AT&T Monday announced a pair of initiatives underscoring the company's efforts to boost its mobile data business and connected device strategy. One is a new location-based service powered by Placecast allowing users to receive alerts about sales or promotions from nearby retailers or brands. The other move is that AT&T will start selling the Amazon Kindle 3G at its retail stores nationwide on March 6, the first time it will sell an e-reader directly from its own stores.
The move announced Thursday to bring online voting to "American Idol" in its tenth season ends the mobile-only era of viewer participation in the show. The show's runaway success helped popularize text-message voting campaigns and the use of short codes in mobile contests and promotions more widely.
Apple may have lowered the minimum buy for iAd buys to $500,000, but that decrease won't necessarily trigger a stampede of brands to the mobile ad platform. Among companies with near-term mobile marketing plans, only 20% have created a separate budget line item for mobile. The majority (60%) carve mobile budgets from online ad spending, according to a new survey of 350 executives with responsibility for mobile at brands, agencies, publishers and technology vendors.
Promising to transform mobile advertising, Apple last year convinced scores of big brands to commit $1 million each to launch campaigns on its new iAd platform. According to an All Things D report today, Apple is now cutting the minimum iAd buy in half to $500,000 to help broaden its appeal to smaller agencies and brands. The report contains no confirmation from Apple but cites WPP Digital CEO Mark Read as the source on the halving iAd fees.
With a number of Android 3.0 tablets being launched in May and June, the Yuanta Securities report noted "the delay in iPad 2 shipment may give the Android camp a brief window of opportunity." On the heels of those reports came a Reuters story refuting them. Citing "a person familiar with the matter," it said the iPad 2 launch was on schedule. Barron's writer Tiernan Ray also shot down the rumor, writing that "sources close to Apple" say there's nothing to the Yuanta report. On top of all that, All Things Digital's Kara Swisher revealed Apple has a March 2 …
More bad news for the PC market. New research from NPD Group shows consumers are getting used to doing the same things on tablets that they typically do on desktop PCs. Some 30% of tablet owners say they're emailing and browsing the Web less on desktop computers, and 28% are using social networking features less on PCs.
March 2011 could be the first month when Google gets more than 10% of all paid search impressions from mobile, according to a new analysis by Performics, the search engine marketing unit of Publicis Groupe. Mobile paid search increased steadily during 2010, ending the year at 8.4% of impressions before climbing to 9.4% in January, according to Performics SEM campaign data. Mobile impressions grew 238% year-over-year compared to 13% for PCs. That increase comes in part from growing smartphone use and the spread of Google's Android platform.
A day after Apple unveiled its digital subscription plan, Google Wednesday fired back with its own, clearly trying to woo publishers away from its rival with more attractive terms. Through its new service, Apple takes its standard 30% cut of sales and requires that any purchase offer outside the app must be at the same price as the in-app offer. Apple also controls subscriber information like email addresses and zip codes but allows customers to provide that personal data to publishers if they wish.
In a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Eric Schmidt, who will step down as CEO of Google in April, sounded as if he's already expanding his horizons. "The goal of everything we're doing is so I can spend more time with the people in my life, exploring new places, and living life,"he said. Schmidt was ostensibly talking about how technology, and mobile technology in particular, should help free us to spend more time doing things we enjoy. But given that he'll be handing over the reins to Google co-founder Larry Page, it also sounds like Schmidt …
In connection with the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, comScore today issued its first year-in-review report for mobile. That in itself says something about the category's rising profile in the media world. Among the 2010 highlights: