The web is on the cusp of massive change: By 2020, the number of global internet users is expected to quadruple to 4 billion, and most of these new users will come online using multiple devices. Additionally, existing usage will move significantly from the monolithic computer to mobile, as smart phones, tablets, smart TVs, and who knows what other devices further permeate both work and home life.
As the online population booms and usage becomes more and more fragmented across multiple devices, the key question is: How will all this multi-device traffic be monetized?
Chris Dixon recently blogged that most mobile apps currently fit into one of four categories:
• Time Wasters, such as Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies, primarily provide entertainment value.
• Core Utilities are those apps on the home screen of your phone, e.g., camera, phone, contacts, texting, calendar.
• Episodic Utilities, such as OpenTable, Uber and Hipmunk, are extremely useful in certain situations. Sometimes, I’m in the mood to find a new Thai restaurant. Sometimes, I want to know the score of specific baseball game.
• Notification-Driven Apps do just that – notify you. Notifications can be scheduled, for example, when something you want to buy goes on sale or when your PS3 is turned on at home.
Broadly speaking, these four categories also happen to describe how the web will be used and monetized in 2020.
• Entertainment will either be monetized by the content itself (e.g., paying for a game, or for a subscription to watch a show), and/or by advertising that will be broadcast in nature. Social ads on Facebook may not drive response as much as other online channels, but Facebook’s wide reach and high traffic will make it a natural venue for brand-awareness campaigns (e.g., opening night for a blockbuster movie).
• Core usage will be sold as stand-alone apps or subscription services (e.g., your monthly cell phone plan). Few people want to be advertised to while they are using a device for core usage.
• Episodic usage will mostly be monetized by advertising, which will be more targeted in nature (as opposed to broadcast). I use the term “advertising” broadly — e.g., restaurants that take reservations via the OpenTable app are essentially advertising on a per reservation basis.
• Notifications will be monetized via a combination of advertising, subscriptions and freemiums — all depending on the nature of the notification. Personal productivity notifications — like the app that reminds you to take a break every hour — will probably be free and most likely show ads with the option to upgrade to ad-free. Notifications that are based on some sort of purchase intent — like sale alerts — will be monetized by advertising. Apps that provide an ongoing service — like the app that notifies you when your PS3 at home is turned on — will either be purchased outright or be subscribed to on a monthly basis.
So, outside of entertainment and core usage, the bulk of the web will still be monetized the way it is today — via advertising.
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Cited from techcrunch.com
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