Under the terms of the agreement, Call Genie is providing its CG ADvantage Ad Management system which includes features such as inventory price management, inventory forecasting, field-based campaign proposal generation, auto-campaign creation, reporting and final invoicing. These capabilities allow Yell to effectively manage its 118 24 7 ad inventory in a way that enables product packaging to be defined based on UK region and advertising classification. Additionally, CG ADvantage allows Yell's sales consultants to create real time proposals, based on the available advertising inventory.
Ad inventory will reportedly be segmented by vertical and location. I haven't spoken to Yell about this but it would allow them to sell mobile as a separate ad buy rather than simply push directory advertisers into results. Yell has several sources of mobile distribution, including mobile Web and applications.
Mike Wehrs who was a VP and "evangelist" for Nuance has been named to succeed Laura Marriott at the helm of the Mobile Marketing Association:
As President and CEO of the MMA, Mr. Wehrs will continue to promote its charter to build a sustainable ecosystem for the mobile marketing industry globally, focusing on delivering benefits to MMA members, establishing guidelines and best practices for future growth, and driving mobile adoption worldwide.
This was a surprise to some who see Wehrs as a someone with product and technology expertise rather than a media/advertising background. But as Dan Miller told MediaPost, "I think he's very articulate, patient and a good explainer." My experience of Mike is also that he's quite articulate and measured.
While most brands and agencies have largely deferred mobile efforts in the bad economy, they will eventually be convinced to spend on mobile advertising by consumer adoption of the mobile Internet.
MediaPost has a Q&A interview with Wehrs. Here's the most important part of the interview in my mind:
And getting outside of their own silo. How does the mobile marketing world stop just talking to itself about itself and get in front of the larger media buying community and at the agency level?
Wehrs: There is s a significant opportunity for measuring the ad shift in ad dollars spent. And that is what attracts most of the ad companies to want to participate here. There is opportunity, once we figure out how to do this at a scalable way, and is that going to just represent a share shift from one type of distribution channel to another or is that a net increase they will see in terms of ad dollars spent? They don't want to give up on what they are doing in other channels. And that is an interesting discussion.
At the MMA the important point is you have to unlock it first. You have to get to the point where your Adidases and Coca-Colas and other major brand advertisers view the mobile channel and say, I understand how to use this. I can do this cost-effectively. And I can get to market in a very scalable way from a global perspective. I understand the metrics and the return I am going to get on it.
The pieces that are in place that make them feel comfortable spending those kinds of dollars in television or radio -- when those pieces are in place in the mobile marketplace, then they will of course shift a significant amount of dollars there. Whether it is net or a gross increase, that is an interesting topic and I would love to be in a position where we are talking about that.
This is the precise reason why we're doing Internet2Go.
As mobile phones have gotten better at providing directions and mapping, as well as offering a host of other types of content and mobile Internet access, PNDs have had to evovle or risk a dwindling market. Dash was the first device to debut with real-time IP connectivity. Quickly, after Dash, the other PND OEMs announced that they too would offer such devices that allowed for two way data exchanges over the air.
TomTom, which owns Teleatlas, has brought out its first such device, the GO 740 Live. It's already available in Europe and coming to the US in Q2 of this year. It will cost a heafty $499 but such devices are much more compelling than the unconnected PNDs.
It offers Google local search, weather, gas price search, traffic and community/social elements:
TomTom Buddies: With TomTom Buddies, drivers can link their TomTom device to those of their friends so they can locate each other on the map, share favorite locations, as well as exchange and share location information and text messages.
TomTom Map Share: Like all TomTom devices, the GO 740 LIVE comes with TomTom Map Share, TomTom’s unique community-based map improvement technology that allows drivers to make specified improvements to their map instantly on their device. Leveraging its base of 25 million users to date, TomTom has received over five million map improvements thus far. The combination of superior Tele Atlas map updates and Map Share allows TomTom to deliver the most up-to-date and accurate maps in the industry.
