Strange idea hit my head as I read an article this morning about Pandora’s recent quarter (which was pretty good). So I thought to myself, hey, are they doing ok monetizing their growing mobile user base? I mean, the user base is moving to mobile – can they make money there?
Turns out they can, according to Forbes, “the monetization for mobile is currently significantly lower than that of traditional radio or Pandora’s desktop segment but has been growing at a brisk pace… The mobile monetization rate increased last year by more than 50%. Pandora expects to increase its mobile monetization someday to levels similar to what desktops have today.”
That’s pretty impressive, which lead me to ask myself:
Should Facebook buy Pandora?
The reasoning is simple… Facebook needs a mobile strategy. Pandora seems to be an actual way to monetize the mobile user, and also has great mobile user acquisition growth. Pandora is also about $2 billion in market value, so it would be a decent sized buy for Facebook, but would add a over $300 million in revenue with a minimal loss.
The biggest question is if music is social enough to make sense for Facebook. I guess the end user product strategy is a little off. But hey, Facebook needs something! Music is a solid consumer segment, and it is one that seems to be monetizable via mobile apps.
Last year I spoke at SXSW on how small startups can compete in crowded markets in a talk entitled “David vs. Goliath: When Goliath Tries to Steal Your Lunch Money.” I think most people who attended the talk enjoyed it. This year’s panel picker is live, and once again I’m trying to get a speaking spot.
Vote for OfficeDrop and Healy Jones in the SXSW Panelpicker!
The topic that I want to present at SXSW is “The New Rules of App Store Optimization.” OfficeDrop is growing like crazy, mainly due to our mobile strategy. I think we have figured some good stuff out on the app marketing front, and I’m looking to share that with everyone. Here’s a little info on what we’d be talking about:
App store optimization has been a hot topic since the dawn of apps. But a lot has changed since then. With the introduction of tablets, increasing mobile fragmentation and now the advent of the Windows app store, developers have an increasingly complex market to address. There are currently over a million apps in the Android and Apple app stores, and that number grows every day. Getting your app found involves a tricky dance of SEO, keywords, screenshots and user reviews, not to mention effective PR and marketing. In this talk, Healy Jones of OfficeDrop and Rick Camino of Hello Music will cover the latest fundamentals and best practices for making your app more discoverable in the various app store marketplaces. We will share real-world examples and provide actionable tips that can help any developer on any platform in any sector.
Video on the 2013 Healy Jones SXSW Talk Idea
I found this video interesting; is Amazon the biggest threat to Google? The main reasoning is that fewer people bother to go to Google to search for products; now they just go directly to Amazon. Thus, depriving Google of highly profitable adwords revenue for people with an intent to purchase. This is true for my household, so I thought it was compelling.
Where I found it a little less compelling was on the mobile side, but maybe I’ve just been a late adopter of Amazon’s mobile app. I saw some stats recently about how mobile commerce apps were taking off, but of course I forgot to link to it.
Well, it’s time to brag again about the great work we’ve been doing getting press here at OfficeDrop. This past Friday two HUGE publications wrote up the ExpenseMagic/OfficeDrop integration! Both TechCrunch and Fast Company covered how we make it fast and simple to create expense reports right from your mobile phones or PC’s desktop.
TechCrunch on OfficeDrop and ExpenseMagic
TechCrunch writer Alex Williams covered the integration OfficeDrop/ExpenseMagic combination, writing that “today I had a briefing with OfficeDrop which now has a service that works with ExpenseMagic for scanning and creating expense documents from an iOS, Android device or your desktop. It seems good enough to offer the potential for eliminating much of the manual work I do in preparing expense reports during my precious weekends.”
When Alex interviewed me for the piece, he also asked a lot of questions about the history of OfficeDrop. We discussed how the company was originally a mail in scanning service, and he immediately understood how we used that background as a basis for entering the cloud storage world:
“OfficeDrop has scanning and optics in its DNA. The company started as a service you could use to send your mail for scanning. The model did not work. People wanted to do the scanning themselves. So they pivoted, built a strong search engine to go with the scanning and now offer a combined storage and collaboration service. They see themselves fitting between Box and Dropbox, offering a service for small business people for easily scanning receipts, ideally from a mobile device. Google Drive is also seen as a competitor.”
