Ten national brands have reportedly signed up for Vodafone's "Mobile Marketing Discover Program". The Spanish wireless operator has contracted with Amobee Media Systems to insert "dynamic and interactive" advertisements into its wireless Web portal. Only four "brands" were mentioned in company press releases: Heineken, Nestle, Atrapalo.com (which is a travel site that enables bookings for travel, entertainment, restaurants and theme parks) and insurance carrier Linea Directa. There are also indications that the company will add advertising insertions to mobile, interactive games as part of the program.
In a related story Arun Sarin, chief executive of Vodafone Group PLC told analysts that the company would be looking at data services and advertising to grow both top line and bottom line revenues. The Mobile Marketing Discover Program will reinforce these efforts.
The fruits of work between Orange U.K. and Xiam Technologies have been made manifest as the wireless Operator serving over 16 million customers (including 1.2 million Internet users) launched a "recommendations service" as part of Orange World Portal.
Xiam's technology enables Orange to offer tailored search results, across several sources, based on the subscriber's past activity.
After I wrote a post on Google "definitely" participating in January's forthcoming wireless spectrum auction (based on this Forbes article), I was contacted by Google's DC-based spokespeople who said Google CEO Eric Schmidt was misquoted in the piece. Here's the original paragraph from Forbes:
Schmidt now says Google will definitely participate in the auction. The company has indicated it would still intend to open the spectrum to anyone willing to pay for it, flouting the feds' compromise. The company wants to use its savvy in running auctions of ad keywords on the Web to run real-time auctions of available spectrum to interested service providers.
Forbes updated and corrected the piece to reflect that Schmidt said Google "will probably" participate in the auction:
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company "will probably" participate in the 700 mhz spectrum auction. On Friday the company said that no final decision would be made on participation until the auction itself.
Related: TechCrunch reports on Google's Android pitch at the Future of Mobile conference in London.
CTIA reported yesterday that the number of wireless subscribers in the U.S. market has crossed the 250 million mark. That's up from roughly 55 million in 1997.
The 17 countries of Western Europe that we discuss in our Mobile Advertising Forecast report (being published today) have roughly 420 million wireless subscribers, a subset of whom have more than one handset.
Here's an interesting analysis of the financial implications for Apple from Silicon Alley Insider:
We estimate that a 2% share of China's 600 million mobile subscribers (projected 2008) with a $300 unit price tag and no revenue share would yield $1.8 billion in incremental annual revenue. (For comparison, after only three months of iPhone sales, Apple already has a 1/2% share of the U.S. market). A 5% share at the same price would produce $4.5 billion in annual revenue.
China Mobile is reportedly in talks to sell the iPhone in that market. China is the world's single largest mobile handset market, with some 500+ million mobile users.
China Mobile is also a member of the Android Open Handset Alliance.
As liquid MAPs are constructed directly within the handset with only meta-information (geometric descriptions) being sent to the handset it results in 10 times less data traffic each time the map application is used compared to a tiled raster map solution. This is especially beneficial for those users who do not have a flat rate billing for mobile data. In contrast, a tiled raster map solution is based on data-rich map image formats (e.g. gif) that are constructed on the server and are downloaded to the handset resulting in a considerable amount of data traffic.
Panning and zooming with liquid MAPs is also 10 times faster than with tiled raster maps. This is due to the fact that the map information held in the phone covers a larger area than what the user actually sees on the screen. When panning or zooming no additional information needs to be downloaded from the server.
The maps themselves support interactive advertising and are part of mobilePeople's "liquid" applications suite.
The entry point for these products is family security. But very quickly this sort of service will be the technological foundation for "friend finder" applications that will become popular as a part of mobile social networking.
Family Locator works on a mobile device or on a PC and locates connected phones/subscribers on a map.
ZenZui was a Microsoft spinout/spin off that is building a widget-based development platform on top of the Windows Mobile OS. Now the company has changed its name to Zumobi.
The company is very much like uLocate's Where platform but Where says its carrier relationships mean the apps/widgets that are built on its platform are all location aware. Where's application is a $2.99 subscription-based product for now. Zumobi presumably will be free/ad supported when it beta-launches in December, which is Where's ultimate ambition as well.
To succeed over the longer term in the face of competition from larger companies (e.g., Google, Yahoo!) that are being extremely aggressive in mobile and have existing consumer relationships on the desktop, Zumobi and Where will need to offer a superior user experience -- for free. Customization, which is critical in mobile, is a big part of the experience of these applications and that could give them some competitive momentum vs. other platforms.
To some degree they can "piggyback" on the third party brands, with whom consumers also have relationships, that build content widgets for their platforms. They're reconstructing the Internet for mobile via widgets. This stands in contrast to the iPhone, Opera Mini, Android and the forthcoming Mozilla mobile browser that seek to actually show the HTML sites (or some close approximation of them) on your mobile handset.
Here's the old ZenZui demo on YouTube.
NeoMedia, Mobot, GeoVector and now SnapTell (among others coming) are seeking to turn the camera -- a ubiquitous feature of mobile phones -- into a mobile marketing tool. With SnapTell, you take a picture of the object/poster/ad and send via SMS/MMS to a short code and then receive an offer, etc.
This camera phone marketing is an interesting wild card in the realm of mobile user experiences and advertising. Soon you'll be able to do mobile comparison shopping with the camera phone: take a picture of the product and get information, competitive pricing, reviews, etc.
This sort of approach is compelling because it's very simple for the end user and it ties the "real world" and the "mobile Internet" together in a very immediate way.
Local Mobile Search senior analysts Dan Miller & Greg Sterling have just published a new report, "Mobile Advertising Revenue Forecast: North America and Western Europe, 2007-2012."
Mobile phones are poised to serve as a new, geo-targeted, highly social media that provide their owners with a means to find out the people, places and products of interest locally. In this document, Local Mobile Search provides planning assumptions to support business development and product definitions that are in line with reasonable revenue expectations.
LMS reports and advisories are available to registered users only.
For more information on becoming an LMS client, please contact Pete Headrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)