With Bluetooth, you can make calls through these devices (in Europe). There's also voice command.
So the PND market will likely evolve along the lines of this model -- offering something approaching full mobile Internet access, local content/POIs, SMS/Voice communication, as well as a host of other travel-related content and services.
A bi-furcated market will perhaps also evolve: low-end navigation devices that offer few frills and are relatively cheap juxtaposed with more expensive "connected" devices that offer the kinds of content and capabilities that GO 740 Live provides.
As most of you are aware by now, Microsoft announced two big search distribution deals last night: a three year global deal with Dell and a five year mobile deal with Verizon Wireless. That instantly gives Microsoft access to Verizon's roughly 80 million users. It's a big win for Microsoft and represents one of the company's best chances for stopping Google's march toward early mobile search dominance. It also gives Microsoft the ability to tout the Verizon user base before brand and national advertisers. In one stroke Microsoft "overcomes" the fragmentation problem of mobile marketing -- potentially.
However it very much remains to be seen how many people actually use the search tools that will be integrated and pre-loaded onto Verizon handsets. As I said in my post last night at Search Engine Land:
The irony or paradox of the Verizon-Microsoft mobile search deal is that smartphones are where most of the mobile search activity is happening today. Yet those are the users that the carriers have the least amount of control over and where the “carrier deck” is either marginal or effectively non-existent. Users may simply open a browser and head to the “mobile internet,” visiting whatever sites and search engines they please.
The Microsoft press release describes the implementation this way:
Depending on which device they use, customers will be able to use voice commands and typed queries and even select to use location-aware searches to receive highly relevant search results, including maps, directions, traffic information, information on local businesses, movie theatres and show times, gas prices and weather. In addition, customers will also get search results that include news and entertainment content such as downloadable full-track songs, videos and games. Verizon Wireless customers will be able to access Microsoft Live Search from a device’s home screen, by downloading an application or through Verizon Wireless’ Mobile Web service.
The deal thus offers a range of consumer-facing dimensions, which include its newly upgraded Live Search client application. Having used the Live Search client extensively in the past I was impressed with it. There were some problems early on with data quality, which goes to the underlying listings database, but those it would appear have been addressed. The client offers a broad range of content types, as well as a voice interface.
There's no question this deal is a huge deal for Microsoft -- literally and figuratively. I'm sure there's a generous revenue share or even revenue guarantees. In addition the opportunity to work collaboratively on advertising -- search AND display -- probably had something to do with Verizon's choice of Microsoft vs. Google. Verizon and Google have also previously been antagonists in connection with the carrier "openness" debate and 700 MHz spectrum auction. So that probably didn't help Google.
Yet, ironically, Verizon will be all but compelled to offer an Android/Google phone in the coming years as all its major carrier rivals introduce them. But that's a separate discussion.
The deal also potentially helps Yellowpages.com, which offers local advertising through Live Search. See, e.g., Boston Hotels:
There's lots of talk these days about "mobile social networking," but what does that mean exactly? Does it mean reading Facebook news feeds via a mobile device or updating Twitter, for example, from a mobile phone? Or does it mean using location-awareness on your phone through an application to interact or communicate with people nearby who are similarly mobile? Of course the two are not mutually exclusive -- and Facebook (and MySpace) will evolve over time to increasingly take mobile and location into account.
But there's nothing necessarily "social" about logging into Facebook from a mobile app. (BTW: the Facebook iPhone app has prompted me to use Facebook more in general.) In one sense accessing Facebook from mobile browser or app is really no different than reading the NY Times or getting restaurant reviews from Yelp on a mobile device. For purposes of this post the central difference between Facebook and the NY Times, conceptually, is that others can potentially respond and "interact" with you on Facebook. In addition, this could hypothetically happen in real time. Right now it's largely asynchronous.
