Facebook Partners with SecondSync

SecondSyncFacebook is partnering with social analytics firm SecondSync to enable its ad clients to understand conversations happening around TV shows.

Using SecondSync, the company wil be able to analyse aggregated and anonymised conversations at scale in a ‘privacy-safe manner’. The companies will initially go live with a report into social TV conversations looking at the UK, US and Australia. They will then begin work in the UK and US.

According to SecondSync, Question Time was yesterday’s most popular programme in the UK, generating 516 related tweets per minute. There have already been more than 11,000 tweets about TV today.

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What’s Shazammable at Super Bowl XLVIII?

shutterstock_115023217The Super Bowl is taking place this Sunday, with the US’s biggest brands making the traditional splash with their shiny new TV ads, and a bit of sport on the side too. But with the advent of second screening, advertisers now have the chance to maximise their ad presence by bringing matching content to mobiles through services like Shazam and Zeebox – although, as we found out with the X Factor semi-final, brands aren’t always ready to make the most of this opportunity.

Shazam has revealed that it will be serving up bespoke content during the first ad of the game, for Bud Light – offering 500,000 downloads of Afrojack single Ten Feet Tall ahead of its official release on Monday – as well as for Jaguar’s ‘Rendezvous’ spot – which links to a ‘British Villains’ microsite with info and video of the manufacturer’s F-Type cars.

Shazam have also signed up Bruno Mars, who will be performing during the Super Bowl half-time show, giving users exclusive access to live footage and the ability to purchase tickets for his tour.

That’s far from all the ad content which has the potential for second screen content, however – but for the first time Shazam will be able to recognise all of the ads broadcast, enabling users to rewatch ads when they want and share them on social media.

“The Big Game is always one of the most Shazamed shows on TV and this year we have created an amazing experience for both football and music fans,” said Rich Riley, Shazam CEO. “Shazam has created an immersive experience around all aspects of the broadcast including the ability to recognize, replay and share all of the amazing ads or go back and see last year’s favorites.”

Shazam is also launching a ‘Timeline’ feature which enables viewers to view minute-by-minute updates during the game, as well as playlists of the half-time show performances and themed around each teams’ home city.

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OFT Cracks Down on In-app Purchases, Sets 1 April Deadline

In-app purchase Angry Birds mobile game KindleThe UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) given app developers a deadline of 1 April to ensure that their games do not breach consumer protection law regarding in-app purchases, or face possible enforcement action.

Following on from the investigation it launched last April, the OFT has published its final principles, which state that consumers should be told upfront about any costs associated with a game, in-game advertising, and – particularly relevant given this week’s revelations – whether their personal data is being shared with other parties for marketing purposes.

Under the rules, in-app payments made without the parent’s express, informed consent are also considered unauthorised.

“The online and apps-based games industry has already made significant improvements during our consultation process. But it still needs to do more to protect children and treat its customers fairly,” said OFT chief exec Clive Maxwell. “Our principles make clear the type of practices that games makers and platform operators should avoid.

“Parents and carers have an important role to help protect their child and their bank balance. Our advice is that parents check their device settings, play their child’s games themselves and read the game’s description online. Parents will also be encouraged to report concerns to Citizens Advice.”

According to the OFT, 90 per cent of children aged 7-15 have played online games in the past six months, and half of those have spent money to keep playing at least once.

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Betfuze Launches iPad App, with Real-time Odds Comparison and Twitter Insights

home-betsmarterBetfuze has launched a sports betting app for iPad, which it says is the first of its type.

The Betfuze app offers users a variety of data to inform their bets, including crowdsourced insights from the Sentimeter ‘opinion engine’, which analyses tweets around any sporting event in real-time to work out whether the response is positive or negative, and produce a percentage score.

The app also features news and statistics, which can be customised to the user’s preferred sports and leagues, and the ability to compare in-play odds from major bookmakers in real-time and directly place bets.

“The Sentimeter brings the power of social media to sport in a way that’s never been seen before,” said Betfuze co-founder and CEO Paul McNea. “Betfuze uses the insights of millions of people, to reveal who the crowd is with, without needing to be in the stadium. This is betting for the mobile and social media generation where news and public opinion combine.”

