William Hill Names Tradedoubler as Mobile Affiliate Partner

Betting firm William Hill has selected performance marketing and technology company Tradedoubler as its exclusive mobile affiliate partner.

 The partnership is intended to drive customers to William Hill’s mobile site and help them discover its range of apps. 

“The onus is constantly shifting towards mobile,” said Kate Miller, PR Director, William Hill. “The unstoppable rise of the smartphone and the tablet is proof of this. Our customers demand a high quality mobile service from us and making sure that they can discover and download our range of apps is our top priority.

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Google Updates Dangerous Product App Policy

Google has made an update to its ‘Dangerous Product’ content policies in the Play store, explicitly stating that developers are not allowed to change an app’s code outside of Google’s update system.

The alert, first reported by Droid Life, says: “An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism.”

Although a Google spokesperson said that this change ‘simply clarifies an existing clause in the policy’, this is a new addition to the Dangerous Products policy area, which also warns developers against spreading malware and other malicious practices.

She added: “We’ve made this policy extra clear because we think it’s important that Play provides users with a consistent and secure user experience. Updates downloaded from outside of Play could expose users to malware or other undesirable feature and experiences.”

Thibaut Rouffineau, of the Wireless Industry Partnership and organiser of DroidCon in London, said that Google Play already offers developers a range or opportunities to change their apps without making this kind of update. Devs can perform immediate bug fixing if they notice a problem even after submitting their app as Google doesn’t pre-approve its apps and has a Test Flight function for app testing.

Increasing numbers of hybird apps, he said, mean developers are starting to separatie their prodict into ‘core’ and ‘layout’ functions so they can change content quickly without needing to make an update via the store. “I would therefore say that it will be life as usual for most devs. I do not think this is a killer move for anyone.”

Rouffineau highlighted the speculation that this change has been made by Google in response to an auto-update feature introduced by Facebook, which it claimed was for testing purposes.

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Gameloft Optimises 13 Titles for Galaxy S4

Digital and social games publisher, Gameloft, is to release versions of 13 of its most popular titles that are optimised for the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Gameloft notes that, with the new Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, a Super AMOLED screen and 1.9GHz quad-core processor, the new Samsung Galaxy S4 will allow for unprecedented gaming experiences.

Seven titles –  Real Football 2013; Playmobil Pirates; World at Arms; Wonder Zoo; My Little Pony; Littlest Pet Shop; and Asphalt 7: Heat, will be available via Google Play and Samsung Apps. Three titles – Ice Age Village; Kingdoms & Lords; and The Oregon Trail: American Settler, will be available via Google Play only, and three titles – Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour; Wild Blood; and Dungeon Hunter 4, will be available via Samsung Apps only. Other titles will be added to the lineup in the following weeks.

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Yahoo Introduces Mobile-Friendly Ad Unit

Yahoo! has introduced two new ad units – ‘Billboard’ ads, which will position a single rich media ad at the top of the Yahoo! Hompeage, and the mobile-focused ‘Stream’ ads.

Stream ads will be embedded in the redesigned site’s content stream, which is personalised to individual users’ preferences. They’re similar to the sponsored content introduced by social networks.

“Since we launched our Yahoo! news stream in February, our users have responded by visiting more, staying longer, and increasing their engagement with our content,” said Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. “Like with web search, users appreciate complementary, unobtrusive advertising, and we’re committed to delivering just that. Advertising can, and should, enhance content discovery in a seamless and effective manner. The more our users spend time with Yahoo!, the more relevant and personalized the content and advertising becomes. Stream Ads are the sponsored twin to our newsfeed articles and are every bit as personalized and engaging.”

Tying into the announcement that Yahoo! will be launching a variety of online original programming, it also unveiled a video ad buying method that blends its topical video channels with distribution partners’ video content, to create category-specific channels.

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Opera: Indian Smartphone Usage Increased 137 per cent

The number of Opera Mini users on smartphones in India increased by 136.6 per cent during the last year, according to data from Opera. 

However, this still only accounts for 19 per cent of the total number of Opera Mini users in the country, the single biggest market for the browser.

Opera Mini is designed to also be used on feature phones. However, as might be expected, data usage is significantly higher on smartphones, with the number of webpages viewed 29.5 per cent higher on Android devices, the most popular smartphone OS in the country.

Samsung dominates the Indian Android market, holding nine of the top 10 Android devices, based on Opera Mini usage, and 31 of the top 100.

The data also showed that the popularity of cheaper, low-end handsets, with all but one of the top 10 Android devices costing less than 10,000 Indian Rupees (£120).

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App Downloads Increased 12 Per Cent in March, says Fiksu

The average daily volume of downloads for the top 200 free iOS apps in the US hit 5.02m in March, an increase of 12 per cent year-on-year. However, this actually represents a dip of four per cent from February (5.2m), which was itself significantly lower than January (6.1m).