With Loopt, Where's Buddy Beacon, Whrrl and other mobile-centric apps that enable people to "see" one another's locations "on the go" that real-time element is even more pronounced. In other words, I see you're nearby, I send you a message and we meet at a coffee house, etc. Alternatively, I send out a message looking for a nearby restaurant recommendation from my mobile device and get real-time responses from a community of users (e.g., Mosio). Those two scenarios, which involve two-way interaction in real time, should define what we mean by "mobile social networking."
Indeed, two-way communication between people using mobile devices, in real-time, is very different than looking at a website (or logging in) via mobile, regardless of whether it's MySpace, Facebook, Bebo or ConsumerReports. And many people use SMS today in precisely this way. That's why, earlier this year, when we explored the subject, texting appeared for many people as a satisfactory alternative to mobile social networking:
Barriers to 'Mobile Social Networking'
Source: Opus Research/Multiplied Media (n=730, Q1 2008)
Texting thus represents a barrier to the growth of true social networking on mobile devices, unless or until those networking tools become easier, cheaper and more convenient than texting. When they do, SMS volumes may diminish (in favor of mobile IM and/or other tools).
This will all likely turn out to be quibbling over semantics in a very short period of time, as the mobile use of Facebook and MySpace grow and people recognize that as "mobile social networking." But I at least wanted to raise the issue of definitions because it's worth being conscious about what we mean by "mobile social networking" and what features differentiate it from simply accessing a website with social elements on a mobile device.
I ran across this interview of AdMob's European "MD" Thomas Shulz. Here are the interesting bits (verbatim):
Have mobile users been resistant to ads?
Consumers are receptive to advertising on their mobile phones, if it’s done the right way. The strong CTR’s across our network clearly demonstrates this fact. The CTR varies from campaign to campaign, but the UK average is 0.9% for text and 1.25 -1.75% for banner. In addition, it’s worth noting that ads on AdMob’s iPhone network get, on average, triple the CTR of the rest of the network.
Do you have any examples of successful mobile ad campaigns?
AdMob recently worked with Toshiba to reach tech-savvy consumers and offer answers to their computer questions from Toshiba, The Laptop Expert. Toshiba ran banner and text ads in the AdMob network targeted to business travellers.
Toshiba also targeted AdMob’s iPhone network with canvas ads. In one month, AdMob delivered more than 40,000 clicks to Toshiba’s mobile site and more than 1,000 users engaged with their iPhone expandable canvas ad. The success of this campaign suggests that consumers are receptive to advertising on their mobile phone.
Mobile TV is dead, dead, dead. You heard it here first folks.
Anyone who's been reading this blog knows that I'm a detractor of "mobile TV" -- that is, the business model of paying a premium subscription for live TV on your mobile phone. I do however think that mobile video will continue to grow dramatically over time. The issue is: what's the business model?
People are only going to be willing to pay for "mobile TV" as part of an upsell bundle (maybe) or for sports or adult programming. Otherwise, given the quality for most people today, it's not worth it.
But free, ad supported mobile video -- such as what Babelgum is doing in Italy -- is going to become dominant vs. the premium subscription model (e.g., MediaFlo). Consumers are going to go where the video is free. Clips are already free from many mobile sources: YouTube, Joost, Truveo, etc. Expect Hulu to eventually get in the game.
But there are other interesting models and possibilities that might allow for separate fees. One is cable providers starting to offer mobile access to programming as part of a small upsell (or package). Another is what Sling Media is doing, providing mobile access across most smartphone platforms (now BlackBerry is being added). As far as I can tell it comes with your subscription and doesn't involve a separate fee, but this might prompt some people to get the Sling Box.
I imagine a future mobile video landscape that consists of:
Accordingly, the future of mobile TV/video will mostly be free/ad supported.
The idea of a distributed network of non-professional "responders" to a mobile question or search is one logical evolution of DA -- the original form of mobile search. In the past we informally labeled this concept "social DA." It's the marriage of search and social networking in a mobile context.
Mosio has tried to develop that model; ChaCha is working with a version of that model and, in the UK, so is the paid service Texperts. (Twitter may eventually develop this as well.)
