Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AOL.com WAP Relaunch

Aiming to keep pace with recent new wireless inroads made by Yahoo and Google, AOL Tuesday unveiled new mobile versions of its online services within a revamped WAP portal. This major relaunch, accessible on your web enabled phone at AOL.com, includes upgrades that are mobile-friendly versions of AOL Search, Mail, MapQuest, and AOL Instant Messenger, among other features. The new mobile search, for instance, will offer results that are more tailored to users on the go, such as driving directions and click-to-call options linked to services like MapQuest and Moviefone. A cool new mobile widget for GPS-enabled phones will also allow AIM users to locate each other, marking a step by AOL into the mobile social networking area.

AOL has quietly assembled a number of good mobile assets over the past couple of years, and they may become a force in the market. Obviously, its purchase of Third Screen Media puts the company into the mobile ad market in a big way. But its new partnership with off-deck content provider ThumbPlay gives it a range of content. If AOL actually can distribute these services and gain traction, then it may have a way to use mobile to get the brand back into users' hearts and minds. Between Yahoo's mobile search play and AOL's mobile portal play, it seems as if also-ran brands are using mobile as a kind of comeback platform. Link(s):
Media Post, Oct 24, 2007 - AOL Follows The Mobile Trail and AOL press release

Monday, October 15, 2007

Portable Video Usage

Last Sunday evening on a cross county flight from the east coast to San Francisco I noticed something I had not seen before. Passengers using portable video devices were at a level I had never witness before. Between those watching via their laptops, video Ipods and a host of others, it pushed 20% of the passengers on a full flight. I was taken back by the usually high percentage, most appearing to be watching recent broadcast shows. As I tried to make sense of why I may be seeing this spike, I put it off on the launch of a new season and a young highly mobile group of passengers of whom many sported the corporate logos of the silicon valleys dot com companies. Maybe I was witnessing a peak into the future because a new study from Parks Associates predicts that the number of portable media players with video capability will grow at an annual rate of 30% over the next five years. Obviously a key driver of this growth will be the expansion of broadband video services around the world and this is good news for mobile video advertisers, provided they can figure out an appropriate ad model.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

ABC Moves Advertisiers on to the Golf Course

ABC has inked an agreement with ProLink Solutions to sell space on ProLink's GPS screens in golf carts at some 400 golf courses. ABC will sell on a national level, and will earn commissions based in part on the prominence of the advertisers it brings in. ProLink will continue to sell space, as well. It is a growing trend to see big media moving into the growing out-of-home (OOH) sector. The O&Os of the television networks have begun seeking ways to bring in additional revenue by offering OOH options to advertisers, according to MediaPost. These options have included ads in grocery stores, taxis, screens on pumps at gas stations and on screens in Times Square. See recent SMM Post: 09/07/07 - CBS Purchases Sign Story. Link: MediaPost - 10/03/07 - Fore Real: ABC Pitches Ads On Golf Cart Screens