September 2, 2011

Yes, a few providers of highly successful time-killers can score good coin: Angry Birds has sold more than $300 million in downloads. But this equates to about 3 cents per hour of user time spent slinging those addictive birds. Similarly, celebrity gossip is probably worth 0.02 cents per page view. (Clueless marketing managers might currently pay more for banners nobody looks at, but eventually CPM for generic content and generic traffic will drop far below a dollar to match their real value. Advertising budgets won’t be misspent forever.)

Other mobile use is worth more: the minute I spent making a dinner reservation on the OpenTable app translated into $115 revenue for that restaurant and about a dollar for OpenTable itself. Let’s say $60/hour = 2,000 × the value of playing Angry Birds.

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