Have you heard of Millennial Media? Chances are you haven’t. Tricia Duryee at Moconews described them as a ‘silent giant in the room’ when it comes to the mobile monetization sector.
According to information released earlier today in their ‘SMART’ report, Millennial Media is not just a giant, but the giant, completely overshadowing all the other players in the mobile app monetization world.
The world of mobile smartphone app monetization can be an imprecise world to navigate. John Furrier and I spent quite a bit of time earlier in the week on the phone with Chris Lum of Nielsen Mobile in an attempt to get some handle on how to better serve our audience in the new mobile section of the site.
“The sector is so new, the data we have on usage and monetization schemes isn’t as complete and full figured like the data we collect on web usage,” said Lum.
He said that most of the data they collect relies on surveys, and that the direct monetization stats, usage data, CPMs and engagement rates can be derived from those surveys, but that the app developers and ad networks sit on the real treasure trove of data.
So, What’s in the Treasure Chest, Cap’n?
The most incredible statistic released in the report was actually sourced from a previous Nielsen report, according to the fine print we read (and confirmed by Lum).
According to Nielsen’s mobile reach numbers, the mobile web extends to 59.8 million users, and Millennial’s network extends to 44.2 million sets of those eyeballs, by far making them the gorilla in the room.
This correlates with the data we obtained when we spoke about AdMob and AdWhirl last month:
AdMob is, as has been said several times, the ‘800 pound gorilla’ in the room, with a network reach around 6 billion monthly impressions, where AdMob is currently at only a billion or so. Furthermore, according to Nielsen’s stats, AdMob is a very distant fourth in audience reach, behind Millennial Media, Yahoo, and then Google.
What the SMART report also wants to make very clear is that Millennial Media is a very good network to put your ads on, going in great detail to explain their CPEU, or cost per engaged user.
For those unfamiliar with CPEU, don’t worry. I follow advertising trends and acronyms better than most (I gave a talk at Wordcamp Dallas this year that spent almost half it’s length explaining advertising acronyms), and it’s a new one to me.
It’s essentially a more precise way of explaining the engagement rate, and seems to be geared toward explaining the return on investment for advertisers on the network (as opposed to an eCPM stat, which would be geared towards explaining the ROI for a publisher).
I reached out to Millennial to get a more precise definition, since it isn’t a standard term in common vernacular yet. They explained it thusly: “CPEU shows what it costs to engage one user to do one thing by targeting method.”
Based on the data they provide, I’m intrigued as to what may have caused the drop in cost for the takeover method, as it’s by far and away the most effective means to encourage uses to interact with the ad, and certainly the one with the most drastic change.
Could it be simply the advent of the summer blockbuster season? It’s one possible explanation. Millennial maintains relationships with all of the major studios, and now is the time to try to get butts in seats for the most expensive films of the year – though that doesn’t explain why that particular category of ad performs better than all the others.
The other explanation that might shed some light on it is Millennial’s jump in iPhone app users. Millennial provides pretty complete data in terms of what types of handsets are being used by those who view ads on their network, and the iPhone category showed a jump of over 2% in numbers of ad impressions in June (although the iPhone only consists of 9% of all the ad impressions served for the whole network).
The full report can be found at Millennial Media’s site, and contains a great deal of information that can be useful for not just advertisers (though it’s certainly geared primarily for their advertisers) but app developers as well.
In general, Millennial strikes me as being a bit like VideoEgg is for the web platform. In my web applications, I tend to rely heavily on networks like VideoEgg because while they pay out only for engaged users on the developer side, the high concentration of mainstream entertainment ad campaigns appeals to all audiences, and it’s not uncommon to see eCPMs upward of $15, which outperforms almost all other forms of web monetization.