Meanwhile, the cost per loyal user increased by five per cent, from $1.29 (£0.83) in February, to $1.36.

“The ‘new normal’ continued in March, which was good news for mobile app marketers. Inventory has increased but costs have held steady, reflecting a maturity in the overall quality of apps and their ability to engage users,’” said Fiksu CEO Micah Adler. “Despite the last few steady months, marketers must always be prepared for the ebbs and flows that inevitably happen in the complex app ecosystem.”  

Fiksu also announced that its platform has recorded over 100 billion app user actions – including launches, registrations, and in-app purchases – and driven more than 1bn app downloads for its customers.

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Heat Updates App to v2.0

Women’s magazine heat has launched heat Extra 2.0, a revamped version of its app which first launched last July.

The app, developed by creative agency Engine, has added the ability to listen to the heat radio station and access the heatworld website. Version 2.0 also brings a section of themed quizzes, updated weekly, which enable users to win trophy badges and post their results on social networking sites. 

“After successfully transforming heat Magazine into the world’s first entertainment weekly to feature interactive AR content we looked at how we could expand on the heat Extra brand that we’d created,” said Phil Christer, creative director at Engine. “With the recently launched heat Extra 2.0 we wanted to add features, building a platform that could expand and grow over time. The development of heat’s Huge Quiz was a key new feature, and we’re currently working on some great new app features for the heat Extra brand that will really continue to engage with heat’s target audience.”

The app also features AR functionality, presented as ‘Scan It!’, which enables users to access extra content by scanning the magazine. This is being promoted through a video featuring Amy Childs of The Only Way is Essex, which you can watch below, if you’re so inclined.

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Revel Partners with SumUp

Mobile payments company SumUp has partnered with Revel Systems, a provider of tablet-based cash registers, to equip Revel’s tills with the ability to payments using the SumUp API.

Revel has provided over 1,000 chain stores and restaurants in North America, Australia and Saudi Arabia with iPad-based tills, but the partnership will help it grow the business into Europe.

“Revel Systems has already made great strides in terms of revolutionizing the humble cash register – but an inability to process credit and debit card payments was holding it back,” said Florian Richter, UK managing director of SumUp. “Now that SumUp is on board, Revel Systems’ customers will be able to take full advantage of the integrity of our secure infrastructure and the frictionless way in which we process payments.”

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Most Common Showrooming Activity is Reading Reviews

21 per cent of people ‘showroom’ on their smartphones while in retail locations, according to a study from TNS.

Based on a survey of 38,000 people in 43 countries, the study showed that the leading activity for showrooming on a mobile device is reading reviews (43 per cent), followed by comparing prices (31 per cent), and getting advice from friends and family (25 per cent).

“People still want the reassurance of seeing a product before they buy it, but actually purchasing elsewhere means retail outlets are left as loss-making display cabinets,” said Matthew Froggatt, chief development officer at TNS. “Rather than seeing mobile as a threat to in-store sales, brands and retailers must embrace it as the most immediate and personalised way to engage shoppers to ensure they don’t leave empty-handed.”

The study also looked at the opportunities mobile presented for retailers. Mobile coupons proved the most popular, with 38 per cent of respondents expressing interest. 36 per cent said they’d scan a barcode on their phone, 34 per cent said they’d like to check social media for info on the product, 31 per cent would use an app to navigate the store, and 30 per cent would be interested in making a purchase.

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Showrooming is Rife in Asia

A study of 38,000 people in 43 countries has found that 33 per cent of shoppers across the globe admit to showrooming while out shopping. Of those, 21 per cent said they do it with phone in hand while 12 per cent do it without.

A total of 71 per cent of people in Asia said they had gone in stores to compare prices,TNS’s 2013 Mobile Life study found. 44 per cent have done it using their mobile. In markets where people’s first introduction to the Internet has been via a handset, shoppers are highly likely to use their mobile when showrooming – 87 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa and 67 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“In developed markets, mobile presents an opportunity to break established showrooming behaviours and make purchasing in retail more appealing,” said Matthew Froggatt, chief development officer at TNS. “However in emerging markets, where there is a greater tendency to embrace disruptive behaviours, there is an imminent threat of new showrooming behaviour driven by mobile.”

The study reveals that 16-24-year olds are most likely to use their phone to use their phone to showroom, 25 per cent, while 51-60-year-olds are most likely to shop around offline to find a bargain, at 19 per cent.

Shoppers are most likely to compare prices while in store, 31 per cent, followed by 25 per cent who phone friends for advice and 23 per cent who take photographs.  Despite this, 36 per cent of people said they still prefer to talk to a sales assistant, rising to more than half in Europe, while 34 per cent prefer using their handset.

The most popular opportunities for engaging with retailers were mobile coupons, with 38 per cent interested in redeeming them, followed by scanning barcodes for more information, chosen by 36 per cent and 34 per cent who would like to see social media related to the product.

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