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Focused Social Networks Build Community

Narrow topical appeal draws highly engaged users

As MySpace and Facebook develop their sites for mass appeal, some social networks are banking on a focused approach. For example, Children with Diabetes is a Johnson & Johnson-owned ad-supported social network for families who have children with diabetes.

Nearly one-half of the site’s traffic comes from search, according to Joseph Natale, vice president at Children with Diabetes.

“We have 32,000 pages of content optimized with words like ‘children,’ ‘diabetes’ and ‘juvenile diabetes,’” Mr. Natale told eMarketer in an interview. “Our organic search is strong. That’s really helped us since more people are online seeking healthcare information and search is where they start.”

The approach makes sense, since many consumers head online for health information, according to a 2008 study by Prospectiv. Online communities were mentioned by only 5% of respondents, while 43% said they used sites focused on specific ailments. By forming an online community that focuses on a specific ailment, the site hopes to broaden its appeal—within its area of concentration.

Read more - eMarketer

Children Get Product Info Online

  • Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Ads drive kids to Websites

More than four out of 10 children ages 6 to 11 have visited a Website they saw or heard about in a commercial or advertisement, according to a 2008 MRI survey.

MRI said almost 10.7 million young consumers visited company sites after viewing ads. More than one-quarter of them were 6 to 7 years old, one-third were age 8 or 9 and 40.2% were 10 or 11 years old.

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“MRI data clearly indicate that the younger set is pretty responsive to a ‘please visit our Web site’ suggestion,” said Anne Marie Kelly, senior vice president at MRI, in a statement.

Children who were prompted by ads to visit Websites were 48% more likely than the average US child to go online daily. They were also 41% more likely to have their own e-mail address, 40% more likely to use instant messaging and more than one-third more likely to download music.

Internet usage is increasingly a given among children. More than one-half of 5-to-8-year-olds surveyed with parental consent by Yankelovich for Scholastic in June 2008 were online. This is especially true as children enter their tween years—usually defined as starting at age 8 or 9. Fully 85% of 9-to-11-year-olds in the same study used the Internet. By ages 15 to 17, Internet usage was near-ubiquitous among the teens surveyed, at 95%. [eMarketer]

What’s Competing for Internet Users’ Attention?

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

The answer: A lot.

Getting consumers’ undivided attention gets harder all the time. Much like drivers who listen to music, talk on the phone, apply makeup and eat at the same time, Internet users in the US conduct a wide array of activities while online.

Nearly six out of 10 respondents to a GfK Roper survey fielded in September and October 2008 said they listened to music or talked on the phone while using the Internet.

FREE Whitepaper from Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO: “Digital Marketing NOW: Seven Strategies for Surviving the Downturn” Download Now.

Marketers with text-heavy online campaigns should be aware that part of their audience is already reading: 8% of respondents said they read magazines or newspapers while online, and 7% said they read books while using the Web.

Multitasking was also common among Internet users surveyed from April through June 2008 by BIGresearch and the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. More than four out of 10 respondents said they watched TV while using the Internet, and nearly one-quarter of Internet users participated in each of reading the mail, listening to the radio and engaging in other activities while online. [eMarketer]

Global Telepresence Market to Reach Nearly $2.5 Billion in 2013

  • Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Telepresence – a kind of video conference providing the sensation that all participants are actually in the same room – is set for explosive growth. The whole market, which includes telepresence equipment, network services and managed services, is forecast to grow from a 2007 level of not quite $126 million to nearly $2.5 billion in 2013.

“People thought Jimmy Stewart was crazy when he talked to his imaginary six-foot rabbit friend, Harvey,” says ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt. “Now hundreds of senior executives are talking to virtual friends around the globe and no one is laughing anymore. The telepresence illusion is so real that many execs forget the person they’re talking to is not really in the same room.”

Such realism is accomplished via high-definition, life-size video, tightly lip-synched directional audio, coordinated décor, and special technologies enabling eye-contact between participants. And it typically requires only a single mouse-click to start a session.

What would induce companies to spend up to $330,000 for a telepresence setup? The high cost of travel – in money, wasted time, and carbon emissions – is one reason. Key executives can be far more productive if they can effectively meet with several companies around the world in the time it would take to make one trip. The need for time-sensitive collaboration and the demands of worldwide outsourcing also build a case for telepresence.

Not that such outlays are inevitable. Many telepresence operations are handled as managed services. And less expensive “executive” systems designed for one or two people mean that telepresence technology is now migrating down to middle managers, expanding the market.

Schatt does sound one note of caution. “With the exceptions of Cisco and HP, most of the companies in this space are small. While some of the more innovative technologies are coming from these small companies, the economic recession will make some buyers cautious about purchasing systems from very small vendors.”

ABI Research’s new study, “The Global Telepresence Market” provides a sizing of this market, examines key drivers and vertical market opportunities, and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of leading telepresence vendors and their products. [ABI Research]

B2B Marketers Plow Ahead in 2009

  • Posted: Saturday, December 20, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Counting on digital marketing for leads and future sales

More than six out of 10 business-to-business (B2B) marketers surveyed in December 2008 by BtoB Magazine said they planned to launch new ad campaigns next year.

Considering the state of the economy, it could be worse. Nearly seven out of 10 marketers surveyed at the end of 2007 planned to launch new ad campaigns this year. Given the study’s sample size (211 B2B marketers), the difference of 9 percentage points is not huge.

FREE Whitepaper from Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO: “Digital Marketing NOW: Seven Strategies for Surviving the Downturn” Download Now.

One-quarter of respondents said they planned to reduce their marketing budgets in 2009.

Budgets for digital campaigns should fare better than those for traditional media, judging by a study fielded in August and September 2008 by Hearst Electronics Group and Goldstein Group Communications. More respondents to that survey said Websites and search engines were their best sources of leads than any other means, including trade shows, long a favorite of B2B marketers.

Although the sample size of the Hearst/Goldstein study was limited to 99 B2B marketers, the results are useful in a directional sense.

Online was the only sales channel more respondents said they would use in 2011 than in 2008. ]eMarketer]

Ultra-Mobile Device Market Becoming Processor Battleground

  • Posted: Friday, December 19, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

The processor vendors supplying chips for UMDs (ultra-mobile devices) are playing a pivotal role in how this market is shaping up. X86-based processors are well entrenched in the PC world and ARM-based processors are well entrenched in the handset world.

Since UMDs sit right between the PCs and handsets in terms of power, size, and function, x86-based and ARM-based processors will compete in the UMD space and are already fighting it out, starting with marketing wars.

ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis says, “x86-based processor vendors are in a very good position in the near term as far as product wins and market share are concerned. However, as mobile internet devices (MIDs) start to surpass netbooks in shipment volumes, ARM-based solutions will be in a better position.”

Processors based on the x86 architecture (available from vendors such as Via Technologies and Intel) hold a key advantage in that they are compatible with all x86-based applications – the same PC applications most people use today.

Since they evolved in a more portable and mobile device world, ARM-based processors have always excelled at low power consumption. For devices such as MIDs that may be used very heavily all day or may need to last for days without recharging, ARM-based processors hold the advantage.

The x86 vendors will have to make significant advancements in terms of power consumption while executing instructions in order to put up a better fight across the whole UMD space, while ARM is working with software vendors to ensure that as they develop processor architectures and instruction sets, the latest versions of software are compatible.

Solis concludes: “The future shape of this market will be determined by engineering success on the x86 side versus business success on the ARM side.” [ABI Research]

Google Focuses on Retail Basics

  • Posted: Friday, December 19, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Online giant draws strength from brick-and-mortar sales.

Despite slowing, search advertising spending growth is predicted to stay in the double digits for the next five years. Clearly Google stands to gain from that trend, so one might expect the company to encourage retailers in their online sales along with their offline efforts. Yet John McAteer, industry director of retail at Google, told eMarketer the vast majority of its business will continue to involve supporting physical store sales.

FREE Whitepaper from Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO: “Digital Marketing NOW: Seven Strategies for Surviving the Downturn” Download Now.

“If you look at any retailer, maybe 92% of the revenue is coming from the brick-and-mortar channel, so the most important platform to make successful is driving people to a store,” Mr. McAteer said. “A small percentage of retailers’ spending is online, and the majority of their advertising dollars are still being spent offline.”

Mr. McAteer said that marketers knew best what media worked best for them, and what their mix should be. He also said marketers would demand increasing transparency in their media and tactics.

“Within 12 months, you’re going see a lot of retailers talking about how they are measuring in-store success from their online marketing, and it will open up a whole other way of looking at ROI from your dot-com spend,” Mr. McAteer said. “As smart retailers start to figure it out, they will probably shift more of their marketing dollars online.”

It’s not surprising for Google to suggest that online ad and marketing spending will increase, but marketers themselves tend to value online tactics highly.

Search was second only to e-mail when it came to which tactic CMOs would cut last, according to a survey fielded in October 2008 by Epsilon. [eMarketer]

eMarketer's Predictions for 2009

  • Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Market Survey

What lies ahead in the new year?

By David Hallerman, Senior Analyst

Online Ad Spending: Still Solid Choice

Video ad spending will run counter to overall economic developments, rising by 45% in 2009 to reach $850 million. Two key factors support this trend.

First, the sharp escalation of professional video content on the Web—mainly from TV networks—is creating a viable base for brand marketers.

Second, even though most advertisers are increasingly cautious with their budgets, they still need to reach online audiences and woo their shrinking wallets with messages that reach their hearts and minds—hence, more video.

Search marketing spending will grow by 14.9% in 2009, to $12.3 billion. Search marketing is not recession-proof, but it is recession-resistant. Two basic assumptions support this eMarketer projection. Search is highly measurable, so it will maintain its place in many budgets and increase in some others, as advertisers look for secure and effective methods to combat fear in an economic meltdown.