Similar in many respects to ChaCha, Texperts uses a distributed group of individuals who must pass basic testing requirements. They're paid, as are ChaCha's guides. But unlike ChaCha, users pay for the Texperts service -- like traditional DA.
DA purveyor KGB this morning announced that it had acquired the UK based service:
Texperts will deepen kgb's market strength and service capability for mobile text services. The success of both companies demonstrates that consumers have a growing need for the instant availability of simple, accurate and hassle-free delivery of information on their mobile phone. The acquisition will also enhance kgb's ability to build on the initial success of the company's text advertising program (www.118118advertising.com), launched in 2007 in the U.K., which enables advertisers to reach consumers via the medium of mobile text, a highly effective and cost efficient alternative to more traditional mass media.
It's not immediately clear whether the existing Texperts model will be retained (I'm assuming it will). But it's a fascinating thing to watch KGB (formerly DA wholesaler InfoNXX) evolve from a traditional DA provider to carriers to a consumer-focused, mobile search platform with ad support.
Here are previous posts on KGB.
The company has been around since 2001 and forged early deals with carriers in the US to deliver local news and other local content to the carrier deck (and beyond). The content comes via local TV affiliates and, increasingly, newspapers.
Here's an example of one of the company's sites:
The Yahoo! Go widget launch is part of LSN's larger effort to diversify beyond the carrier deck, where a majority of LSN's 75 million monthly page views come from. However there's an iPhone app on the way and plans to expand to other smartphone platforms.
Durham said the company serves mobile banners and video pre-roll today. He added that he sees CTRs on banners of greater than 2% depending on the campaign. But he believes that once location is truly unlocked by the carriers that LBS and geotargeted ads will explode.
We also discussed SMS as a customer acquisition tool, as well as a marketing tool for traditional publishers. LSN offers a license-based SMS platform to clients that allows them to tie-in traditional media with mobile promotions/offers. Durham thinks that traditional marketers will need to experiment with SMS in their conventional media before they're ready to embrace mobile advertising more fully.
I think that's probably right in thinking about the mobile advertising adoption curve. SMS in the US and around the globe has monstrous volume, which is impressive to marketers. For almost every age category, SMS now exceeds call volume. Here are some recent numbers from Nielsen:
Paying for SMS data plans, now a must, will similarly be the "entry point" for consumers in buying mobile Internet data plans.
Mobile ad server/ad network Amobee has added the iPhone and Android platform to it roster of operating systems and formats it can serve ads into. It joins AdMob and JumpTap (and Google) in targeting the iPhone and related smartphone devices:
Amobee's HAPI Software Development Kit (SDK) provides a convenient way for mobile operators to ad-fund their mobile applications. It manages all aspects of advertising campaigns in a cohesive manner alongside other advertising channels such as WAP, games, video and SMS. Amobee's HAPI is designed to support both online and offline modes, while guaranteeing the most suitable advertising experience. Amobee's HAPI supports, among others, textual, graphical and video adverts and is capable of extensive data analysis including specific interactions such as click to call, click to SMS and click to browse.
There's really no good name for it but it's happening: multi-channel in-store shopping. That's where people do price comparisons or product review checks in the store while a consumer is looking at/for a product. There's also the scenario where she or he buys it online (right there) because it's sold out. And increasingly consumers will also be able to look for it at a nearby store (TheFind allows this, as does Android's ShopSavvy).
The new Amazon iPhone app also allows users to take photos of products in stores, which are then "remembered" on the app. Amazon reminds you of these items and finds them or similar ones among Amazon's inventory. While I'm jumping the gun, this feature could eventually be as big a deal for Amazon as "those who bought . . . also bought . . ."