Betfuze says iPhone and Android versions of the app will follow shortly.

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Google: Profits and Revenues Up 17 Per Cent, Ad Clicks Up 31 Per Cent, CPC Down 11 Per Cent

Google SearchGoogle has reported net profits of $3.38bn for Q3 2013, up 17 per cent year-on-year.

Consolidated revenues for the quarter stood at of $16.86bn, again up 17 per cent, 90 per cent of which came from its advertising business.

Motorola
Seven per cent of revenues came from its Motorola Mobile manufacturing business, which Google yesterday announced it would be selling off to Lenovo, which brought in $1.24bn – down 18 per cent year-on-year.

Google reported operating losses of $384m for Motorola during the quarter, compared to losses of $152m in Q4 2012.

Looking at these figures, it’s not hard to understand why Google would want to sell off Motorola: its share of total revenues continues to shrink, and this is the seventh consecutive quarter the business has reported a loss since the acquisition.

Ad clicks
Google also reported a 31 per cent year-on-year increase – and a 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter/ increase – in aggregate paid clicks.

The average cost-per-click, meanwhile, dropped 11 per cent year-on-year, and two per cent quarter-on-quarter.

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Join Us For a Free Webinar Looking at the Future of Mobile Gaming and Gambling

Probability Whitelabel logoOur latest webinar, staged in partnership with mobile entertainment gambling services and technology provider, Probability, takes place in just over three weeks’ time at At 11am UK time on Wednesday 19 February.

During the webinar, the company will discuss the findings of a survey conducted among 2,000 of its users. The study revealed that 87 percent of players would recommend mobile entertainment gambling games to family, friends and colleagues.

Probability CEO and co-founder Charles Cohen will share the survey findings and player insights, present client case studies, and give a ‘Live Tour’ of the Probability platform.

There will also be an interactive Q&A at the end of the session where attendees will have the opportunity to put their questions directly to Cohen; Paul Leyland, former corporate development director at William Hill, and Andy Edwards, MD at MadAboutSlots.

Questions to be addressed include…
• Why should I invest in mobile entertainment gambling?
• Do you offer bespoke games to ‘White Label’ partners?
• Will I require a gambling license or is this covered by Probability?
• Does launching a mobile arcade really drive brand engagement?
• Will it involve a lot of resource internally?
• How much will it cost?
• How do I know my customer demographic matches that of a player of ‘real money’ games?
• Do you offer freemium games as well as ‘real money’ gambling games?

The webinar will run for 45 minutes and will be moderated by Mobile Marketing editor, David Murphy. Webinar participants will also be the first to gain access to Probability’s ‘The Future of Mobile Gaming and Gambling’ whitepaper.

You can register to attend the webinar at: http://bit.ly/RealMoneyGamingWebinar

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Argos Rolls Out NFC

Argos NFCArgos has rolled out NFC (Near Field Communications) in 40 of its UK stores, but the tech is not being used for payment. Instead, shoppers with NFC-enabled smartphones can use them to tap on NFC chips contained in lanyards worn around the neck by store staff. This delivers the latest offers to their phone. Shoppers can also tap on NFC-chipped cards to download the Argos app. Over 88,000 tap points are included in the roll-out, which is underpinned by Proxama’s Mobile-In-Retail solution and TapPoint platform.

The NFC pilot is the latest initiative in Argos’s move announced in October 2012, to transform itself from a “catalogue-led business to a digitally-led business”. The following month, it launched the first Shazam-enabled TV ad campaign from a European retailer. Last July, it launched an Augmented Reality-equipped catalogue. And in September, it launched a click-and-collect trial, enabling eBay customers to pick up their purchases from 150 of its stores.

“By using NFC, we hope to encourage app downloads, increase mobile sales and improve our multichannel customer experience,” said Dominic Pemberton, head of publications and new media at Argos. “This pilot is also part of our initiative to reduce the printing and distribution costs associated with our catalogue.

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InMobi Goes Native

Native Ads Inmobi

A mocked-up app showing the native ad unit, encouraging users to download the Deer Hunter app

InMobi has launched a Native Ads platform that it says will allow app developers and mobile publishers to deliver an engaging, in-context, native ad experience to their end users, with minimal development effort. Native ads are mobile ad units that are adapted to an app’s look and feel, and look less like ads than traditional banner ads. They are typically identified by an accompanying phrase such as: “presented by” or “in partnership with” and have been popularized principally by Facebook and Twitter.

InMobi says its platform simplifies the process of delivering native ads across multiple, discrete publishers by adapting a base set of creative assets like the logo, tagline and call-to-action, in real time. The platform is built on top of the InMobi ad network, enabling app publishers to tap into a wide range of global ad campaigns from thousands of advertisers on InMobi’s network.

The two examples InMobi gives of where a native ad unit could be deployed relate to one news app and one messaging app. Whether native ads would work in apps without news or messaging content is a moot point. We asked InMobi how many such apps it has in its network, but we have not yet had a response.

“Our mission is to consistently innovate and deliver engaging and non-intrusive ads to end users that do not compromise the app’s user experience,” said Pankaj Bengani, vice president, global strategic partnerships at InMobi. “This new platform helps us deliver unparalleled value to app publishers through our relationships with top brands. Additionally, with over 700m monthly active users on our network and our big data technology capabilities, we can deliver rich native-user experiences that drive greater engagement and revenues for our partners.”

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2014 Mobile Retail Awards Open for Business

Retail-awards-logo-redThe 2014 Mobile Retail Awards are now open for business. The Awards celebrate excellence in mobile marketing in the Retail sector, and run alongside the Mobile Retail Summit, which takes place in London on 5 June.

Last year’s winners included Mothercare, Screwfix Direct, Debenhams, eBay and Waitrose. There are 10 categories this year, with an entry deadline of 25 April, and no entry fee. For a full category listing, see below.

Speakers at this year’s event include Mark Cody, senior marketing manager, mobile at Tesco; Paul Francis, head of eCommerce at Domino’s; Craig Sullivan, director of optimisation at RUSH Hair, and Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company.

Companies confirmed to attend as delegates include Debenhams, House of Fraser, La Redoute, Crabtree & Evelyn, Dorothy Perkins, Phones4U, Fred Perry, Boots and Greggs. Event sponsors include The Weather Channel, Twilio, Netsize and Stream:20.

Mobile Retail Awards 2014 – Categories

  • Best mCommerce Site
  • Best Smartphone App
  • Best Tablet App
  • Best In-store Mobile Experience
  • Best Mobile Advertising Campaign
  • Best Mobile Loyalty Solution
  • Best Mobile Payment Solution
  • Best Mobile Affiliate Campaign
  • Best Mobile Couponing Campaign
  • Best Social Campaign

For more information and to enter, click here.

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Thurner Returns to Agency World with Burn The Sky Launch

Burnthesky Rob Thurner croppedMobile consultant, trainer and author Rob Thurner has launched a “full-service mobile and connected agency”, Burn The Sky, in partnership with Charlie Makin.

Thurner has worked in mobile for 10 years, and was one of the team that helped launch Incentivated. Makin was a founder and chief strategy officer of media independent BLM, which he subsequently sold to Havas. He is also a director of connected TV tech firm, Capablue.

The agency is backed by EDC Communications, the parent group of DARE, Elvis, Identica and Citizen. Thurner says it will offer a suite of services, include insight and strategy to creative development and technical build, to help marketers tackle the issues in a world where consumers increasingly communicate via different technologies, ranging from smartphones to tablets to connected TVs.

“Mobile marketing is more than a one-off app or website; it’s multi-dimensional and should involve many parts of a business,” said Thurner. “We start by understanding how consumers behave with technology and build solutions from this insight.”

In addition to winning its own clients, Burn the Sky will work with EDC agencies to develop mobile and multi-screen solutions. Current EDC Group clients include Barclays, BMW, Coca Cola, Mondalez, P&G and Sky.

“One of the reasons why client investment in mobile has lagged behind consumer behaviour is the weakness in the mobile agency ecosystem,” said EDC group chief executive, Paul Hammersley. “With Burn The Sky, EDC can start to correct that and accelerate our group expertise in this area to the advantage of our current and future clients.”

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