Also, consumers—who monetize search ads by deciding whether or not to click—will take money off the table by shopping less, and put money back on by searching for deals. Although search advertising will grow less in 2009 than in any previous year, its inherent strength will mean greater spending gains than for any other major form of advertising, whether online or offline.

Total US Internet ad spending will increase to $25.7 billion in 2009, an 8.9% growth rate. That will be the lowest year-over-year increase for online advertising ever. Yet it will still be a robust increase compared with nearly all other media.

Read more - eMarketer

Online Ad Growth Stays Strong in China

  • Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: China

Marketers keep chasing the world’s largest online audience.

China has the most Internet users in the world, which would seem to make it a great mass audience on which marketers could lavish online ad spending. Yet according to data from The Nielsen Company cited in a December 2008 article in The Wall Street Journal, companies in China spend 5% or less of their ad budgets online. That is less than one-half of what their US counterparts set aside for Internet ads.

However, online ad spending is growing quickly in China. Nielsen said Q3 Internet ad spending grew 42% from the same period in 2007 to RMB3.72 billion ($541 million). That was more than twice as fast as ad spending growth in TV, newspapers or magazines.

The Wall Street Journal said that online advertising’s reputation as a cost-effective medium could give it a boost during the economic slowdown.

eMarketer’s most recent estimates of online ad spending in China put the 2008 total at RMB9.66 billion ($1.4 billion), 37% more than 2007.

GroupM estimated in October that online ad spending in China would reach $2.3 billion in 2008, up nearly two-thirds over 2007. The company said advertisers would spend $3.2 billion online in 2009.

Both estimates suggest solid double-digit growth for the medium through next year. [eMarketer]

ITC Investigating LG, Samsung for Patent Violations

  • Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Phil Goldstein

The U.S. International Trade Commission is officially investigating whether Samsung and LG have violated tariffs by importing phones with digital camera technology that Kodak says it holds patents for.Kodak, which gets a significant portion of its revenues from licenses, sued LG and Samsung in November in U.S. District Court in Rochester. The complaint centers on six separate entities that fall under the Samsung and LG brands: Samsung Electronics Company based in South Korea; Samsung Electronics America of Ridgefield Park, N.J.; Samsung Telecommunications America from Richardson, Texas; LG Electronics in South Korea; LG Electronics USA based in of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; and LG Electronics MobileComm USA based in San Diego.

At the time of the initial filing, LG defended its position. "Our digital-camera technology is different from the one used by Kodak. We haven't infringed upon Kodak's related patents," said LG Electronics spokesman Choi Jun-hyuk. "We'll actively deal with the case."In a separate move, the ITC is also investigating whether more than a dozen companies have violated tariff rules by importing flash memory chips and other flash memory products that Spansion says it holds patents for. Some of the companies involved in that case include Apple and Research In Motion. [FierceWireless]

Palm Launches an App Store

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Market Survey

By Sue Marek

Palm appears to be the latest company jumping on the app store bandwagon. The company today launched its Palm Software Store, which lets users download applications to devices running both the Palm OS and Microsoft Windows Mobile.

The store has more than 5,000 apps and games that can be downloaded and more than 1,000 of its apps are free. Some of the big-name applications include Facebook, Encyclopedia Britannica, Pac-Man, Tetris and Fish Tycoon. More than 1,500 developers have submitted apps to the store.

The Palm Software Store makes its debut only a few weeks before the struggling smartphone maker is expected to debut a new mobile operating system, called Nova. Early reports indicate Palm will launch Nova at the Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas and perhaps even debut a new device featuring the anticipated new operating system. [FierceMobileContent]

Mobile Ad Rates Begin to Fall

By Jason Ankeny

Mobile advertising rates are beginning to drop, with cost-per-impression ad rates reaching single-digit pricing in some instances, according to AdAge. While the current economic recession is one factor in the rate drop, growing ad inventory is another as more and more brands elevate their profile on the mobile platform. Citing industry executives, AdAge reports that mobile cost-per-impression (CPM) rates--the cost to reach 1,000 consumers--now average about $15, down from early 2008 averages of $20 to $25.

While some categories, including targeted on-deck placement, still fetch a premium price, the cost of advertising on high-traffic, category-leading weather, news and sports channels has remained consistent at about $14 to $16 per CPM. Executives add that some applications with the capability to offer advertisers specific demographic and location data can still command prices as high as the mid-$30s--still, one advertiser told AdAge a major media site offered him $2 CPM buys, while others say social media sites with large inventories are now pricing their CPMs below $5.

Still, mobile impressions remain costlier than online CPMs thanks to the wireless platform's superior click-through rates--about 1.5 percent on mobile, compared to 0.15 percent on the web. [FierceMobileContent]

Forecast: Data Revenues Growing to $347B by 2013

  • Posted: Saturday, December 13, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Market Survey

By Jason Ankeny

Annual data revenues will more than double from $148 billion in 2007 to $347 billion in 2013 according to a new forecast released by market analysis firm Informa Telecoms & Media, which anticipates total annual mobile revenues worldwide will increase to $1.03 trillion over the next five years.

Informa expects the total number of international mobile subscribers will increase to 5.3 billion by 2013, forecasting net additions of 1.9 billion during that span of time--Informa adds the influx of new customers will galvanize operator revenues by more than a third, growing to $1.03 trillion from 2007 totals of $769 billion.

The study adds that 78 percent of global net additions between 2007 and 2013 will originate from the Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America markets--by comparison the mature North America and Western Europe markets will combine to contribute just 8 percent of global net adds. Global subscription penetration will near the 75 percent mark by 2013, with some markets (including Greece, Italy, Ukraine, Romania and Russia) cracking the 150 percent barrier.

While Informa anticipates that voice revenues will continue to account for the majority of total revenues, growth will slow and even decline from 2010 onwards as regulators force operators to lower voice tariffs in an effort to acceleration competition. Informa predicts voice revenues will peak as soon as 2009 in Western Europe, adding North American voice revenues may already be sliding.

The result: Operators must promote their data services. In line with its 2013 data revenue forecast of $347 billion, Informa argues annual data revenues will go from strength to strength, with data representing 33.7 percent of average revenue per user in five years, compared to 19.2 percent in 2007. Informa expects 2G market share will fall from 66.9 percent in 2007 to 32.7 percent in 2013, with 3.5G technologies representing 22.9 percent of the global subscription base in five years' time. [FierceMobileContent]

Asia-Pacific the Largest Growth Market for Conditional Access and Digital Rights Management

  • Posted: Saturday, December 13, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Continued growth in pay TV services across Asia is driving the region to become the leading pay-TV DRM and conditional access market in term of total revenue, according to ABI Research. While today’s leading market in North America sees some overall decrease due to market saturation for pay TV services and infrastructure, uptake in the Asia-Pacific region will increase throughout the forecast period, driven in particular by growth in telco TV and satellite markets, to a revenue of $612 million by 2013.

“The market for pay-TV services shows strong growth in the Asia-Pacific area, particularly in India and China,” says research director Michael Wolf. “The interest in traditional linear pay TV services as well as interactive and on-demand content in these markets continues to grow. Additionally, we see high-definition as another driver for content protection.”

This year many large and emerging conditional access players have invested in Asia -Pac and seen their business grow. Vendors such as NDS, Widevine and Irdeto have continued to invest in the Asia-Pacific market, with much of their growth benefiting telco, satellite and cable pay TV platforms. Widevine announced growth within operators such as Chungwa Telecom, while NDS saw its business within India DBS operator TaTa Sky grow to over two million subscribers using its conditional access system.

While much of the growth for conditional access (CA) and DRM will come from Asia in the next few years, ABI Research also sees Europe as a market that will experience growth in all of the major pay TV formats (cable, telco TV and satellite). North America will see declines in the cable and satellite conditional access market, but will have the strongest overall telco TV CA and DRM growth in coming years due to the push by large telcos such as Verizon and AT&T into the pay TV business. [ABI Research]

Social Networks and 40-Something Women

Social media marketing might be more effective than just putting ads on social networks.

More than four out of 10 women in their 40s surveyed in October by SheSpeaks had a social networking profile. And over 70% of women with children ages 13 to 17 had talked about products on social networks, compared with 62% of all responding women.

“40-somethings are active users and members of online social networks,” said Aliza Freud, CEO of SheSpeaks, in a statement. “These women have started to use the Web and social networks in ways that mirror the rest of their lives—from finding out about a product to shopping or monitoring their children’s activities.”

Of all women surveyed by SheSpeaks (not just 40-somethings), 46% used social networks.

The researchers suggested that social media marketing—not just ads on social networks—could be especially effective among women for spreading word-of-mouth, since 26% of respondents actively ignored most online ads and 20% were annoyed by ads on social networking sites.

Female Internet users ages 45 to 54 are a larger audience than male Internet users of the same age, according to comScore Media Metrix. There are also far more female Internet users ages 45 to 54 than there are ages 55 to 64. [eMarketer]

New BPO Models, Cloud Computing, Quality Assurance, and Vendor Management Top IT Services Agendas in 2009

  • Posted: Friday, December 12, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Business Analysis

The impact of the slowing economy on BPO business models, the convergence of IT and telecom services, and the continued importance of quality and security are among the top issues IT service providers will face in 2009, says a new report from Ovum, one of the market’s leading global IT advisory and consulting firms. Ovum’s global IT services team have collaborated on a soon to be released report, The Ovum Eight, to identify eight of the top IT Services issues that will impact IT vendors, their partners and end-users.