Given the recession and a parallel push online there's new momentum behind mobile coupons/deals. For example, there's a burgeoning effort to create a weekly mobile coupon day in "Mobile Tuesday":
Mobigosee, a leading innovator of transformational mobile marketing technology, today announced that Mobile Tuesday will run for 52 weeks each year, delivering coupons, offers, discounts and information to consumers from retailers and other organizations interested in tapping the power of mobile commerce directly to mobile phones. Mobile Tuesday, similar to the traditional 'circular' received in the mail, comprises offers, discounts, coupons, store location information and purchasing power delivered directly to mobile phones.
And HipCricket, among others, has captured this growing interest in mobile coupons (we also have data that is consistent with this):
ShopLocal is increasingly distributing its retailer data via mobile devices on behalf of clients as well:
NearbyNow, which provides retailer inventory data, is also doing some very innovative things in mobile with SMS advertising and soon the iPhone platform.
Individual retailers are also recognizing the opportunity; Gap and Target launched iPhone apps recently.
The Wall Street Journal also ran an article on Monday detailing some of the efforts that retailers are making in mobile:
Most cellphones support the promotional text messages. But many advanced shopping and commerce features are built for specific smart phones, such as the Apple iPhone. Most programs, like text-message alerts, require consumers to sign up either through their phones or via the Web.
Wal-Mart is sending out more-frequent text-message alerts to its shoppers who signed up for the service, says Melissa O'Brien a spokeswoman for the company. Last year, Wal-Mart sent out three alerts to shoppers' cellphones the entire holiday season. This year, the company is sending out weekly alerts that customers can tailor by category. Last week, Wal-Mart sent customers text messages detailing holiday specials on toys and home electronics. Shoppers can click on links within the text messages that will take them to Wal-Mart's mobile Web site to find additional details and reviews of that item.
Buy.com is sending out daily deals on Twitter, a Web site on which users send and share short messages via the Web, text-messages and email, says Neel Grover, Buy.com's chief executive and president. The company is sending out about 25 messages a day about new specials it is offering, Mr. Grover says.
Last month, Sears launched a new mobile Web site called Sears2Go, where customers can make credit-card purchases directly from their phones. Tom Aiello, a Sears spokesman, says one way shoppers are using the site is to make purchases while in the store after finding out that an item is sold out.
There has been some evidence of resistance by retailers to in-store mobile research and price comparisons by consumers. But as the pop-culture expression goes, "resistance is futile."
Mobile advertising as a major contributor of digital ad revenue is probably several years away (we'll be revising our forecast shortly). But consumer adoption of mobile "shopping" is procceding apace. As the various consumer behaviors and use cases crystallize the marketing opportunities will become more and more apparent, although the discussion above illustrates many of them already.
The solution offers mobile publishers, media companies and iPhone application developers a powerful means to monetize their traffic and streamline sales to brands and agencies. It gives advertisers the most effective ways to reach consumers on premium mobile websites and properties.
The offering helps JumpTap build its publisher/distribution network and at the same time if offers monetization for mobile publisher sites.
JumpTap will be one of the featured speakers at our upcoming Internet2Go show in January in San Francisco.
Google is now making available the ability to target the "iPhone and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers." This was spotted by Search Engine Watch (forums) and I became aware of it via SEO Roundtable. Here's the administrative screen:
Close up of iPhone targeting selection:
Images credit: SEW Forums
Google discusses the new targeting options in a blog post today:
You may have seen ads running on the iPhone and G1 already. That's because Google Search on these devices used to show desktop results pages modified for these phones. Recently, the Google mobile team launched new results pages formatted specifically for the iPhone. Now, advertisers will be able to display ads exclusively on these mobile devices, create campaigns for them, and get separate performance reporting. If you prefer not to show your desktop ads on these phones, you can opt out and show ads only on desktop and laptop computers.
And here's Google's discussion of mobile ad formats:
iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers is a device platform targeting option that appears in the campaign settings for your campaign. By using this feature, your standard text and image ads will be eligible to show to users of iPhones and similar mobile devices when they perform a Google web search or browse relevant pages in the Google content network. These ads do not currently show on the Google search network, except for those targeting Japan.
