Mobile apps analytics and marketing specialist Flurry touts the already mass market-sized, and still fast growing, reach attained by social games and mobile apps via Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices in an Oct. 11 company blog post. In fact, social games developed for the iOS platform already surpass prime time television’s most popular shows, according to Flurry, a fact that shouldn’t be lost on advertisers.
Flurry’s Peter Farago notes that while social games and viewership on Apple’s mobile devices have increased at unprecedented rates, some of network TV’s longstanding popular genres and shows — soap operas like As the World Turns and Guiding Light, for example — have experienced significant declines in advertising revenue and been canceled.
The rise of mobile apps and social gaming is just the latest instance of the disruptive force Internet technologies and digital devices such as the DVR have unleashed on the television and cable industry. “No longer could the industry depend on a captive audience to which it had grown so accustomed,” Farago writes.
Backing up these already taken for granted assertions, Farago points out that iOS social games on the Flurry network alone attract a daily audience of more than 19 million. And they spend more than 22 minutes a day using them. That puts their scale somewhere between that of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Flurry’s e-commerce analytics and cross-selling software is integrated into a mere 50,000 social gaming mobile apps, however, he continues. There are already some 250,000 on Apple’s iStore. Putting this into further perspective, there are many more than just two categories of mobile apps. “Given that the app store only launched in July 2008, these figures are staggering. Mass consumption of applications on mobile devices has exploded in record time.” One can only agree.
So what’s the upshot from Flurry’s perspective. Well, one firmly rooted in economic self-interest: drumming up more ad dollars for social games and mobile apps. “There are a lot of conclusions that can be drawn from this phenomenal shift in audience behavior,” he writes. “The most obvious is the impact on the advertisement industry, which has relied on the reach generated by its prime time television slot for years. This season, while American Idol is busy shuffling judges, the people have voted: iOS social games are as prime time as prime time television.”