“In this challenging economy, IT services providers will need to navigate a host of new and continuing challenges as they attempt to maintain and grow their business,” said Eamonn Kennedy, Practice Leader of Ovum’s IT Services team. “The Ovum Eight highlights some of the key issues we’re talking with clients about every day. Providers must get ahead of these trends as they work to capture new customers and keep the ones they have.”

The report examines eight topics authored by individual members of the IT Services team, and provides details of how Ovum will cover these topics next year. The research themes covered in

The Ovum Eight include:

Competing for the Cloud: Cloud Computing can encompass and potentially disrupt “traditional” models of infrastructure and applications outsourcing, third-party managed services and SaaS-powered services. Cloud Computing is quickly becoming one of the most competitive markets in all of IT as services firms attempt to leverage these technologies and others to deliver new value-added services to the market. Customers, meanwhile, have seen and heard plenty of marketing messages around Cloud Computing, but are now searching for answers as to what IT and business benefits could ensue.

Quality Assurance & Information Security: The worsening economic environment is driving demand for improved value from applications, applications-led outsourcing and other IT services. In practical terms, this means demonstrable and sustainable cost effectiveness and reduced time-to-market. Pressure is therefore growing on developers and outsourcing service providers to raise the twin bars of quality assurance, namely 1) ensuring products and services are fit for purpose and 2) being right first time.

High-Pressure IT: All IT services vendors will argue that their IT delivery is done under high pressure, although for many this is more hyperbole than truth. Ovum believes High Pressure IT is about delivering IT services on the biggest stage, under the highest level of scrutiny, and with no room for mistakes. We explore the opportunities for IT services providers in High Pressure IT – those targeting the global market for major media, sporting and cultural events.

Retained organizations: Outsourcing decisions driven by short-term requirements to save costs are potentially the most difficult kinds of contract for retained organizations to derive business benefit from. Negotiated in haste and not necessarily with a medium- or long-term strategic intent, such contracts will require significant skill on the part of retained organizations in order to make them work effectively for the client organization while also delivering the savings they have really been put in place to achieve.

Fixing BPO: In 2009 white-collar business process outsourcing (BPO) will overshadow the importance of IT in the outsourcing market. Consolidation among IT services and BPO companies will bring the two industries ever closer. IT vendors that do not have a considered stake in the BPO market, either directly or indirectly, will miss out on a sea change in the way that IT and IT services are delivered to client organizations.

Waste not, want not: The efficient use of people and resources should be a core discipline for all CIOs, IT managers and IT services providers. It means a focus on disciplines such as ITIL and a drive to improve infrastructure maturity – to standardize, consolidate and rationalize IT infrastructure and processes. Now there are new demands for IT to improve its efficiency – around energy, the environment and IT’s consumption of resources.

Enterprise 2.0: Essentially, Enterprise 2.0 is about enabling stakeholders to affect services and offerings and achieve more meaningful business-driven interactions between people and systems through community collaboration, sharing and “debating” of ideas, concepts, services and products. This all sounds great from a philosophical perspective, but how is it going to deliver business benefits to the adopters of such technologies?

Economic Flux: Even in the darkest reaches of a recession, clients will continue to expect quality services delivered at appropriate pricing levels with continual improvements to both. It is vital that vendors retain a sense of perspective: the recession will end; demand for IT services will recover. We do not for one moment suggest that economic conditions will turn around in a few months and we can go back to business as usual. The market will continue to evolve and vendors’ strategies must evolve with it.

The trends identified in The Ovum Eight are only some of the issues that the IT Services team will tackle in 2009. Ovum’s IT Services team is comprised of world-leading analysts across the globe who work in collaboration with Orbys, Ovum’s leading sourcing advisory business. By working together, these two groups give Ovum a unique basis for acting as a key advisor at the critical juncture between vendors and buyers. /PR

Online Banking During a Financial Crisis

Customers want financial advice and security.

Consumers have flocked to the Internet for advice on how to cope with the global financial crisis, according to comScore World Metrix. The research company said visits to financial news and research sites grew 10% to 8.8 million visitors in September, during the height of the financial crisis, from the previous month.

“With world markets exhibiting such volatility, the Internet has proven itself to be the go-to resource for those with a vested interest in the markets, as well as concerned consumers generally,” said Herve Le Jouan, managing director at comScore Europe.

The turmoil has not kept consumers from conducting financial transactions online.

In a study released in November, Nielsen Online said credit card account management and home banking were the second- and third-most-popular transaction types for 2008, with 36% and 35% of consumers conducting transactions, respectively.

Still, security is top of mind for many online banking consumers. To reassure the skittish, Bank of America has been offering customers Norton AntiVirus software at a discount, and Wachovia’s Security Plus product was unveiled to customers through a splash page upon login. [eMarketer]

White Paper Reveals Four Distinct Segments of Tech-Savvy Adult Consumers

  • Posted: Friday, December 12, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

ABI Research conducted an online survey among 1001 tech-savvy US consumers concerning their behavior and attitudes towards the Internet, mobile phones and television. Four distinct groups emerged from the survey’s attitudinal and behavioral segmentation: Tech-Savvy/TV-Averse, Online/On-A-Budget, Wireless Women on Web and On-the-Go Gadgeteers. The findings of this revealing study are contained in a free white paper which can be downloaded from the firm’s website.

“The segmentation that emerged from this study is extremely interesting, and we’re hoping to use it in the future to understand these tech-savvy groups’ attitudes and behaviors towards purchasing new technology products and services”, says ABI Research’s Primary Research Director, Janet Wise.

ABI Research’s analysis illustrates, among other things, that:

  • Only 8% of the Tech-Savvy/TV-Averse respondents agreed that TV is an important information source. Their behavior supports this mind-set since fewer members of this group have pay TV service or DVRs when compared to other groups in the study.
  • Conversely, nearly 80% of the Online/On-A-Budget respondents agreed that TV is an important information source. This group could prove to be a promising target for telco or cable providers bundled offerings that promote cost savings.
  • 88% of the Wireless Women on Web group use their mobile phones for more than just voice calls and nearly all members of this group report that they always or nearly always have their mobile phones with them.
  • Over 60% of the On-the-Go Gadgeteers agreed that they like the status associated with owning high-end consumer electronic products. This group has many characteristics that make it an excellent target for new technology products and service purchases.

Download the white paper here: “Digital Tribes”. More information about ABI Research’s Digital Media Research Service is available on the firm’s website. [ABI Research]

Looking Back On Technology Foresight

  • Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Business Analysis

By David Molony, principal analyst at Ovum

Technology is a gift for this industry, but it’s also the challenge of many of our lives. And when it comes to making choices we are not running out, as the huge range of entries in this year’s World Communication Awards, supported by Ovum, showed.

Technology glitters

This year’s World Communication Awards (WCA) at the London Hilton Park Lane was more than a glittering night of the stars. It was a chance to reflect on developments in telecoms services – business models as well as technologies – over the last ten years, which is how long the WCA has been running.

My own starting point for the opening address was the revival of telcos; how the incumbents have succeeded the new entrants and entrepreneurs of the late 1990s as the trusted providers of broadband and managed services. The key to that has been investment in operating and support systems and customer services, which has helped greatly toward the consistent, standardised service levels that users want.

A killer product is harder to come by. It’s not easy to see one-stop breakthroughs in the crowd. It is easier to see whole areas of technology advancement: in mobile content management; in social and workplace networking; and in tools for shared development of business applications.

Foresight is a wonderful thing

Technology Foresight is one of the most challenging categories at the WCA, and always has been. That’s not just because we all have our ideas of what foresight means, but for two more practical reasons: the sheer number of entries (more than 60 this year) and the range of technology put forward for consideration.

In some cases that means whole projects. Take, for example, Telstra’s Telco 2.0 programme. Telstra’s team has been very resourceful and innovative in its own approach to NGN. Has it shown foresight? It has certainly shown acumen in getting results on its NGN as quickly as any major operator – and maybe a better result than any other national telco so far because it has coordinated mobile and fixed NGN development in a way that even AT&T, BT and Verizon have not yet.

Telstra’s view of ‘technology’ as a national IP network transformation certainly should have got the prize for thinking big, if there was one. Behind Telstra came RFID, represented through two entries: one from mobilkom Austria and one from Orange Business Services. Both have proved that the machine-to-machine proposition is no fantasy, but rather a highly effective solution for some industry users.

Judges particularly liked NXP’s submission of its own nearfield communications technology as implemented by mobilkom Austria in combination with WiFi and Bluetooth.

Still, these cases also proved how telecoms operators can get caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to introducing technology to the market – they get all the pain of rollout and implementation, but they don’t get any of the glory for the invention.

One judge wondered whether it really took “much foresight on a carrier’s part to use technology developed by others in the way it’s meant to be used.” However, like any technology, the proof of value comes out in the way it is implemented, especially if the operator has good examples to show that it has thought about the whole package – as Orange Business Services did with additional security and user controls.

So that’s the dichotomy with technology. If you deliver it well, somebody else gets the credit; if you don’t deliver it well, you go out of business.

In the end, none of these entries won! Instead the award went to VNL for its WorldGSM solar-powered base station. Is that an original idea? Ericsson and Motorola have been making them for years. But VNL is the first to produce really ‘green’ cellsites for developing countries, at a price point that fits with markets where annual ARPU is $5. Foresight means it is not enough to have a great product – it has to fit other people’s operating plans and economic realities. /PR

Crimeware and Crimeware-Spreading Sites Increase Rapidly in Q2/2008

  • Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Phishing

Brand and Phishing Site Data Suggest a Renewed Focus on Targeted Phishing

The crimeware scourge is menacing the Web at levels never before detected by the APWG, with crimeware-spreading websites nearly tripling in number in the 12 months before the end of Q2/2008 - and the number of recorded crimeware variants shattering all previous records.