As the passage above indicates, the targeting will be opt-out for advertisers. But it now gives search marketers the ability to run parallel campaigns online and in mobile and assess their relative effectiveness.
Google originally was going to push most of its AdWords advertisers into mobile (absent an opt-out) but shortly thereafter reconisidered and pulled back, choosing not to show mobile ads (or relatively few). This move represents a return to the "mainstreaming" of mobile at Google.
It indicates that that Google feels comfortable enough with the user experience and is ready to start monetizing mobile search (outside Japan) in a more aggressive way.
The scale is nearly there; the targeting is there. The numbers are growing. I published a piece in iMedia Connection a few weeks ago that tries to make the case for mobile advertising today:
Consumers lead, and advertisers lag. It's what happened on the internet, and it's what we're seeing in mobile too. It literally took years after the majority of U.S. consumers had adopted the internet for mainstream marketers to start putting any real money into online advertising. One could argue that still hasn't happened; online represents only about 8 percent of all ad spending in the U.S., though the web has more and more influence over consumer purchase behavior.
The "mobile internet" is following a parallel course; it's already a so-called mass medium, but it's hardly taken seriously by most marketers. Depending on the data source, there are between 40 and 50 million (or more) U.S. consumers accessing the internet from their mobile phones today. Apple reported last week that it sold almost 7 million iPhones last quarter, and smartphone sales in general are dramatically outpacing the rest of the market. As the folks at Nielsen have argued, the mobile internet has already reached "critical mass."
You can read the rest of the article here.
The case for mobile advertising is the thrust of our forthcoming Internet2Go event. More on that later . . .
Contextual content and advertising provider Proximic released an iPhone app, as the first step into a much broader foray into consumer-facing mobile search. The company's underlying technology is called "pattern proximity matching," which seeks to better understand pages and context through numerous points of relevance. Company CEO Philipp Pieper says that it can be used to match ads with content (or content with other content) but that it also offers a superior relevance algorithm for consumer search.
However the new iPhone App "Proximic Agents" isn't yet a full-blown search engine; it's a more intelligent news reader -- for now. Here's how the company describes the new iPhone app:
The Agents app is an intelligent news service for better daily productivity. Proximic will scour millions of RSS feeds to find relevant content. Agents then match your interests and deliver fresh information directly on your iPhone.
Users set up queries or search terms ("agents"), very much like current news alerts. Wikipedia and news feeds are indexed and dynamically presented to end users who can save or share queries/results. Results may be sorted by relevance or date. But in the near term location awareness will be incorporated as another layer of relevance and factor into how results are defined and presented as well.
Search queries may be stored and retrieved under the "agents" button (upper left of the screen). The interesting thing is that the app doesn't call itself a search engine but that's largely how it presents itself to iPhone users. Over time it will become more like a search engine, with more data sources and more use cases. Users who set it up as a news reader will today have a better experience than those seeking to use it as they would a mobile search engine.
The rest of this post is on Search Engine Land.
Mobile classifieds platform Gumiyo is pitching the newspaper industry that a suite of new tools and services represent an important new revenue stream for the beleaguered industry. (Here's our previous post on Gumiyo.)
From the press release earlier today:
Gumiyo's Mobile Ready Platform can be privately labeled and integrated directly into a publication's existing ad sales business, providing in-depth, interactive, and media-rich content that is linked to the advertiser's display and liner ads. The platform can also mobilize a paper's classifieds section by delivering matched listings to on-the-go consumers, and creates additional opportunities to engage those consumers beyond the printed page. Combinations of its unique engagement tools keep local consumers and advertisers connected and communicating.
Rather than a mobile-only classifieds platform this "mobile ready" platform offers the ability to link SMS messages and mobile web content to static print ads. In terms of classiifieds activity in mobile, note that "Craigslist" was the #3 mobile search query from Yahoo! this year.
