App Marketing Conversations: Amazon Prime Data and iPad Sales
In this weeks App Marketing Conversations: Ryan Morel of GameHouse, Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ and Robi Ganguly of Apptentive have a follow up discussion about how Amazon can disrupt the smart phone market with a unique business model; as well as declines in the tablet market.
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below!
Ryan Morel: Good morning and welcome to another edition of App Marketing Conversations. I am Ryan Morel with GameHouse. As always, I’m here with Robi Ganguly of Apptentive, Ian Sefferman from MobileDevHQ.
Ian Sefferman: Hey!
Ryan Morel: So the last time we got together, we talked about Amazon’s leaked Smartphone. And at the time both of your reactions were, “That’s sort of interesting but I want to see it.” And the big question was, how is Amazon going to disrupt it from a business model perspective. And you specifically said, “I don’t care about this until I hear about how they’re going to do that.” And oddly enough, magically two days later, three days later, it was leaked. There was going to be some form of discount for consumers by this thing called, what is being termed “Prime Data,” where consumers will essentially get free data to access Amazon services, like video downloads, apps, movies, etc, etc. So the first question is and maybe it’s the only question is, is that interesting and is it going to make a difference?
Ian Sefferman: It’s interesting. It’s not as far I wanted them to go. I basically wanted them to cut out all of these. Data for free, heck, even voice for free, subsidized it all and get all the services back. But it’s clearly interesting. It’s not going to sway my decision, it’s not enough to sway my decision but I can easily see it being enough to sway my dad’s decision.
Ryan Morel: Yeah.
Ian Sefferman: Which makes it interesting.
Ryan Morel: Yeah.
Robi Ganguly: I mean I think that’s the key point, the decision making that is going on that Amazon cares about the most is probably at the low end, right? They’re seeing people buy cheap Kindle Fires, they’re seeing people buy more and more cheap Android phones and they’re like what else can we do to reduce price because that’s the general answer to most questions at Amazon. Let’s lower the price. So it seems pretty straightforward.
Ryan Morel: Yeah. So I guess the one question that I have and they must have data that say differently is that it’s clear that there is a dramatic difference in the use case of phones versus tablets. And so like there’s not as nearly as a percentage, let’s put it that way, more people watch video and consume content on tablets than they do on phones. So I wonder how that might make a difference. One of the things I was thinking about this morning is if they would be able to convince AT&T or whatever carrier they do this with to enable tethering. Because that would be–
Ian Sefferman: That would be really interesting.
Ryan Morel: –to cut out the cable provider. Because that would be going too far.
Ian Sefferman: Yeah it would. I mean, the flip side to more video being watched on tablets is that more music is listened to on phones.
Ryan Morell: Yeah.
Ian Sefferman: And music’s a big driver for them as well.
Ryan Morel: Yeah. From an app marketer perspective, I think the last time we talked, we said and you specifically Robi said, let’s wait and see these new platforms always take time, there’s not a lot of money. Assuming Amazon came out of the gate with something that looked like this would this change your view on how fast a developer or marketer should support the platform?
Robi Ganguly: I think that there’s not a lot of risk releasing an Android app that can be on an Amazon phone is not that risky. It’s pretty simple, they continue to make investments, so there’s a decent chance if you are thinking about this now, you can get in front it by releasing your app in the Amazon app store.
Ryan Morel: Yeah.
Robi Ganguly: And if you’ve already decided there isn’t a good business case around it then releasing the phone is not going to change that for the first six months.
Ian: I think Prime Data itself, at least the way I understand Prime Data today is that Prime Data itself doesn’t make the decision any better or worse for a marketer because it will mostly be locked up for Amazon’s services, not every service.
Ryan Morel: Yeah. Okay. So I think we’ll still on wait and see mode, but we have some of the answers on how they’re going to [Inaudible 04:15]. Okay. So the second thing that happened is Apple released its earnings and one of the more surprising things was–Well, maybe it’s not that surprising I don’t know, was a relatively sharp decline year over year in a number of iPads and tablet sales. And that seems bad, so I think the big question is whether or not–Well, from– I think there’s two interesting pieces of data. The number of searches that we see and the amount of consumption being from tablets is like still very dramatically iPad focused. But its sales continue to drop as a percentage of the overall tablets. So one is it a– What’s going on here?
Ian Sefferman: That’s a really good question, extrapolating my personal experience out is that I never use my iPad. People bought gen one, gen two iPads and now they’ve stopped using them and are getting into the upgrade cycle in the way people do with iPhones.
Ryan Morel: Okay.
Ian Sefferman: That’s my personal experience, I don’t know if it’s–
Ryan Morel: Okay.
Robi Ganguly: I mean I think it’s much ado about nothing because the absolute number of iPads that have been sold since it was born was like 230 million?
Ryan Morel: That’s a lot.
Robi Ganguly: That’s a ridiculous number. And I kind of agree with what Tim Cook said on the earnings call, it’s this phenomenal growth, we’ve never sold anything this fast, we’re not terribly worried about this. I think it’s a good point, I’d be curious about that data, but in lieu of seeing that people are not using them that much. I continue to see more and more adoption of tablets in general, but iPads in particular in new and interesting places, like point of sales. I mean, going through the airport, there are several airlines that are using them in new and novel ways around sort of the airport experience. Which to me is a laggard from a technology standpoint.
Ryan Morel: I thought there was an interesting article. Ben Evans had a long article about this, I don’t know if either of you have read it.
Ian Sefferman: Does he ever have short articles?
Ryan Morel: No. But I like it. And he had an interesting point that some of it is for an iPad is that the use case is so different than a phone that it’s taking time for software to catch up.
Ian Sefferman: I think that’s totally true.
Robi Ganguly: Yeah.
Ryan Morel: So like new and unique ways of using it, it just takes time to get them built. So I think the people calling that the tablet revolution is over are overstating it.
Robi Ganguly: That’s for sure.
Ryan Morel: So if you’re an app marketer, you’re still marketing for people on it.
Robi Ganguly: Oh good grief! 230 million iPads, there’s no doubt that you should continue to go after it. And to your point, the opportunity is continuing to expand in terms of what is next for tablet software. What can we do that’s more interesting?
Ryan Morel: What about non-Apple tablets?
Robi Ganguly: I mean I think the same sort of thinking goes into it. In fact, we see more and more of our customers coming back and saying we’re doing unique tablet apps. We’re making apps that actually are just for iPads or just for an Android tablet and we’re thinking about that use case as different. It’s for us, we have an Android app and we have an iPhone App, we have an Android tablet app, we have an iPad app. So now we have sort of all classes.
Ryan Morel: Okay.
Ian Sefferman: Second.
Ryan Morel: Seconded, right cool, don’t stop supporting tablets. Right, thank you very much for watching, make sure to like this video, subscribe to our channel and check out the other segments from Ian and Robi.
Ian Sefferman: Thanks.