The APWG reports this week that in Q2/2008 the number of crimeware-spreading URLs exploded to a record high of 9529 at quarter’s end – 258 percent higher than at the end of Q2/2007. Within the quarter, the number of malicious application variants hit a record high of 442 in May, up some 105 percent from May 2007.

Websense Chief Technology Officer and /APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report/ contributing analyst Dan Hubbard said that the large boost is attributed mainly to malicious code being utilized in SQL injection attacks. During the same Q2 period, the APWG reported, the number of unique brand-domain pairs steadily decreased during the period of April through June, from 7,656 to 6,768. (The brand/domain pairs count the unique instances of a domain being used to target a specific brand.)

Vice President of Product Marketing at MarkMonitor and /APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report/ contributing analyst Blake Hayward said, "While the number of unique Phish URL's declined in Q2, the number of brands targeted continues to rise. This suggests that phishers are investing in sophisticated marketing tools and IT infrastructure in order to conduct more targeted spear phishing campaigns.”

APWG Chairman Dave Jevans said, “Cyber criminals continue to increase their activities to levels never before seen in the 5 years since the APWG has been monitoring phishing and crimeware. While phishing continues unabated, the most concerning trend is the dramatic rise in crimeware and the websites that distribute it.*

*“The current financial crisis has also been used by phishers to create new scams that try to scare consumers into entering their usernames and passwords into sites that mimic those of well known distressed financial institutions. As the economy degrades, we are seeing a continual increase in malicious and criminal activity on the Internet. We urge caution in these challenging times,” Mr. Jevans said.

*Q2 2008 Phishing Activity Trends Report Highlights*

  • Unique phishing attack reports submitted to APWG rose 13 percent during the quarter to 28,151 in June
  • Unique phishing websites reported to APWG in June to 21,703, decreased more than 11 percent from April
  • May presented a record high of 294 hijacked brands and the quarter’s 485 victimized brands is also a record high.
  • The category of Other in the ‘Targeted Industry Segment’ measurement increased to 4 percent of the total due to attacks against social networking and national tax agencies.
  • The number malicious application variants hit a record high of 442 in April
  • The number of crimeware-spreading URLs exploded to a record high of 9529 at quarter’s end – 258 percent higher than at the end in of Q2 2007 /PR

New BMW Campaign Utilizes Mobile Image Recognition

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

BMW has used an innovative mobile marketing technology - image recognition - to help market their new automotive technology. The system makes it very easy for interested consumers to get more detailed information about the BMW ActiveHybrid technology.

BMW ActiveHybrid links innovative vehicle concepts with pioneering drive technology, thus producing reduced fuel consumption and emissions while as the same time improving driving dynamics. For consumers who would like to find out more about this new technology, BMW is utilizing an innovative system to provide more detailed information.

For more information about BMW’s innovation activities in mobile marketing, read the MobiAD interview with Marc Mielau, Innovation Manager for Mobile Marketing at BMW.

In the November BMW magazine, there are pictures of the BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid and the BMW Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid cars. All a consumer needs to do is to take a photograph of one of these images, then send it using MMS to a special short code. In return, they will receive a link to a special mobile website. The mobile website has detailed information, wallpapers, and animations illustrating the ActiveHybrid technology.

The pictures can be photographed without any need for codes or special additional software. Mobile image recognition happens via standard functions such as MMS or e-mail and can thus be used on almost any mobile phone, provided it has a camera.

From a marketing perspective, the advantages of linking print and the ‘mobile web’ are clear: mobile image recognition offers BMW Magazine readers the opportunity to access information above and beyond what is in the magazine - the article from the journal is extended, as it were, into the mobile internet.

BMW believes they are the first German car manufacturer to use mobile image recognition marketing. They have plans to to use it in other marketing channels beyond the BMW magazine. This could eventually include photography of 3D objects - in other words a consumers directly taking pictures of real cars as part of a campaign.

The “Mobile image recognition for ActiveHybrid“ project was realised in collaboration with Kooaba AG, Zurich. [MobiAdNews]

Survey Reveals Intense Dedication To Mobile Social Networks

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

itsmy.com just released what is probably the largest ever survey in the area of mobile social networks. More than 15,000 users took part from the US, UK, Spain, and Italy. Looking at consumer usage patterns, preferences, and statistics, this report really shows how deeply involved some consumers are with mobile social networks.

The worldwide survey was conducted on the mobile internet amongst 15,000 active itsmy.com users between September and November 2008. The age range was between 16 and 52 years. All had current mobile phone types and were from more than 30 different mobile operators.

Although you would expect this sort of sample would consist of people that are interested in mobile social networks, what I found interesting was that it shows how deep this involvement can be.

For example, here is a question about means of communicating with friends and family, and it’s clear that the mobile is the overwhelming choice for communications.

And this isn’t simply a question of people using mobile to access their PC based social network. In fact, across all 4 countries roughly 60% to 70% said that the PC and mobile “have completely different stuff on them.”

Some of the results that I found most amazing were those which revealed how intense the interaction is for many people. For example, this chart shows how many community messages are sent per user per day.

Als, the survey showed that the average user is surfing astonishing 160 mobile internet pages per day. And, over 10% of the respondents check for their personal messages before getting out of bed each day!

With 20 to 35 messages per user per day, average, this type of service is clearly a very integral part of life for many people. With this level of usage, with the large number of mobile page views this generates, and with the detailed consumer profile information which is often available, it is clear to see why the growth of mobile social networks may be very important for the overall growth of mobile advertising. [MobiAdNews]

Sports Fans Make Great Mobile Targets

  • Posted: Sunday, December 07, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana

Sports fans jump at the chance to keep up with teams via mobile.

Mobile phone usage in the US is so widespread that most of the country could be viewed as a potential audience for mobile marketers.

Yet sports fans are particularly avid mobile users, and their demographic characteristics have already drawn marketers’ attention in the form of some high-profile campaigns.

Nielsen//NetRatings’ 2007 “NetView” study found that sports fans were predominantly male and tended to be more affluent, educated and technically savvy than the total population.
Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer, said, “Sports fans are willing to pay for premium content and merchandise and are accustomed to the presence of sponsors and advertisers around sports events.”

Chris Murphy, director of digital marketing at Adidas, told eMarketer in an interview that basketball fans were among the most adept mobile phone users, which is why the company planned a big campaign around last year’s All-Star Game.

The game was played in Las Vegas, so Adidas purchased all the out-of-home space on the Vegas Strip and tagged the creative with an SMS callout. The company also tagged all of its traditional media placements with texts. Everything pointed to a WAP site, and mobile sports fans responded enthusiastically.

“About 47% of those who went online either called or texted us,” Mr. Murphy said. That type of response will help drive 40% growth in mobile ad spending next year, according to Myers Publishing. The market researcher predicts that mobile ad spending will reach $1.1 billion in 2009, up from $806 million this year. [eMarketer]

Pitching Consumer Goods by Mobile in the UK

  • Posted: Sunday, December 07, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Karin von Abrams, Senior Analyst

The mobile advertising scene is changing in Europe, according to a study by comScore M:Metrix. Its August 2008 Benchmark report showed a sharp increase in European mobile ads for goods that previously had little exposure on the mobile channel, such as food, clothing and consumer electronics.

The ads in question used SMS, not a Web-based technology. But the survey showed that in the year to August 2008, food advertising on mobile phones grew 53%, while ads for clothing and fashion rose 38.2% and restaurant ads 37.3%. Overall, advertising for consumer goods and services on SMS was up 15.2%, while advertising for mobile products such as downloads and entertainment fell by 9.6%.

Consumer response rates were also excellent. For example, 15.5% of mobile owners who received an ad for a restaurant in the three months to August 2008 responded, and 12.6% of those who got offers for food, such as grocery coupons, did so.

UK advertisers are well-placed to take advantage of these trends.

Penetration of active mobile phone connections in the population stood at 122.6% at the end of 2007, according to Ofcom’s report, “The Communications Market 2008.” Fully 86% of UK adults ages 16 and over owned a mobile phone in Q1 2008, and access rates were even higher among children ages 12 to 15. In addition, more than 60% of children ages 8 to 11 polled by Ofcom owned or had access to a mobile phone.

The UK also boasts high rates of SMS text messaging. In 2007, the last complete year for which Ofcom measured this activity, SMS use was up 28% on the previous year, and an average of 68 texts were sent each month from every mobile connection in the UK.

Before the financial crisis, industry observers were convinced that the mobile Web, together with mobile online advertising, really was approaching liftoff. Now it seems unlikely that 2009 will see a big breakthrough in mobile. But advertisers can still learn how to engage with mobile subscribers. Those looking for ways to connect with key target audiences during the economic downturn, and drive direct consumer response while keeping a firm grip on marketing budgets, should compare the costs of online and mobile SMS campaigns, or the feasibility of combining more-traditional Internet ads with an SMS dimension. [eMarketer]

Forecast: Messaging Revenues to Grow to $224B by 2013

  • Posted: Saturday, December 06, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Market Survey

By Jason Ankeny

Messaging will remain the driver behind mobile data revenues for years to come, yielding an anticipated $224 billion by 2013--60 percent of combined non-voice revenues--according to a new forecast by market analysis firm Portio Research. Portio says messaging traffic volume and revenues will remain a cash cow for operators even in the face of continued economic turmoil--while media-rich MMS, enterprise-based mobile email and youth-conscious mobile IM will all generate carrier income, SMS will continue to lead due to its low cost, relative ease of use and interoperability across all networks. Portio notes that in the U.S., monthly SMS use per subscriber is now almost double the European average, and in the Philippines, users now send more than 750 messages each month.

