Messaging Apps, Games & Platforms with Jan Dawson

Messaging Apps, Games & Platforms with Jan Dawson
Jan Dawson from Jackdaw Research & Techpinions, joined us to offer his perspectives on the Asian messaging apps (WeChat, Kakao Talk & LINE) and how they operate as platforms.

Jan Dawson from Jackdaw Research & a regular contributor of Techpinions joined us on the podcast to offer a broad perspective on how the messaging apps in Asia are operating as platforms and ecosystems against their western counterparts. In the same conversation, he discuss the unpleasant economics of “free to play” games which originate from Asia and alternative business models. Finally, he offered his thoughts on the recent Google I/O and Apple WWDC 2015 and how it may impact the next billion.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion:

  • The story of Jan Dawson (@jandawson)
  • Messaging Apps as Platforms (article require subscription)
    • A short intro on the three messaging platforms: WeChat, Kakao and LINE and how they are different from Whatsapp (by Facebook).
    • How do Wechat, Kakao and LINE weave offerings that go way beyond messaging?
      • Advertising, Stickers, Avatars, Games, E/m-commerce, Payments, Corporate/Brand accounts, Merchandising (for LINE only).
    • How are their revenue streams split between these categories vs advertising?
    • Increasing regionalisation:Wechat, LINE and Kakao started off from their home countries: China, Japan and Korea.
    • What are the lessons learned for non-Asian messaging apps?
    • What are the reasons that you think that why Facebook clone Wechat / LINE using messenger but not with Whatsapp given that the latter has more global markets influence?
  • The Unpleasant Economics of Free to Play games (article required subscription)
    • How does “Free to Play” games work? For example, King, Glu Mobile, Supercell and Zynga
    • Given that the model has originated from Asia (mainly in Japan), why do you think that it took that long to get into the US market?
    • What are the reasons that the economics do not work? Less paying users vs more monthly users? High lifetime values per paying user vs less monetisation from free users.
    • Are there any new models which can rival the “free to play” games business model? Minecraft
    • Reference: Ecosystems and Control
  • Thoughts on the recent Google I/O and Apple WWDC 2015
    • Its impact to the next 1B market (emerging markets specific to China and India)
    • What are the most interesting announcements on Google I/O and WWDC?
    • What are the announcements that have profound implications to Asia?
    • How do you see Chrome OS and Android One given that most emerging markets in Asia use them? Will there be an unifying layer at some point?
    • A short discussion on Google and Apple’s attitude to privacy.

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi).