What You (may have) Missed – Part 59

Welcome to our 59th round-up of the past month in mobile marketing, and those of you with calculators for brains will realise that that makes us almost five years old.

We’ve come a long way in that time, and we’ve decided that, enjoyable though this monthly round-up is to put together and, hopefully, to read, it’s become a tad superfluous, when we have a weekly email newsletter that any of our readers can get in their inbox every Wednesday. So if you don’t current receive our e-newsletter, please take a couple of minutes to register, or, if you already are registered, log in to update your profile and sign up for the News Alerts service. In the meantime, here we go for one last time…

Location-based services were in the news, as restaurant chain TGI Friday’s launched its first ever location-based mobile ad campaign through 4th Screen Advertising, in partnership with Rippl. The campaign uses location-based technology and day-part targeting to reach the core TGI Friday’s audience at the right time and place. The campaign runs until 30 November, 2010.

Still on location, but veering towards the wackier side of the genre, Quno.com, a web-based rail search and booking service due to launch later this year, announced the launch of the UK’s first location-based mobile games at major UK rail stations. The games have been developed in partnership with SCVNGR (Scavenger), a popular US mobile social gaming platform that rewards users with points for going places and performing challenges.

On the advertising front, Mobile agency YOC unveiled its rich media advertising platform, Ad Plus. Developed specifically for use within mobile applications, the platform offers advertisers the ability to embed video, picture galleries and 360-degree rotation into their mobile advertising. The platform can be used now on Apple iPhone and iPad and, says YOC will soon be available for other operating systems, including Android by the autumn.

Meanwhile, mobile ad agency Fetch Media was appointed by accommodation booking website Hotels.com to run a campaign to promote the launch of a transactional mobile site in the EMEA region. Fetch has been charged with targeting the ad campaign to the best converting smartphone operating systems, which will include the iPhone and Android.

The Internet Advertising Bureau and Direct Marketing Association released the findings of research into mobile messaging that found that 74 per cent of people who have not yet opted in to a mobile marketing database would do so if they were given the right incentive. 41 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to opt in to a mobile marketing database if they could control the kind of advertising that came to their mobile, and 39 per cent if they could control which types of brands contacted them.

More data, this time from comScore, revealed that the number of people viewing video on mobile devices across the EU5 countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy), has increased by 66 per cent in the past year to 12.1m consumers. On-demand video and TV programming in particular experienced substantial growth in the past year, up 99 per cent since July 2009 across the EU5, with 5.2m mobile owners across Europe viewing such content.

And staying with numbers, European transport group Arriva announced that its m-ticketing service has already seen over 300,000 journeys made by customers using their mobile phones to buy their bus tickets in the first six months of operation. The successful deployment of the payment solution on 4,500 buses on over 1,000 routes nationwide (excluding London), makes the system one of the largest deployments of its kind in the world.

Hungama Mobile, India’s largest mobile & digital entertainment firm, struck a deal with Wireless Expertise to bring its huge catalogue of Bollywood and Indian digital entertainment content to Europe. Hungama owns exclusive worldwide rights for digital distribution for music, videos and films representing over 300 leading music labels and film production studios, comprising 75 per cent of the Indian entertainment market.

And ringback tone (RBT) service provider Muzicall announced a deal with mobile content firm Fox Mobile Group to deliver RBTs direct to Swiss mobile phone customers. Previously, RBTs were only available to consumers from operators. Swiss consumers will be the first in any European mobile market to be able to buy RBTs from a direct-to-consumer source.

Nokia used its Nokia World event to reaffirm its intention to fight back in the smartphone wars. Unveiling three new smartphones in the process. Nokia also used the event to unveil what it described as “a number of major improvements in developer tools to make it easier and more lucrative” for developers to build fantastic apps for its phones.

And Apple backtracked on some of the rules it brought in relating to the use of third-party development tools for the creation of mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The rules relate to the use of tools that allowed developers to write code in languages such as Adobe Flash and then port them to the Apple iOS platform, and to the use third-party software from the likes of AdMob, Flurry and Distimo to collect data related to app usage.

We were in the news ourselves, as we announced a partnership with events firm Camerjam to produce a series of Mobile Masterclass events in 2011, covering industry sectors from retail and publishing to travel and banking. The Masterclass series will offer executives from each industry the opportunity to learn about mobile, connect with leading experts and develop mobile strategies, all during the course of one afternoon.

And finally, a company we were writing about when we started out five years ago, Shazam, was celebrating its success in striking a global deal with LG to preload the Android version of its app onto LG handsets in a worldwide rollout which has started in Europe with the LG Optimus GT540.

Nice work. That’s it for this round-up, but remember, if you want the top stories in your inbox every week, just take a couple of minutes to sign up for our News Alerts. And whether youve been with us for the last five years of the last five minutes, heres to the next five (years, that is!)

David Murphy