FastCompany “Free You From Expense Report Hell”
Fast Company’s Christina Chaey’s piece on the integration has an awesome title: “OfficeDrop And ExpenseMagic Want To Free You From Expense Report Hell.” Of course, we do think that’s what the integration will help you do, since getting automated expense reports is potentially a huge time saver!
Christina says, “Through the new partnership, mobile and desktop users will be able to combine OfficeDrop’s smart text recognition technology, which makes the text in your scans searchable, with ExpenseMagic’s data extraction to generate expense reports from any receipts you scan using OfficeDrop. Receipts will go into an ExpenseMagic “uploads” folder, from which ExpenseMagic’s India-based bookkeepers will generate reports that they’ll then drop into a “results” folder overnight.”
We are pretty happy with the way we’ve evolved into a searchable cloud storage system, with the smartphone scanner applications that help small businesses digitize paper, plus the file search engine that helps you find the exact document that you are looking for in an instant. It’s really great to be recognized by a major technology publications like TechCrunch and Fast Company!
I’ll be adding these two pieces of press to the OfficeDrop News and Reviews page soon. Looks like there are a few more on the horizon, which probably talks to the importance of partnerships in today’s cloud/app computing environment.
I’m really excited about the latest OfficeDrop integration. ExpenseMagic, an automatic expense report generation service, has just integrated with OfficeDrop. This integration is going to be particularly useful for me, since I hate creating expense reports. Now I’ll just be able to drag my receipt scans into a magic folder and ExpenseMagic will give me a completed expense report!
The key take away here, from my perspective, is that having an open API (like the OfficeDrop API) allows third parties to make your platform better, while extending their own reach. Plus, cool integrations like this one create tremendous PR opportunities.
ExpenseMagic OfficeDrop Integration Video
Yeah, it was cool enough for me to want to make a video:
Here’s the press release. Looks like we are going to get some great press on this, so hopefully I”ll brag next week about it!!
OfficeDrop and ExpenseMagic Team Up to Make Expense Reports Bliss
Scan Receipts to the Cloud and Automatically Generate Expense Reports
August 17, 2012 — Cambridge, MA –Let’s face it. Expense reports aren’t fun for anyone.
Many of OfficeDrop’s small business cloud users take pictures of their receipts on-the-go using our iPhone, iPad, Android or desktop scanner apps and save them as searchable PDFs within their OfficeDrop online cloud storage accounts.
Now mobile users can simply snap photos of receipts using any of the OfficeDrop smartphone scanner apps and add them to their ExpenseMagic Upload folder. ExpenseMagic’s team gets to work and generates an expense report that you can view and share from your mobile device or computer.
From the PC it’s even easier: OfficeDrop users can simply drag receipt scans into the ExpenseMagic Upload folder in their OfficeDrop Windows File Sync Client and ExpenseMagic will put an expense report right onto their PC. Check out this video to see a demo.
“OfficeDrop wanted to take the pain out of small business expense reports, and ExpenseMagic was the perfect integration to help us do just that,” said OfficeDrop CEO Prasad Thammineni. “We are really happy that the wizards over at ExpenseMagic were able to use OfficeDrop’s API to create such a value-added feature. Integrations like this make OfficeDrop more than just cloud storage.”
OfficeDrop users can take advantage of ExpenseMagic’s automated expense reporting for the first month for free. More information on pricing plans for ExpenseMagic is outlined here. Learn more about the ExpenseMagic OfficeDrop integrations here and here, and get the ExpenseMagic iPhone app here.
OfficeDrop is a complete cloud solution for small businesses, from digitizing documents for the cloud to storage accounts that are sharable with teams. To learn how OfficeDrop makes digital life simple with its scan-and-capture apps and services, visit www.officedrop.com.