Tag Archives: mobile advertising

Is mobile video being stunted by data caps?

I remember when the mobile internet first launched, and I was on a Vodafone contract. The pricing wasn’t the clearest, and after using a painfully slow connection for a month was horrified to learn that I had racked up a huge bill! I stopped using the mobile internet for a while after that, and it took a fair period of abstinence before clearer, more affordable pricing tempted me back online.

That seems like an age ago now, but are we running the risk of having a similar situation now with mobile video?

As more people stream video across 3G, the networks are increasingly finding it hard to cope. I read somewhere that one person streaming one 30 second video on 3G was the equivalent of every single person in Newcastle sending a text message at the same time.

The reaction to this from the networks has been not to increase capacity, but to restrict consumers on how much data they are allowed before incurring additional charges. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that if you watch a lot of video, there could be a nasty surprise in your next bill. I have no idea if increasing capacity is even an option to be fair, but the net result of these data caps is surely going to be consumers will be more careful about what they watch, and probably chose not to watch snack video content?

What do you think? Is this a serious barrier for the mobile video business?

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Orange to trial HD voice calls

New standard for voice calls could be rolled-out nationally after Orange’s High Definition trial

The days of poor quality phone calls could be coming to an end
High definition phone calls are being trialled by mobile operator Orange in a prelude to a possible national roll-out later this year. The technology more than doubles the frequency range available for voice calls, although Orange says that there will be no impact on the mobile network’s performance.

The new way of encoding speech, which follows that trialled by the network Three earlier this year in Maidenhead, Berkshire, is designed to isolate voice sounds from background noise. It requires users to purchase a new handset, and Orange said it will be offered free to existing customers. Sony Ericsson and Nokia have already started installing the new technology in some of their handsets.

Andrew Warner, the company’s head of voice and messaging products, said “The aim is to make it seem as though you are talking to someone in the same room – you will be able to make a call from a football match or concert and actually have a normal conversation. We think this will become the norm for calls and feedback from everyone who has trialled it is that it is very good.”

The new technology, however, does not address the problems associated with mobile phone reception, and will require transmitters’ software to be upgraded. That means it could be some time before the UK as a whole is HD-equipped. The trial is going on now across a range ofOrange’s customers.

New standard for voice calls could be rolled-out nationally after Orange’s High Definition trial

The days of poor quality phone calls could be coming to an end
High definition phone calls are being trialled by mobile operator Orange in a prelude to a possible national roll-out later this year. The technology more than doubles the frequency range available for voice calls, although Orange says that there will be no impact on the mobile network’s performance.

The new way of encoding speech, which follows that trialled by the network Three earlier this year in Maidenhead, Berkshire, is designed to isolate voice sounds from background noise. It requires users to purchase a new handset, and Orange said it will be offered free to existing customers. Sony Ericsson and Nokia have already started installing the new technology in some of their handsets.

Andrew Warner, the company’s head of voice and messaging products, said “The aim is to make it seem as though you are talking to someone in the same room – you will be able to make a call from a football match or concert and actually have a normal conversation. We think this will become the norm for calls and feedback from everyone who has trialled it is that it is very good.”

The new technology, however, does not address the problems associated with mobile phone reception, and will require transmitters’ software to be upgraded. That means it could be some time before the UK as a whole is HD-equipped. The trial is going on now across a range of Orange’s customers.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7843170/Orange-trials-HD-phone-calls.html

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My IAB Engage for Mobile thought piece

This is a thought piece that I wrote for the recent IAB Engage for Mobile event.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

To demonstrate how I believe mobile advertising can really benefit marketers, I have used the Starbucks brand as an example. This open pitch is to any coffee company to be honest, but partly for clarity’s sake and mostly because their name reminds me of the central character in one of my favourite childhood TV programmes, I am going to choose Starbucks.

So why use mobile advertising for Starbucks?

Firstly, because the enormous morning commute that descends upon London every week day is the holy grail as far as Starbucks are concerned; and mobile will allow Starbucks to reach these people in a cost effective, targeted manner at the exact time that they are about to make a coffee purchase. No other medium is able to reach a huge number of engaged coffee drinkers as close to the purchasing decision as mobile can. Outdoor may have more people walk past it, but I would argue that consumers are paying far more attention to their mobile screen while they are accessing the mobile internet than they are on outdoor advertising while walking their daily route. That said, I have a great case study for a deal that combined mobile and outdoor, but that’s another story.

