All entries for Thursday 03 May 2007

May 03, 2007

Yahoo's Mobile Move

Yahoo's Mobile Move

Introduction

Ever since the start of the British Broadcasting A2 unit and the AS New Media Technologies unit I have been encouraging you to think about what the main trends in digitisation are going to be. I have repeatedly noted that the future of mobiles is going to be increasingly important. As evidence of this I have noted the rise of reception technology in the form of the yet to be released (at time of writing) iPhone. In the UK this can be seen as an early example of what, by 2012 will be common practice as prices drop. That is mobile handheld devices downloading video services which are streamed as well as other internet services.

To provide large numbers of consumers with streamed video services it will be necessary to have massive bandwidth capabilities. This of course is being provided by the great analogue switch-off in the UK which will have been completed by 2012 if all goes to plan. The government white paper of 2006 made it clear that 'innovative' mobile services was what the freed up spectrum would be used for amongst other things.

So we can see the various bits of infrastructure coming together now which will both on the institutional side and the customer side of the equation. What now remains is the development of suitable content.

The recent story outlined below about Yahoo the internet search engine is one of the building blocks towards developing a wide range of content which is designed specifically for handheld device useage.  

Yahoo's special mobile search service

Welcome to the new faces of Britain's advertising industry - Google and Yahoo (BBC link below)

Yahoo is deperately trying to become the number one search engine and in this game innovative services and advertising are key. Advertising is what is required and what drives these companies. It is no wonder that TV is beginning to lose out. It is worth looking first at the amount of business generated by Google to see what Yahoo who don't publish separate UK figures are up against.

Last quarter, Google broke out its UK sales figures for the first time.

In just three months, it hauled in revenues of $578m (£289m).

Quadruple that for a rough annual figure, and you get some $2.3bn (£1.15bn) - a number which outstrips the total revenue for TV station Channel 4 during 2006 of £937m. (my emphasis; BBC link below)

Yahoo's cutting edge approach

Yahoo has a cutting edge approach which is designed to position itself into the rapidly growing possibilities offered by the handheld device market. To be able to place advertising you must first of all be offering a service which is wanted and used by the audience. Yahoo's answer to this is:

"We can monitor user behaviour - anonymising it of course - and then match advertising to it," says Glen Drury. "We're going to try to make it so relevant you won't see it as advertising."

On the basis of this information they can deliver adverts designed to appeal to the user. in other words it is an intelligent and dynamic service.

But the new frontier is mobile search; and here Yahoo hopes to stage a fightback.

This week the company launched its Onesearch product in Europe, claiming it would revolutionise mobile search. The plan is first to attract a big audience on mobiles, then sell them to

yahoo_onesearch_1.gif

above Yahoo shows how its mobile search screen looks. Below the accompanying blurb: 

Get better results – not just web links

Finally mobile search that works! Yahoo! oneSearch is now available for internet-enabled phones. oneSearch delivers results in a new, breakthrough format that redefines search for mobile phones. It’s all about getting instant answers with just one click - no need to sift through a bunch of links to find exactly what you’re looking for.

oneSearch results are easy to read, scroll through, and expand when you want more information - like more images to view - with a single click. You don’t have to “feel lucky” to be lucky every time with oneSearch!
(Yahoo website). 

The core approach of the service is that Yahoo oneSearch sifts out the feeble links which often come up on a typical Google search making it quick and easy for a user on the move to access what they need.

Below the advertising targeted towards the premium paying users of Internet enabled mobiles.

Yahoo Onesearch Phones

Conclusion

Overall it is clear the all the necessary pieces of a radically different internet for mobile users is developing. In the UK it probably won't be fully in place until 2012 but you can imagine how the Olympic games will be used as a marketing vehicle for this. Of course the other intersting thing is where will Rupert Murdoch's New international be in the new media landscape. Murdoch's empire is driven by the advertising revenues drawn by the popularity of its content. Perhaps we are going to have  MyMobileSpace - watch this space :-)   

Webliography

Battle for mobile online advertising between Yahoo and Google 

Google launches new mobiles search service


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