Messaging is the center of mobile, and Facebook wants ads in front of all those eyes. After seeing “promising results from Australia and Thailand,” Facebook Messenger is expanding its display ad beta test that lets businesses buy space between your chat threads. Later this month, a small percentage of users will start seeing ads in the Messenger app’s home tab. Read More
What tech manufacturers and suppliers have been saying about the impact from heavy flooding in Thailand Oct. 12, 2011 Seagate Technology PLC, which makes hard drives, says its factories in Thailand have been operational, but it may have difficulty making
The mobile ad market is projected to bring in revenues of $2.6 billion this year, and while that is only a small fraction of the wider opportunity in digital advertising, the space — fueled by the smartphone boom — is only going to get bigger, and that is attracting those looking for an early foothold. Today saw another example of that coming into shape: pan-Asian carrier SingTel today announced it would buy California-based Amobee to expand its own mobile advertising business, in a deal with $321 million.
SingTel — which has 434 million mobile customers in 25 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand — is banking on brands wanting to target customers with mobile ads in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in emerging markets.
This is not SingTel’s first move into mobile ads but an extension of an existing operation: it says it already offers “geo-localization” services, and the capability of sending local deals and marketing promotions based on a customer’s profile.
Amobee will give SingTel the ability to integrate those existing capabilities with its own an ad-serving platform that covers banner and rich-media ads. As all of Amobee’s existing employees, including CEO Trevor Healy, will be joining SingTel, it also gives the carrier a bolted-on team experienced in mobile ads.
And as Amobee is in Redwood City, it also gives SingTel another route to tap into the Silicon Valley scene. The carrier has a venture fund, Innov8, which has made some investments in the Asia region (such as leading a $6.5 million round for group buying site Dealised) but this could open the door to looking at more companies in the U.S. as well.
What’s not clear is how this deal will affect Amobee’s existing customer relationships when SingTel takes the company in-house. Amobee is the world’s biggest mobile ad company but it has an impressive list of customers, in addition to its ability to deliver a full suite of mobile ad services. Current customers include Google, Skype, eBay, Barnes & Noble, Nokia and France Telecom. We will ask and update the post as we learn more.
Amobee will be rolled into SingTel’s Digital Life operations. This is a new business line that SingTel (like European counterpart Telefonica) has created to try to get the most out of all of its digital assets. The other two divisions at SingTel are consumer and enterprise/wholesale services.
E-marketer estimates that mobile advertising will be worth $2.6 billion in 2012, and while that number represents significant growth over the year before (it’s more than double the $1 billion of 2011) it’s still just a tiny fraction of the billions that will be made in digital advertising as a whole — and the number is positively dwarfed by overall ad market covering more traditional outlets like TV, newspapers, outdoor, etc. Still for those looking to pick the horse that might win future races, $321 million sounds like a good bet.
The deal is expected to complete before June 2012.
Following up on its earlier report on iOS browser market share, ad network Chitika today released new results from a study which analyzed the impact mobile computing has had on traditional web browsing trends. In examining traffic across its network from August 2011 to February 2012, Chitika says that Windows web browsing market share has declined by almost 10%.
To determine its findings, Chitika analyzed data from hundreds of millions of ad impressions covering a cross section its network of 120,000 sites. Although a large sample size, we need to point out that this study is limited only to sites on the Chitika network. To be definitive, a larger study across multiple ad networks is still needed.
However, the data is interesting, especially in light of Chitika’s earlier discovery that iOS web traffic now surpasses that of Mac OS X. The firm theorizes that the new research, which involves an observed nearly* 10% decline in Windows web browsing market share, is due to the increase in browsing from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. That is to say, mobile browsing is eating into traditional PC-based browsing. But the drop may also be the result of decreased PC production in 2011 arising from the component shortages that occurred during the recent monsoon season. The monsoons led to flooding in Thailand, which disrupted factories, and therefore overall PC production.
On its own, data like this could be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, but other signs that we’re entered the “post-PC” era have already arrived. For example, earlier this month, analysts at Canalys reported two major shifts in computing trends: one, that smartphone shipments outpaced PCs for the first time ever, and two, that Apple has become the world’s largest PC maker, assuming iPads are counted as PCs.
With that data in hand, Chitika’s insights into its own network feels more like further confirmation of the ongoing trends, and less like some weird fluke occurring with a niche number of websites.
* The chart shows a drop from August 2011 (78.3%) to Feb. 2012 (71.4%), which would be a 6.9% drop. But the percentage change between the highest and lowest points referenced in the study come out to 9.66% which rounds up to 10%.
It’s a sign of the times, though not a particularly surprising one: Nokia has finally eliminated its European phone assembly infrastructure and will be moving those 4000 jobs to Asia, according to a Reuters report. The factories are not being shuttered altogether, and localizing and finishing work will still be done there, but the primary assembly work is being relocated.
The news and layoffs were expected, as the company has slashed many more thousands of jobs over the last year, but this particular cut is symbolic: the intensely European company has been battered into submission, and will join the others in the now-standard configuration of “design here, build there.”
The job losses are 2300 in Hungary, 1000 in Finland, and 700 in Mexico. They don’t represent all of Nokia’s employees in those countries, just those involved with basic assembly. Nokia did not say where or to what contractor the jobs would be sent, but considering their need to cut costs, the majors in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and others in the area are the natural choice.
Naturally, the countries losing the jobs expressed disappointment, but Nokia’s got to do what Nokia’s got to do, and these job losses have been telegraphed for some time. It’s likely that they were announced today only after extensive negotiations with unions and local contractors.
Whether this approach will prove effective at lowering costs without damaging the company or brand is yet to be seen; it may be that saving money on manufacturing might not be enough to counter the enormous drop in sales Nokia has seen over the last two years.