On Telegraph Mobile we see a massive spike in traffic between the hours of 6am and 9am, and then as that mobile spike falls away after 9am, it is replaced with a new spike on the fixed internet site, Telegraph.co.uk. So it would seem that people are surfing the mobile internet on their way to the office, and then switching to the fixed internet. For Starbucks, the fixed internet would be like shutting the door after the horse has bolted, so mobile really comes into its own.

For me, my coffee loyalty is only dictated by what I did or experienced recently. For a brand such as Starbucks, if you jolt me from my automated purchase decision each morning there is every chance that you could become my new habit, and my coffee habit is currently costing me about £15 a week!

Offer based advertising to the right people (commuters) at the right time (in the morning rush-hour) in the right place (London, because of scale of audience and the concentration of Starbucks outlets) with the right message (Break your daily routine, and visit Starbucks today and we’ll give you x, y or z)

So if you take the possibilities that this highly targeted, and relevant message can offer you as a marketer today, and then multiply it by the huge audience that I believe the mobile internet will have in a few years time, it’s not hard to understand the potential.

In fact, at some point within my lifetime, I fully expect mobile to be the biggest medium in terms of audience. This journey has already started, and I believe it will be driven by faster networks, a higher penetration of smart phones and more and more content being optimised for mobile consumption.

It already plays a central role in consumer’s lives, and I am pretty sure it is the only advertising medium that a consumer takes to bed with them, before asking it to wake them in the morning! It is totally personal to the user, and is often personalised with private photographs, videos, ring tones, games, audio, social media apps, email, calendar etc

Once the market gets to a place where network speeds are super-fast, and handsets are all smart phones, then we will see huge numbers of people watching films and TV on their mobile. This already happens on the high end handsets, but eventually I can see a carriage full of commuters all watching long-form video content on the way to work.

The TV market is currently adapting to a world full fragmented audiences and time-shifted viewing, and I believe that mobile will change the traditional viewing habit further still. When super-fast networks combine with fantastic handsets, and the content is every bit as good as can be accessed via the fixed-internet, then you can be sure that the explosion of mobile internet access will not be far behind.

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Is mobile the future of video advertising?

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google said last year “We can make more money in mobile than desktop eventually. The reason is because the mobile computer is more targeted. Think about it. You carry your phone everywhere; it knows all about you. We can do a very, very targeted ad. Over time, we will make more money from mobile advertising”

That’s a big statement from the most valuable online media brand in the world, but I think that the future that Eric alludes to is probably not as far away as you might think. Here are some stats from Comscore that make for very interesting reading:

  1. From 2008 to 2009 there was a 25% growth in the number of people with 3G handsets.
  2. Over 7m people already access social networks from their mobile every month.
  3. 40% of iPhone users already use the internet on their mobile more than on a PC.

As the mobile networks become faster, and the handsets that access those networks improve speed and usability, the number of consumers that access the internet from their handset more than from a PC will surely grow out of all recognition by today’s standard.

What does that mean for brands? Well, I think brands will be able to build campaigns that target people so precisely, that traditional media such as press and broadcast TV will see a continued downturn in spend. I think TV shows will grow their audience online and on  mobile, and lose viewers on the traditional television set as a result.

Imagine your brand creating a 5 minute video every day that consumers love to watch when an un-scheduled five minutes of free time presents itself? It could maybe be while waiting for a train on the daily commute or while travelling in a taxi between meetings. It could be while queuing to pay for groceries at the super-market; waiting at the school gates for the children, or simply having a well-deserved mid-morning coffee break. The consumer always has their phone with them, so a brands video content will be viewed when it is convenient.

I can see a future where there is a daily soap-opera, accessed via mobile handsets being introduced as early as this year. Video news updates could be available every hour, on the hour right now. Fox produced a series of mobisodes for their popular TV show, 24 and I am certain that this type of on-demand content will continue to grow in line with mobile technology.

If there are any brands out there that would like a daily conversation with consumers, on the most personal and accessible device that they own, then get in touch because I have ideas ready to launch that will build audience and engagement with that audience on their mobile handsets. The ideas are just waiting for a partner to get them off the ground!

It seems crazy to me to be working in such a young and fast-growing online video advertising market, and already be seeing a future beyond it but technology is moving at such a pace that it seems inevitable that eventually most people will access the internet more often from their handsets.

The future’s bright.

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