products and environments: chips, radios, and sensors.

Ultimately, we’re “smartifying” and connecting everything and every thing … giving all things the ability to sense, to act, to control themselves, to be controlled by humans, and to impact their environment.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Facebook LIVE with TUNE: Unicorn Dinosaurs

Is mobile a business advantage for brands and enterprise? If so, how much?

To answer those questions I had the pleasure of doing a live presentation and then Q&A on Facebook with TUNE. Here’s the video:


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AI and marketing: friend or foe?

I contributed to Act-On’s artificial intelligence and marketing series recently. The question was: will AI be a friend or a foe to marketers?

Here’s my take:

AI is most definitely going to be a marketer’s friend.

Marketers spend far too much time right now gathering, merging, cleansing, and normalizing data, and AI is going to make that simple. (In fact, it already is.)

In addition, the customer journey is far too complex — one company mapped 500 points on their customers’ journeys — to really understand, never mind react to in real-time with appropriate messages, resources, or services. AI will also help here, delivering on the promise of technology by enabling one-to-one communication with prospects and customers at scale.

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Smart robots put 10.5M US jobs at high risk

10.5 million U.S. jobs are at high risk of obsoletion due to artificial intelligence and robotization, according to a new CB Insights study. A prime example: food preparation and cooking.

Cooks prepare and serve food, clean workspaces, and interact with customers. But robots are already flipping burgers, and McDonalds is installing food-ordering kiosks in 2,500 stores this year.

The same day that news was anounced, the iconic fast-food chain’s shares hit an all-time high and analysts upgraded the stock.

Read the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Mobile Presence Podcast appearance: Connecting Customers At Scale And Driving Success For The Fortune 1000

Was super-happy to spend some time with Peggy Anne Salz just yesterday … and it’s live today.

Wow … quick! And, shockingly, I don’t sound like a complete idiot 🙂

Here’s her intro:

Host Peggy Anne Salz from MobileGroove welcomes John Koetsier – journalist, analyst and futurist – to discuss his recent research into the relationship between mobile apps, which allow immediate connection between companies and customers, and the level of success Fortune 1000 companies have achieved on the financial markets. He reveals compelling reasons why “winning in mobile means winning” and explains why over half (65.4%) of companies that demonstrate financial success are also leading their business category in how they interact with their customers on mobile. The episode also looks at mobile fraud and John’s insights into the massive amount – and impact – of mobile fraud.

And here’s the actual podcast … with a plug for TUNE by me and for my sci-fi book, No Other Gods, by Peggy!

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Check it out now 🙂

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Mentioned in dispatches

Pretty sure this is my first quote in the NY Times …

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos did more than acquire a company last week. He also asked for input on what to do, philanthropically, to help people in need now.

I replied, and the result hit the NY Times:

Get the full story at the NY Times …

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Apple’s new App Store may gift indie developers 20M app installs almost overnight

Some very, very fortune app publishers will see massive boosts in downloads when Apple turns the new App Store on in late summer or early fall. That boost could be three million, five million or even 20 million new app installs, virtually overnight.

It’s all thanks to Apple’s new editorial App Store focus.

At the company’s World Wide Developer Conference early this month, Apple announced a new App Store. While the store will have at least 25 major and minor new features, perhaps the most important one is a completely revamped home screen with a singular focus on one new app: a featured app of the day.

Featured apps have long received outsized benefits in terms of attention and installs.

Duolingo, for instance, rocketed up to a top-five app in terms of downloads from around 300th after being featured. Circa, the news aggregation app, saw app installs explode 59X overnight, partially due to press about being featured.

Get the full story in my article at Forbes …

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25 fat new features: What Apple’s all-new App Store means for app marketers

Apple is making huge changes to the mother of all apps, the app from which all other apps flow — at least on iOS — and probably its most popular app ever.

I’m talking about the App Store, of course.

And if you’re a successful app developer or publisher, that should freak the living daylights out of you.

You’ve attained a certain status. You have a certain familiarity with the environment from which your business flows. You’ve learned to navigate its rivers, often surprising you with hidden dangers and always spawning new sandbars on which the foolish founder. And you’ve earned some hard-won rank and stature, leading to some degree of organic business in the fastest-evolving marketplace ever yet built: the mobile app ecosystem.

Now it’s all going to change.

Get all the details in my massive 3,000-word blog post on TUNE’s blog …

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70M American Adults Interested In Buying Apple’s New HomePod

70 million Americans are interested in buying Apple’s new $350 smart speaker, HomePod. 33% of Americans are interested in buying the new device, according to a new survey.

That only drops to 30% when respondents are asked to compare HomePod with Google Home and Amazon Echo.

The results, from a Morning Consult national survey of 2,200 adults, seem to indicate that the well-known Apple Effect is still very much in force: when Apple enters a new market, it often dominates the space very quickly.

See the full story in my column at Forbes …

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Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin: How Blockchain Will Transform Business In 3-5 Years

To understand how blockchain is going to change the data of business and the business of data, ignore the jargon.

Ignore the hype.

Especially, ignore the confusion.

Fundamentally, Blockchain is an incredibly simple thing: a record book that everyone can see, and no one can change. This extremely simple idea has the potential to change huge swaths of enabling software and process for business, for finance, and for government, says Crowd Companies founder Jeremiah Owyang.

Get the full story in my post on Inc. Magazine …

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Apple Deletes $80K/Month ‘VPN’ Scam App, But Others Remain

“Mobile Protection: Clean & Security VPN” seemed to promise to keep iPhone owners’ phones clean, secure, and, I suppose, protected. All of those sound pretty good, which is why 50,000 people downloaded the app, and at least 200 people signed up for its weekly subscription service.

In reality, it scammed people at the horrendous rate of $400/month.

And, left unchecked, would have earned its unscrupulous developer almost $1,000,000 this year.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Web, apps, bots, and agents: when marketers should use each

Super-pleased to present my presentation at BotsCamp on bots, apps, web, and AI agents, and where they all fit.

The online conference platform had some issues, so I had to ask the moderator to forward my slides, but we get through it ok 🙂

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How Apple Can Make Siri Smarter Than Alexa, Google, And Cortana

Google has the knowledge graph. Amazon has the product graph. Facebook has the social graph. Microsoft has Bing and a third of search volume. Here’s how Apple can compete.

Apple’s artificially intelligent assistant Siri isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. But there is one specific piece of technological jujitsu Apple can perform that just might be able to fix that.

AI is hard.

It requires expertise, complex algorithms, and huge amounts of training data. With over $250 billion dollars of cash on hand, Apple can buy the first two.

The third piece, however, is especially hard for Apple.

Get the full story in my column at Inc. Magazine …