"We are actually beginning to enter the golden age of mobile," writes the Atlantic. Looking just to the Internet radio industry, it's hard not to agree.
Two out of three registered Pandora users have accessed the service on a mobile device (more here). Aggregator TuneIn says mobile is its most popular listening platform, "dwarfing" all others. More than half of Slacker's audience reportedly comes from mobile devices. And Spotify just launched a new mobile radio offering, targeted at free users (RAIN coverage here).
"Mobile is poised to surpass television as the dominant consumer access point for all media," writes the Atlantic. "How we experience life, relationships, entertainment, education, exercise, and work have been completely transformed (for better or worse) because of mobile." More than half of U.S. cellphone users now own a smartphone, Nielsen recently discovered (more here). And one in four mobile users have listened to music on their devices (more here).
But monetization has notoriously lagged behind adoption. It's arguably the number one problem facing "industry behemoths" like Pandora and Facebook (RAIN coverage here). Indeed, recent analysis found that "consumers are spending 10% of their media attention on their mobile devices while the medium only commands a mere 1% of total ad-spend," reports the Atlantic. Radio stands at 15% and 11%, respectively.
But the Atlantic argues, "we're still only at the beginning of the golden age of mobile. There is still a huge gap between the rapid adoption of mobile and the budgets assigned to it... the advertising spending will follow." The Altantic points to the widespread diversity, quality, innovation and experimentation in the mobile industry as reasons why it will soon attract more ad revenue.
"Imagine a world in the next 2-3 years, where smartphones are in the hands of every consumer and tablet sales will exceed PCs. It will be a world where global Internet users will double, led by mobile usage. At that time, mobile will no longer be a support medium, it will be THE medium.
"At this point, not having a mobile strategy / roadmap in place for your brand is a recipe for disruption."
You can find the Atlantic's article here.