opinion

Mobile Mania: The Rising Stars of Mobile

Stefan Mühlbauer

The fact that Asia is developing at an extremely high rate from every point of view is no surprise to anyone. We’ve been seeing it happen for several years and economists have been foreseeing it for decades now.

In mobile as well, Tier 3 countries are growing rapidly with Thailand, Indonesia and China taking the lead as the fastest-growing mobile countries in the last quarter.

The countries that have really taken the mobile industry by storm are China, Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and Thailand.

We’ve experienced the growth first-hand. It was last year when we made our first deal for China. We paid €70 for 100,000 mobile redirects, and we earned around €73 with this traffic. However, it was just a small test and nobody continues with this kind of profit. Nowadays this offer would rock big time, and I would buy it for way more without thinking about it.

Within only a few months, the market has changed a lot and many Tier 2 and 3 countries are now working far better than the already-developed Tier 1 countries. We mentioned China above, and that’s a great example. The eCPM here climbed to €6 and top affiliates that operate with the right sources are even reaching the €30 line in this market.

Other markets that were the traditional money machines are going down at the moment. The changes have even hit some markets hard. Spain has taken the plunge completely. Here eCPMs of €200 were quite common and now they don’t even reach 20 percent of that value. The changes are drastic and no market can promise to be profitable. In this situation it’s important to stay on top of current events and market evolution, so at least we can make some kind of assumptions over the next few quarters.

First, we need to ask ourselves why premium markets just aren’t profitable anymore. Well, firstly, traditional markets are becoming more and more regulated, particularly in the adult industry, and new regulations are almost always conversion-rate killers.

Secondly, one-click flows have disappeared in many markets and many users are already subscribed to services, while others simply block premium services. Lastly, new-generation phones have ad, download and popup blockers, which will stop just about any mobile campaigns you have running.

Now, it’s not my intention to seem bleak, and there’s no need to panic. The adult mobile industry is still going strong and from certain points of view, things are quite stable.

Take Italy, for example, which was strongly regulated, and despite this many affiliates and mobile companies are still earning fortunes there. But why? Premium services are big revenue generators for the carriers. When this revenue is down, mobile carriers release new rules.

A development that took place in Austria on T-Mobile, for example, raised eCPMs from €5 to over €220! So, as you can see, there’s no need to worry. What goes down must come up and mobile companies seem to be getting more and more skilled at fitting the needs of carrier regulations and avoiding ad blockers.

What about the new markets booming though? Well, the rise was bound to happen what with most of the world switching from feature phones to smartphones. 3G is also more and more globally reachable and incomes have been on the rise for several years in Tier 3 countries. The plus to these countries as opposed to the already developed ones is that they are far less regulated and there are plenty of niche apps to be created, which fit these markets perfectly.

The question that remains now is in which directions will these markets go? Right now the situation is more than comfortable with new markets opening up practically daily.

Smartphone penetration all across the world is also contributing to the rise and climbing up with rapid speed, not to mention premium services in Tier 3 countries, which are giving carriers incredible ROI within short time. While we’re not sure about the exact numbers, we can definitely expect growth in this sector over the next couple of years. Afterwards, we will most likely see these markets stabilize the same way as tier 1 countries have.

The countries that have really taken the mobile industry by storm are China, Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and Thailand.

Even the already-developed countries of Asia, which were not performing as Tier 1 premium markets were, are now performing incredibly. These countries include South Korea and Japan.

To summarize, however unexpected these shifts in mobile markets are, mobile companies are adapting quickly. Carriers always try to regulate plunging premium markets, so fortunes are still to be made regardless of dropping eCPMs. On the other sides of the planet, formerly low GEOs are flying high thanks to smartphone penetration and reduced regulations.

It is a hard piece of work for a mobile company to stay on top of the game in the traditional markets and also in the upcoming ones. I know it from own experiences, but it’s worth the effort. I can recommend every affiliate to monetize all their mobile traffic to make the most out of it with a partner that is well prepared for all kind of markets.

The future looks mobile.

Stefan Mühlbauer is director of marketing and sales at BrokerBabe.com. If you are interested in the mobile world, contact him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/s.muehli.

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