The integration between print and other forms of traditional advertising and mobile will only gain steam and could deliver meaningful mobile marketing revenues in the near term. (See also Yell Puts QR Codes on Print Directories.)
HipCricket, among others, is also working in this "online-offline" segment, linking traditional media and mobile.
MocoNews reported on a preview of apps for the iPhone created by AKQA. So I downloaded the apps to investigate whether they were interesting and effective or merely novelties.
Of the two apps, Target was the more effective and complete, offering a tie-in with the mobile Target site or the Internet site. It also enabled users to buy the item from Target.com or find it in a local store. The Gap experience failed to offer a link to its mobile site or the ability to buy any of the featured items. Both apps lacked a product search capability.
Both of these apps are flawed in different ways but point the way toward a host of branded and/or retailer apps -- Ads as Apps -- that represent a very powerful marketing and loyalty opportunity for their brands and products.
US carrier Alltel, soon to be a part of Verizon Wireless, has launched targeted, idle screen advertising in the context of a program it calls "Alltel Perks." Here's how the press release describes the offering, which requires users to download software and register for the program:
Once registered, the service proactively delivers offers and content to subscribers when their phone is not in use. As offers download to the handset, users can open the banner to display more content by selecting the “View” hot button as indicated on the phone. If any other button is selected the offer will go away, as to not be intrusive. While airtime charges may apply to the service, the initial download of the Alltel Perks application from the Alltel Shop is free for Alltel customers.
The Alltel Perks service, powered by Mobile Posse, the first company to launch idle screen-based advertising in the United States, is fully customizable based on consumer preference and feedback. The application delivers content based on the customers’ ZIP code, age and gender, in addition to providing information and offers related to specific times of day and days of the week.
Meanwhile Transverse commissioned a study (n=810, US mobile subscribers) that found a majority of users would receive ads in exchange for discounts on their phone bills: 56% of mobile users said they would view ads on their phones if they were given a 25 to 50% discount on their monthly bill. Such a finding is perhaps "amplified" during a recession. But this is consisted with the data coming out of Blyk and VirginMobile USA's Sugar Mama programs.
Other findings from the Transverse study:
Mirroring a deal that already exists in Europe, Yahoo! will become the default search provider for T-Mobile USA's new "Web2go" portal. (Medio has an existing deal with T-Mobile that will remain but is not about Web search.) Yahoo is now the default search provider on two of the four major US carriers; AT&T is the other one.
T-Mobile, of course, just released the G1 (the Google Phone). I was in a T-Mobile store last night in San Francisco and a plastic copy of the Google home page is prominently displayed on the front of the phone to let people know "this is the Google Phone."
Google is competing with Microsoft for the default search provider role at Verizon. The most recent reports suggest that Microsoft has offered a sweater deal than Google and may win the business accordingly. Google and Microsoft both have relationships with Sprint, but Google is the preferred partner in that context.
Yahoo now says it has similar deals with more than 80 carriers around the world and thus can reach something close to 850 million people.
Being a default search provider will boost share somewhat. But as browser-based smartphones increasingly penetrate the US and Europe, existing Internet habits may trump those relationships. (It's an "empricial question" that will be answered in time, especially if Microsoft wins the Verizon business.) However comScore found that the "carrier's search engine" -- the default provider -- accounted for more share than Microsoft and AOL in September in the US (21%).
Using a smaller sample than comScore, the following were our findings from a US mobile user survey in August regarding mobile search market share:
Source: Opus Research/Multiplied Media (8/08, US mobile users)
According to a recent agency/advertiser survey, "Advertiser Optimism Report" by Advertiser Perceptions, the outlook for most advertising in the US is fairly negative. However, there are some areas that appear to be targets for increased spending by marketers: cable TV, online and mobile.
Here are the data (reported in AdAge):
Source: AdAge/Advertiser Perceptions
The upbeat outlook for mobile contradicts other surveys that suggest "experimental" media are being frozen for the time being. But if representative, these findings are positive for mobile advertising in 2009.