The Portio report calls mobile IM the "rising star in the mobile messaging constellation," predicting worldwide usage totals will grow from 111 million subscribers in 2008 (representing about $2.5 billion in revenues) to 867 million subscribers by the close of 2013 ($12.4 billion) despite lingering interoperability concerns. Also growing: MMS, especially in regions like the U.S. and China. Portio anticipates worldwide MMS traffic will exceed 75 billion messages in 2008, with future growth promising thanks to the flood of affordable, camera-equipped handsets entering the Asian market.

Japan remains the sole market where consumer mobile email use now tops SMS, although email remains the dominant form of enterprise communication--still, Portio believes mobile email users worldwide will quadruple from roughly a quarter of a billion users in 2008 to over a billion users by the end of 2013. [FierceMobileContent]

2009 to Be Transition Year for TV

  • Posted: Friday, December 05, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

No Olympics, no election, no good news.

Ad spending began contracting in early 2008, well before the financial crisis unfolded in the fall. Among traditional media, television is predicted to fare better than newspapers, magazines and radio. National media will do better than local, but national ad growth has been exceptionally slow this year.

While no one can predict the length of the economic crisis or its severity, there is slim chance of any sort of recovery in 2009. eMarketer forecasts a decline of 4.2% in US television ad spending in 2009. Similarly, Myers Publishing predicts ad spending for TV will decline by 4.0% next year. Barclays Capital has the gloomiest outlook, estimating TV advertising expenditures will drop 7.8% in 2009.

Industry forecasters have continued to lower ad spending projections across the board for all US media due to the ongoing slump in the US ad market. In 2009, the double trouble of the poor economy and no Olympic or major political expenditures will only drag down spending further and bring the overall forecast into negative territory.

Combined, all forms of TV (local and national spot TV, broadcast and cable, etc.) will command 31.2% of ad dollars among all media in 2008, according to Myers Publishing.

Traditional media is also reeling from the shift to more online media consumption, according to Carol Krol, senior analyst at eMarketer. “The shift in consumer usage toward digital media will continue to erode TV’s share,” she said.

Internet’s take is comparatively small, according to Myers Publishing (10.6%), but it will continue to enjoy robust year-over-year growth through 2010. [eMarketer]

Learning to Work with Social Networks

  • Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Social Network

A developing medium offers new targeting options.

While many marketers want to use social networks as part of their strategies, they still have no clear list of best practices for the medium. Getting friends to spread a marketing message to each other is a great goal, but how is that best done?

A November article in Ad Age detailed efforts to use the connections between social network users. Paul Moore, director of insights at Yahoo!, found that targeting friends of a given sports fan led to more reach than targeting fans who did not know each other—even if the fan’s friends did not identify an interest in sports themselves.

“We got an additional 40% reach from people who would otherwise not be targeted by this ad because their sports-enthusiast behavior wasn’t apparent,” said Dr. Moore in the article.

Other approaches included targeting opponents in video games played on social networks. Nearly three-quarters of retail executives surveyed in August by Zoomerang for SLI Systems said they thought social media would have a greater impact on their marketing goals in the near future.

But the lack of established social network ad and marketing strategies is, in part, why use of the medium is still relatively low.

The fact that it is a new area also helps account for the wide range of marketers’ reported social network usage: 16.9% of US marketers surveyed in May by PROMO magazine said they used social networks in their campaigns, compared with the 62% who said so in a July William Blair study. [eMarketer]

Blogs Hot, but Not for Every Campaign

  • Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Blogging

Good for product reviews, not so good for bargain hunting

A growing number of marketing executives are incorporating blogs in their campaigns, and many bloggers say they have been contacted to become brand advocates. Yet blogs are not the first stop for most US online shoppers.

Those are the findings of several research companies that fielded blog-related studies over the past few months. Together they form a picture of a tactic with growing popularity, but one best used to accomplish specific goals rather than all of a campaign’s objectives.

More than two-thirds of US marketing executives surveyed in October 2008 by the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) said they were using blogs in their marketing efforts.

The MENG study was a good indicator of overall trends, although its sample was too small to represent all marketer activity. But other studies suggest blogs are an increasingly popular online marketing method.

Technorati published its latest “State of the Blogosphere” report in September. The company said that one-third of bloggers surveyed had been contacted by a brand or agency to be a brand advocate. About four-fifths of bloggers discussed their everyday experiences with products and brands, or posted reviews of them.

Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati, told eMarketer that growing blog audiences and blogger authority resonated with marketers. However, he said there was a downside to blogs’ limited individual audiences. eMarketer predicts that more than two-thirds of Internet users will read blogs in 2013.

“Bloggers typically don’t have the reach and frequency to meet a marketer’s objectives,” Mr. Jalichandra said. “Marketers are realizing, ‘We need to go a little bit further down the tail to kind of get a broad enough array of reach, as well as build spheres of influence.’”

So while blogs can be an important part of brand conversation, they are not usually a part of direct sales. Only 5% of US online shoppers surveyed in September 2008 by Harris Interactive for RetailMeNot.com said they used blogs to find good deals. [eMarketer]

The Future of Online Video Looks Bright

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Online Video

Smaller screens, bigger opportunities

To appreciate how far online video has come, consider a few contrasts between the 2008 and 2004 elections.

In the 2008 campaign season, primary debates were co-sponsored by YouTube, and questions from the public were submitted through the pioneering video-sharing site.

In 2004, YouTube did not exist.

According to Visible Measures, in 2008, footage of Sen. Obama’s election night victory speech received 500 unique online placements within 36 hours. That encompassed unique video clips, as opposed to multiple embeds of the same clip. Further, videos of the speech were viewed more than 6.8 million times in the first 36 hours (not including live streams or feeds from broadcast sites other than NBC.com).

In 2004, the online video infrastructure could not have supported anywhere near that level of viral syndication.

A huge video market is developing online.

eMarketer projects that the US online video audience will grow to 190 million people by 2012—that will be 88% of the Internet user population.

“After some false starts with ill-fated transactional experiments, online video content owners and distributors are pursuing a strategy that closely follows the standard TV business model,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Video Content: Harnessing a Mass Audience. “The bulk of online video programming is now supported by advertising, with ad formats ranging from in-stream ads—prerolls, midrolls and postrolls—to in-text and in-banner ads.”

Although many consumers are loath to sit through ads when watching online video, they seem even less willing to pay directly for content.

According to a study by The Diffusion Group (TDG), as ad-supported video grows the balance of the inventory will tilt toward longer-form content.

TDG analysts projected that in 2013, long-form video will represent 69.4% of ad revenues, up from 41.6% in 2008. Alternately, in the same timeframe, the share of short-form video will decline from 54.8% to 28.7%.

Of course, viewing online content on a television is still unwieldy, costly or both.

“Cable and satellite providers, ISPs, TV manufacturers and developers of set-top hardware have yet to come up with compelling solutions,” says Mr. Verna. “However, once this domino falls—and it is almost inevitable that it will—online video will take a major leap into an interconnected future.” [eMarketer]

Facebook-Twitter Talks Break Down

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Facebook, Google

By Madan Sheina, principal analyst at Ovum

What would have been the first major consolidation between two social networking giants has failed to materialise, as Facebook’s attempts to woo Twitter with an all-stock offer fell on deaf ears. Facebook’s valuation seems to have been the sticking point. But with neither company as yet able to demonstrate that it can make money on a scale that matches its number of users, the outcome might not be a bad thing.

Price might have derailed a deal motivated by Facebook’s inflated valuation

Acquisition talks between two leading Web 2.0 social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, fell apart last week. Price seems to have halted talks between the firms. Facebook was tabling a $500 million all-stock offer for Twitter. That might seem like a high watermark for a Web 2.0 firm, but apparently it wasn’t enough for the micro-blogging site.

But could Twitter really look at itself in the mirror and justify a higher price, or even that price for that matter? After all, it is still without a revenue-generating business model. Plus its ability to send mini text messages (‘Tweets’) of 140 characters or less on the Internet or mobile phones is a clever idea but hardly rocket science, and certainly doesn’t come with a natural money-making model.

Putting a value on Twitter’s shares, however, creates a big sticking point for privately held Facebook – setting a value on that stock. Valuations are typically based on the company’s last transaction. In Facebook’s case it has reportedly been set at around $15 billion, thanks largely to Microsoft’s $240 million stake 13 months ago for greater advertising rights.

But with the economy spiralling into a downturn that figure might seem to be exaggerated right now. To put it into perspective, Facebook’s valuation exceeds that of Yahoo and eBay, both of which are profitable business models although their valuations have dropped recently. Plus the valuations of these kinds of similar ‘dot.com-esque’ Internet firms have dropped substantially – Google has shed around two-thirds of its value, and News Corp, the parent firm of rival social networking site MySpace, is trading at a third of its 52-week high right now.

Facebook therefore seems intent on leveraging its $15 billion valuation to flex its muscle and try to broker any kind of deal before it drops. But the first thing that Twitter’s management will probably have thought is whether the stock is actually worth $500 million or not.

Rejection might not be a bad thing for Facebook

On face value, combining two of the world’s leading social networking sites seems like a perfect match. Facebook has its own basic Twitter-like features and Twitter lacks the more advanced social features of Facebook. Twitter also has innovation in certain areas like status update that Facebook can benefit from.

However, on a corporate level a merger could be a mismatch. Twitter has yet to sketch out plans to monetise its blogging site. Revenue has always been an issue for Facebook and Twitter’s high SMS costs related to the delivery of its messages to mobile phones in some international markets does not really address that. One way to generate revenue is to target corporate users with some kind of value-added business messaging service.

However, Facebook – so far at least – has never stated its intention to address corporate business communications like its professional sibling LinkedIn. Facebook also seems keen to follow an advertising model whereas Twitter has never pursued this path nor indicated an interest in it – as yet anyway.

Twitter would certainly be a nice addition to Facebook’s stable, but it isn’t necessarily going to take Facebook into new revenue-generating markets. Rather than grab a company that has yet to make a cent, a bigger revenue opportunity for Facebook would be to either compete with or acquire LinkedIn. However, the fear of Twitter falling into the hands of a rival like Google or Yahoo might well be enough to justify another swoop by Facebook at a later date. /PR

Time-Shifted TV Viewing Will Foster the Growth of the Video Server Market

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Video on Demand

As more content becomes available for free online, carriers are increasingly investing in Video On Demand and time-shifting services. This trend towards time-shifted television viewing has helped produce a shift from schedule-based TV broadcasting to on-demand distribution. Time-shifting has created a new opportunity for operators to acquire and retain new customers, and has enabled several applications such as “catch up TV,” “pause live TV,” and nPVR (network personal video recording) capabilities.

“VOD and server-based time shifting are attractive services for consumers and give carriers a cost-effective weapon in combating the new offerings consumers find outside of traditional pay-TV services,” says ABI Research director Michael Wolf. “This overall push for greater consumer control over viewing through time-shifted and on-demand content will have a direct impact on the success of those selling video servers and related infrastructure.”

Time-shifted TV has led to an increase in the amount of content, which also has an impact on storage requirements. Additionally, a continued transition to high-definition content will result in increased demand for video server capacity over time.

“Carriers continue to invest in VOD services and to expand network capability,” adds Wolf. “Those server vendors that design and develop products able to handle this expansion in both content and storage, and to make services available to consumers effectively, are best positioned to garner this business.” [ABI Research]

Economy Deals Online Ad Spending a Hit

Digital still stronger than traditional

There seems to be more bad news about the economy every day, and falling ad spending numbers are part of the mix. Although online advertising is still on a positive growth curve, that growth is slowing and will dip into the single digits for the first time in 2009.

eMarketer’s revised projection, benchmarked against the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data, puts online ad spending at $25.7 billion in 2009. That is only 8.9% over the $23.6 billion that will be spent in 2008.

In August, before the full impact of the economic slowdown was revealed, eMarketer predicted online ad spending would grow 14.5% in 2009.

Not only is the new projection lower, but recovery is expected to take longer. In 2010, online ad spending growth will return (barely) into the double digits at 10.9%, and in 2013 it will only hit 13.5%.

Even paid search, which has grown at an outsize pace for years, will see a mere 21.4% rise in spending this year.

Again, the slowing is relative, since paid search spending growth will still outstrip the overall online market through 2009. There’s a reason paid search will stay robust through the economic downturn, according to David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.

“Especially in economic turmoil, search is more trackable than any other ad format,” said Mr. Hallerman. “At this stage, it is a tried-and-true format that is supporting online growth.” [eMarketer]

UK Advertising Regulator Bans Another iPhone 3G Ad

By Lynnette Luna

For the second time, the UK's Advertising Standard Authority banned an Apple iPhone advertisement for what is says misleads consumers. This time the agency is banning an ad that touts how fast the iPhone 3G can browse the Internet. The ad shows a person using the iPhone to browse the web, downloading a file and viewing Google Maps at very fast speeds. And the dialogue says the touch-screen device "helps you get the news, really fast," and "download pretty much anything, really fast."

The regulator said the commercial would likely mislead viewers into believing they could get those types of connectivity speeds on their iPhone 3G devices. Before the regulator banned the ad, Apple argued that the commercial was designed to show that the iPhone 3G was significantly faster than the first-generation iPhone devices. Apple also said it had a note in the ad that read, "Network performance will vary by location." The agency didn't buy that explanation.
In August, the regulator banned another iPhone 3G ad that promised users access to "all parts of the Internet" on their Apple devices. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

Retail E-Commerce Growth Drops Sharply

  • Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: e-Commerce

Online sales are still growing, but far more slowly.

2008 had already been shaping up to be the weakest holiday season yet for retail e-commerce. Based on just-released Q3 e-commerce data from the US Department of Commerce (DOC), eMarketer is predicting even more anemic growth—both for the holiday and the year.

The DOC estimated that e-commerce sales grew only 4.6% in Q3 2008, compared with Q3 2007.

In May 2008, eMarketer projected that retail e-commerce sales growth would drop to 14.3% this year compared with 2007. Benchmarked against the new DOC data, eMarketer predicts 2008 will now be the first year of single-digit growth of the decade.

Online sales (excluding travel) will total nearly $137 billion in 2008, up 7.2% year-over-year, compared with last year’s 19.8% growth rate.

eMarketer expects that consumers will spend only $30.3 billion online in November and December this year. Its May number was a mere 10.1% growth over last year’s holiday spending. But the new estimate is for just 4% growth.

The weak economy is placing downward pressure on e-commerce sales this season. Online shopping growth had already been slowing naturally as part of the channel’s maturation; the economy is slowing growth even more.

“Hopefully, we’re nearing the bottom of this,” says Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer’s e-commerce analyst. “People are going to be more frugal this holiday season." [eMarketer]

Major Websites Not Ready For Mobile

  • Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Bango has released a new study that looks at the top PC internet sites to see how well they work over mobile. Surprisingly, half of them did not perform well. This indicates a serious problem for site owners who are seeing ever increasing levels of traffic from the mobile web.

Bango provides a mobile payments and mobile analytics solution (see the MobiAD interview with Ray Andersen, Bango CEO). They surveyed the top 20 most trafficed PC websites according to Nielsen Online, and found that fully half of these did not work well with leading mobile phones.

Bango research puts the percent of PC site visitors who are in fact mobile at around 3 to 10%. This is up from estimates of about 1% a year ago. But in fact many companies have no idea what percent of their visitors are mobile, and therefore are failing to keep pace with the surge in mobile browsing.

The net result is that they fail to present a “mobile-friendly” version of their web site.

And it is not just iPhone users that are surfing through mobile. Researchers at IDC say that 1.3 billion people will connect to the Internet via mobile phones by end of 2008, and the vast majority of these mobile browsers are using mass market phones from Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

“Our figures indicate that up to 10 out of every 100 customers are now routinely entering web addresses from their phones and hitting a site designed only with PC users in mind, which results in a bad experience,” said Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing and Alliances at Bango. “Businesses should be asking now which handsets, countries and languages matter most to their business and developing a mobile strategy to match this.”

Some companies trans-code their desktop website so that the graphics look better on mobile devices. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, it is not a substitute for a site designed from the ground up for mobile - with the proper graphics, features, content, and navigation.

Here is a list from Bango of the top 20 websites, divided according those which work on mobile, and those that don’t.

PC web sites that work on mobile:

PC web sites that don’t work on mobile

Here is a sample image showing a site that is not working well with mobile.

Bango has releasing a service called “Analytics for PCs” which measures the actual number of mobile phone users hitting a PC web site and provides detailed metrics of these mobile visitors. It is available as part of an Early Access Program at www.bango.com/eap. [MobiAdNews]

Estate Agents - The Next Big Mobile Advertisers?

Over the past year, it seems that more and more start-ups are offering SMS/MMS based solutions targeted at real estate professionals. All of these solutions have the same basic guiding principles. Companies such as Gumiyo, CellAHouse and Cellyspace all offer such services.

The idea is that it as consumer walks past a house with a “For Sale” sign on it, they would like to receive instant information about that property. And that is where SMS/MMS comes in. These companies add a comment on the “for Sale” sign stating that if you want to receive more information about that house, then you can text the short code provided.

You then receive a message from the estate agent with the details of the property, the price, as well as contact information for the estate agent. But where this technology is particularly suited to the real estate sector is that you can include pictures in the MMS, thus effectively creating a virtual tour of the property.

The SMS short code can also be inserted on other forms of advertising such as TV and print.

According to Shuki Lehavi, CEO of Gumiyo, “We’re seeing tremendous interest from the real estate sector for our mobile marketing services. Real estate pros are the ultimate self-promoters and they are fearless when it comes to trying new technologies that can help give them an advertising edge. By adding their Gumiyo Go Code keyword and MLS IDs to signs and ads, they instantly increase the power for those signs and ads to generate opportunistic leads.”

The move towards mobile marketing for realators could be accelerated by web applications such as the one from Cellyspace that allow estate agents to set up mobile advertising campaigns for each house they have for sale. The application will take estate agents through a step-by-step guide to creating an MMS campaign. This includes uploading and editing images, adding text, slides, video and audio to the MMS.

You then get the option of making your MMS public or keeping it private until you are ready. Once you are ready to continue you need to set up the keycode that your potential customers will need to text in order to receive your MMS.

Then all that is required of you is that you promote your keycode and people will start receiving the MMS with all the information on your property.

According to the co-founder of Cellyspace, Richard Eicher, “We use a ‘Pay for Performance’ model so realtors set their own promotional goals and only pay per message delivered. Market feedback indicates that reaching 100 live prospects for $20.00 is a very good investment.” [MobiAdNews]

Overcoming The Challenge Of Cultural Differences With Mobile Advertising

  • Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile Advertising

The more than 6.7 billion individuals living in approximately 200 countries on six continents around the globe constitute a vast human mosaic. The differences between people are enormous: different countries, races, climates, religions, ages, genders, languages, economic and education levels, different tastes and interests.

And yet despite these differences, the fact is that people everywhere use mobile phones. In this opinion piece, Guy Yaniv, VP and General Manager of Comverse MobileAd, discusses how mobile advertising can overcome the challenges of cultural diversity.

Mobile advertising: adapting to cultural needs around the world

In view of the profound differences between cultures, not to mention enormous variations between individuals within cultures, one might ask whether mobile advertising can adequately address the issue of human diversity in order to be universally relevant and effective. The wide variety of success stories around the world demonstrates how each operator adapts its mobile advertising to the cultural preferences and needs of its users.

Three selected examples illustrate the point:

Virgin Mobile USA - Online Surveys: Virgin Mobile USA’s Sugar Mama plan enables users to earn free air time by participating in online surveys, interactive commercials, etc. This may be seen to reflect the needs and capabilities of an affluent and literate culture with advanced mobile devices.

Vodafone Egypt - Free Call Me SMS: Vodafone Egypt accommodates the need for low-income individuals with basic devices to convey messages without paying for the call with their Free “Call Me” SMS. Now instead of calling and immediately hanging up when they want to be called back, users can send an ad-funded SMS, which is more acceptable to many users and more profitable for the operator.

Swisscom - Video Heaven: Swisscom serves the needs of interests of its market by enabling users on the go to enjoy watching videos of their choice for free with its ad- supported mobile video offering for video-capable handsets.

Conveying the most appropriate message to each individual

Mobile advertising is probably better equipped to overcome cultural and other differences than any other form of advertising. Some of the key tools and capabilities that make mobile advertising uniquely able to properly address each individual anywhere in the world are:

Intimate knowledge of the user/targeting: The unrivaled degree of intimate knowledge about each subscriber that the operator can possess includes: age, gender, income range, hometown and current real-time location, device type, usage habits and preferences, browsing and purchase history and more. While safeguarding user privacy, this knowledge can be used to target ads, delivering relevant and timely content to ideally suit each user. Everyone has an area of interest and will find certain ads pleasing; the key is smart targeting.

• Incentives and rewards: Everyone is interested in a good deal. Whether a user is affluent or struggling to make ends meet, ads become more relevant when they offer users value. Tailored to culture and to user interests and needs, incentives such as discounted or free usage of phone services (messaging, browsing, downloading…), coupons and bonuses can focus the culture-appropriate and personal needs of a wide variety of users. Enabling users to opt in or opt out to ad campaigns helps ensure that users get only the type of ads they want.

• A word in the hand - multiple channels: Whereas traditional advertising usually has a single way to deliver a message, mobile advertising has an unparalleled range of methods to deliver a message tailored to the individual directly into the user’s hand. Channels include: voice (eg visual voicemail, ringback tones), messaging (eg SMS text, MMS pictures and videos), mobile Web browsing (eg banners, interstitial pages) and audio/video streaming and downloads.

Through knowledge of the user and targeting, multiple channels give the operator a variety of ways to get the right message to the right person at the right time – with full sensitivity to cultural and individual sensitivities and preferences.

Determining what works well - metrics: Mobile advertising is supported by highly precise tools for gathering, reporting and assessing effectiveness of ad campaigns (ad exposure, click-through rates). The scantily clad young women and rock music that are so successful in one market are anathema in another. Precise monitoring of user reaction to ads is one of the ways that operators can ensure that ads are culturally appropriate and optimally effective.

Political correctness and good business practice

Being culturally sensitive is more than just being politically correct — it’s also good business. Business is founded on relationships, and mobile advertising retains its value only if the relationship between the operator and user is enhanced.

Mobile advertising has the tools to achieve a high degree of cultural sensitivity and is proving itself around the world as equal to the task of meeting the very diverse demands of groups and individuals. [MobiAdNews]

Economy Deals Online Ad Spending a Hit

Digital still stronger than traditional

There seems to be more bad news about the economy every day, and falling ad spending numbers are part of the mix. Although online advertising is still on a positive growth curve, that growth is slowing and will dip into the single digits for the first time in 2009.

eMarketer’s revised projection, benchmarked against the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data, puts online ad spending at $25.7 billion in 2009. That is only 8.9% over the $23.6 billion that will be spent in 2008.

In August, before the full impact of the economic slowdown was revealed, eMarketer predicted online ad spending would grow 14.5% in 2009.

Not only is the new projection lower, but recovery is expected to take longer. In 2010, online ad spending growth will return (barely) into the double digits at 10.9%, and in 2013 it will only hit 13.5%.

Even paid search, which has grown at an outsize pace for years, will see a mere 21.4% rise in spending this year.

Again, the slowing is relative, since paid search spending growth will still outstrip the overall online market through 2009. There’s a reason paid search will stay robust through the economic downturn, according to David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.

“Especially in economic turmoil, search is more trackable than any other ad format,” said Mr. Hallerman. “At this stage, it is a tried-and-true format that is supporting online growth.”

No sign of Wireless Downturn in North America Yet

  • Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Business Analysis

By Steven Hartley, Senior Analyst at Ovum

North America was the first region to be affected by the current economic crisis and, to date, has been the hardest hit. Although the full effects of the downturn are yet to be felt, the wireless operators’ results in the third quarter reflect how mobile services have become indispensable and two-year contracts are protecting the sector in the region. Mobile telecom remains on track to grow in the region in 2009.

Demand continues to power growth – except at Sprint

Both the US (85% in 2007) and Canada (60%) have low mobile penetration rates, relative to other mature economies, meaning that demand for mobile services has not yet been fully met and connections growth is still possible.

The US added 3.9 million connections in the third quarter and year-on-year total connections growth was 10%. Significantly this growth was not limited to the largest players. Only Sprint saw a decline in connections in the third quarter (another 1.3 million) – a decline that helped the other operators continue to grow strongly.

Canada’s national wireless operators also saw continued connections growth, with Rogers’ connections base growing 8% year-on-year, Bell Canada by 7% and Telus 10%.

Postpaid emphasis reduces risk moving forward, but prepaid is an opportunity
Also significant is the fact that in the US 79% of connections in the third quarter were postpaid, with Canadian operators reporting even higher figures. The risk of these connections defaulting on their contract should be reduced, although not eradicated. There is always the risk that contract customers will be more selective when renewing a contract in 2009, but from a net additions perspective, most of these customers will be here for 2009.

As North America has relatively low penetration, prepaid could actually be an opportunity for North American operators in 2009, as shown by T-Mobile’s 26% rise in prepaid subscriptions in the third quarter. Assuming offerings are positioned carefully so as not to erode contract revenues, then the customer base could grow further in the currently underserved lower end segment.

Financials look strong too – except at Sprint

Financial indicators for the North American wireless market also looked healthy in the third quarter. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Metro PCS in the US and Rogers Wireless in Canada all reported double-digit revenue growth, with the remainder in the high single digits, including US MVNOs Tracfone and Virgin Mobile. Sprint was the only operator to mention ‘tough economic times’ in its results and reported a 13% year-on-year revenue decline.

Margins, where reported, saw no adverse effects due to economic conditions either, although the full picture will be revealed in 4Q08 and 1Q09. In 3Q08 the most high-profile margin erosion came from AT&T and Rogers Wireless as a result of iPhone subsidies, but this will aid profitability in 2009.

Data lift-off offers growth potential

The North American market also reported stunning growth in mobile data services. Admittedly this is from a small start, but the demand for mobile data looks like continuing into 2009, even if it proves to be less than what was anticipated 12 months ago. Just a few metrics serve to illustrate this point: Telus grew wireless data revenues by 56% year-on-year, AT&T by 51% and Verizon by 43%.

Outlook unchanged

The above leads us to reiterate our outlook for North America in 2009. We feel that the North American mobile market will escape catastrophe as a result of macroeconomic conditions in 2009 and will continue to grow, albeit not at the rates we have seen in 2008.

The region’s relatively low penetration has stimulated growth to date. However, increasing saturation means that segments currently unserved by wireless are likely to be those most affected by the economic conditions. Therefore, our latest Mobile regional and country forecast pack: 2007–13 predicts a 6.3% rise in both connections and revenues in the US from 2008 to 2009. In Canada it is 7.5% for connections and 11.3% for revenues. /PR

Phishers Expand the Number of Top Level Domains Abused in eCrime Scams Domain

  • Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Phishing

Name Registration Policy Changes Can Make Big Difference, Study Shows

The new Global Phishing Survey released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) this month reveals that phishing gangs are concentrating their efforts within specific top level domains (TLDs), but also that anti-phishing policies and mitigation programs by domain name registrars and registries can have a significant and positive effect.

For this new study, covering the first half of 2008, Rod Rasmussen of Internet Identity and Greg Aaron of Afilias surveyed 47,324 unique phishing attacks located on 26,678 unique domain names. (Phishing attacks are counterfeit websites designed to deceive consumers into revealing their personal financial information.)

The number of TLDs abused by phishers for their attacks expanded 7 percent from 145 in H2/2007 to 155 in H1/2008. The proportion of Internet-protocol (IP) number-based phishing sites decreased 35 percent in that same period, declining from 18 percent in the second half of 2007 to 13 percent in the first half of 2008.

“We’re seeing a trend away from fixed IP-based URLs which are readily shut-down to use of more domain based URLs,” said Mr. Rasmussen, co-chair of the APWG’s Internet Policy Committee. “Many of these are on compromised servers which already have established ‘good’ reputations, while others are on fraudulently registered domain names supported by botnets or other throw-away hosting resources.

In either case, the mitigation effort is challenged, as one does not want to suspend an innocent domain name, while with a botnet, the domain is the only practical choke-point to neutralize the attack.”The report finds some correlations between registry policies and the prevalence and duration of phishing activity in their TLDs. The APWG researchers’ analysis of phishing site uptime and other metrics showed that anti-phishing policies can help reduce phishing activity. Specifically, the .CN, .INFO, and .BIZ TLDs, whose managers have implemented counter-phishing programs, had phishing site uptimes notably below the industry average.

“The longer a phishing site remains online, the more identities and money the phisher is able to steal from unsuspecting victims,” said Mr. Aaron, an APWG Research Fellow. “Reducing uptime is a key measure of any anti-phishing program.

”The authors track the improvement in reduction of phishing activity at the .INFO TLD specifically to an anti-phishing program established in January 2008. (Disclosure: Mr. Aaron’s company, Afilias, is the operator of the .INFO TLD registry.) More dramatically, the investigators found that after anti-phishing measures went into place in March 2008 at the .HK registry, “the number of phishing domains in .HK quickly went from more than 1,000 per month to virtually nothing.”

“In this study we found direct correlation between registry policy and procedures, and the lifetimes of phishing sites,” said Mr. Rasmussen. “With typical losses estimated by financial institutions of several hundred to thousands of dollars per hour a phishing site is active these efforts - which shave several hours off an attack - can have a dramatic impact on the losses suffered by businesses and consumers.

”The survey also identified 4,512 subdomain sites/accounts used for phishing under 274 unique second-level domains. These were established on “subdomain registration services” in which customers set up a subdomain under a secondary level domain owned by the service provider (e.g. ..TLD).

“The wide-spread use of subdomain registration services by phishers is a challenging development for the industry,” said Mr. Rasmussen. “These services have diverse business models and controls, and run outside the scope of ICANN, domain registries, or any recognized authority. This can make them an unwitting haven for phishers and in turn adversely affect the reputation of a TLD or registrar who has no control over their behavior.

”To determine the intensity or pervasiveness of phishing activities in a TLD relative to others, the authors established two metrics. The first compares the number of established phishing domains to the total number of registered domain names in that TLD.

The other, Phishing Attacks per 10,000, helps indicate which TLDs are predominantly used by phishers who employ subdomain services, or place multiple phish sites on a single domain. The top twelve TLDs in this statistical category ran from .HK (Hong Kong) with 142.1 phishing attacks per 10,000 domains to .BE (Belgium) with 8.7. The authors found that .SU (Soviet Union), .RU (Russia), and .FR (France) received high Attack Scores because phishers launched large numbers of attacks in these TLDs via subdomain hosting services. /PR

Mobile Messaging Volume Grows 10 Percent in Q3

By Jason Ankeny

Worldwide mobile messaging volume increased close to 10 percent in the third quarter according to Internet infrastructure services provider VeriSign, which notes the period also witnessed the emergence of several new trends including messaging initiatives tied to social and political change and marketing, mobile messaging for charitable donations and a significant growth in mobile messaging by enterprises and financial institutions.

In all, VeriSign's mobile messaging networks enabled more than 58.3 billion messages in Q3, up from 52 billion in the previous quarter. VeriSign facilitated an average of 634 million messages per day during the third quarter, compared to 572 million messages per day the previous quarter and 280 million messages per day in Q3 2007. VeriSign adds it remains on track to enable close to 200 billion total messages during 2008, which equates to operator revenues of more than $7 billion.

From Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, VeriSign's combined mobile messaging networks delivered 153 billion total messages, representing a 142 percent increase year-over-year and on pace to more than double last year's total of 95.9 billion mobile messages. In addition, on Sept. 5 VeriSign posted a single-day record by enabling 702 million texts over a 24-hour period and a one-hour record of 48 million messages. The firm attributes the surge in part to growing interest from enterprises and financial institutions: From Q3 2007 to Q3 2008, the total volume of messages rose from 129 to 227 million, a 115 percent jump.

In addition, VeriSign's Mobile Banking platform enjoyed a 35 percent increase in messaging traffic from the second quarter of 2008 to the third quarter. Person-to-Person/Application-to-Person messages like news alerts, ringtones, promotional video clips and enterprise messages also grew from approximately 572 million messages in Q2 2008 to about 634 million messages in Q3, an increase of nearly 10 percent. [FierceMobileContent]

Survey: Users Agree to Billing Discounts for Mobile Ads

By Jason Ankeny

Fifty-six percent of mobile subscribers would agree to view ads on their phones in exchange for a 25 percent to 50 percent discount on their monthly bill according to a new consumer study commissioned by open source solutions provider Transverse and conducted by market strategy consultancy iGR. Mobile subscribers under age 35 are most receptive to mobile ad discount incentives, the study reports, with users ages 18 to 25 most willing to trade the number of text messages sent/received--consumers ages 26 to 44 were most willing to view ads in exchange for discounts on voice services.

However, 46 percent of survey respondents said that while a 25 percent to 50 percent monthly discount is enough of an incentive to provide access to usage patterns including web browsing, messaging habits and location, those same discounts are not enough to convince them to share personal information including the content of texts and emails. [FierceMobileContent]

Nimbuzz Ajak 17 Mitra Global Gabung ke Program Affiliasi Operator Selular

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Nimbuzz (http://www.nimbuzz.com/) penyedia aplikasi mobilitas, VoIP dan IM paling komprehensif, hari ini mengumumkan penambahan 17 mitra SIP ke dalam Program Afiliasi Operator Selular Globalnya. Program ini memberikan kemampuan untuk membina jaringan sosialnya secara mobile, kehadiran real-time dan IM kepada para rekanan operator sekaligus tetap bisa memelihara kendali hubungan terhadap pelanggan mereka.

Dengan bergabung ke Program Afiliasi Operator Selular Nimbuzz dan memadukan penawaran VoIP mereka melalui Nimbuzz, para rekanan mempunyai kesempatan untuk memberikan para pelanggannya dengan layanan nilai tambahan mobilitas komunikasi dan jejaring sosial dengan cepat kepada pasar dan tanpa menambah biaya apapun. Para Operator dan Penyedia SIP yang tergabung dalam Program Afiliasi Nimbuzz juga akan mendapatkan keuntungan atas arus pemasukan baru dan publikasi ke para pelanggan Nimbuzz yang tersebar di 200 negara.

Para rekanan akan mempromosikan Nimbuzz pada para pengguna mereka dengan menempatkan iklan banner pada situs mereka, yang mana dapat digunakan oleh para pengguna untuk secara instan mendaftar dan mendownload layanan Nimbuzz ke ponsel dan komputer mereka.

Bagi para pengguna yang sudah menjadi anggota Nimbuzz, peningkatan set dari fitur- fitur dan jaringan panggilan tambahan akan dengan mudah terintegrasi ke antarmuka ponsel dan PC mereka, sehingga memudahkan mereka dalam menggunakan Nimbuzz untuk instant messaging dan panggilan internasional yang murah dengan menggunakan VoIP baik ke telepon rumah ataupun ke telepon seluler.

CEO Nimbuzz, Evert Jaap Lugt berkomentar: "Kita melihat bahwa kerjasama ini memberikan nilai riil ke operator yang ingin meningkatkan ARPU dan menawarkan kepada pelanggan mereka akses yang penuh ke IM dan situs jaringan sosial tanpa resiko dan biaya yang berhubungan dengan pengaturan kerjasama langsung masing-masing penyedia jasa IM atau situs jaringan sosial. Ini juga membuka peluang bagi para operator dari negara lain yang ingin bergabung. Kita akan terus mengumumkan rekanan kita yang baru secepatnya.”

Layanan-layanan seperti Nimbuzz yang menggunakan mobile internet meningkatkan penjualan paket layanan data dari para operator selular. Menurut Chetan Sharma Consulting (www.chetansharma.com): Di Amerika Serikat, pemasukan dari penjualan paket data mencapai $8.2 milyar di kuartal kedua tahun 2008, atau sekitar 21% dari total pendapatan layanan wireless. Hal ini dibandingkan dengan $5.85 milyar, atau 17% dari total layanan, untuk periode yang sama di tahun 2007. Data tersebut memperlihatkan lonjakan peningkatan ARPU sebesar $50 sen, dan menurunkan pendapatan ARPU suara sebesar $5 sen.

Para rekanan SIP baru mengoperasikan jaringan untuk seluruh dunia dan akan bertindak sebagai pembawa sesi bagi pengguna Nimbuzz untuk melakukan panggilan VoIP ke ponsel dan telepon rumah via seluler atau PC mereka.

Anggota dari Program Afiliasi Operator Selular Nimbuzz

A1 Mobilkom Austria
Sipgate Jerman
Xeloq Communications Belanda
Adepto Telecom India
Amtelfone India
Apnatelelink India
EuteliaVoip Itali
Skytel Serbia
ICTel Afrika Selatan
MWeb Afrika Selatan
TerraSip Spanyol
Voiceglobe Inggris
Tpad Inggris/Uni Eropa
Vyke Inggris/Norwagia
Gizmo5 Amerika Serikat

Sebagai tambahan dari para operator dari berbagai negara yang telah bekerjasama dengan Nimbuzz, kini Nimbuzz juga dalam taraf penjajakan dengan beberapa operator selular Indonesia guna menjalin kerjasama dan menggarap peluang yang lebih baik bagi pasar Indonesia.

"Indonesia adalah salah satu pasar potensial Nimbuzz, pertumbuhan pengguna Nimbuzz di Indonesia sebesar 30% selama semester lalu mendorong kami untuk berupaya menciptakan program yang lebih baik lagi untuk calon rekanan operator selular Indonesia, sehingga bersama-sama kita bisa memberikan solusi komunikasi bergerak terbaik bagi para pengguna di Indonesia," tutup Evert Jaap Lugt.

Media Kit: www.nimbuzz.com/press