SO MOnday

February 25, 2013

4G auction last week fails to bring in the expected sums

The 4G auction took place last week and raised a third less than estimated for the Government.  Last autumn it was speculated that the British airwaves on offer were worth around £3.5bn however this auction saw the grand total of £2.3bn raised by the competing bidders.  The final shares are: Everything Everywhere is 36%, Vodafone has the second largest holding at 23%, O2 has 15%, 3 has 12%, and new entrant BT has secured 9%. It is interesting that BT has bid for 4G and it is unknown what their plans are; perhaps they are planning to launch as a competitor mobile network.

In comparison, the 3G auction which took place thirteen years ago saw £22.5bn bid by the different networks. It seems that the two auctions are not comparable, as Britain has suffered a harsh recession since 2008 and the money should not be the main focus of this auction; the main attention should be brought to the exciting upgrade for mobile users that will roll out this year.

When people begin to experience the benefits of 4G they will forget the days of waiting for content to load on their mobile. Read about the benefits here. 4G also opens up opportunities for brands as it will make buying on your Smartphone quicker and therefore increase confidence in m-commerce. For advertisers, the faster download speeds will also see more rich media content being consumed by Smartphone users as well as opening up targeting opportunities, as there will be less reliance on targeting WiFi users so real time location targeting will come into play more.

It is speculated that the desktop will die out in 2016 and that users will rely solely on mobiles and tablets to access the internet. The roll out of 4G in the UK is a step towards this.

Six Nations 2013 App – live audio during the big match

O2 developed an app for the weekend’s fixtures called O2 Matchday to stream live referee audio from games played at Twickenham. It’s a great way for those not at the stadium feel as if they are there, hearing the ref throughout the game and perhaps some dialogue with the players. It also gives some pre-game information and stats, a great supplement whilst watching the game on TV.

Twitter launches Advertising API

Twitter has followed in Facebook’s footsteps and launched an advertising API that will allow brands greater flexibility in running ads at scale and hopefully generate greater revenues for Twitter.

The announcement was made via the Twitter Blog where they stressed that the advertising API will deliver “better ads for users, not more ads”. Balancing user experience with monetisation is a delicate task but if ads are treated like pieces of content in the news feed  that rise and fall based on their quality and relevance, this should hopefully act as a safeguard for the user experience.

Adam Bain, revenue chief at Twitter, reaffirmed this when he tweeted: “Our Ads API launch today will help bring even better real-time marketer content to the platform. Marketers win by being good vs loud.”

Twitter has  also conducted a study to better understand their 8 million strong mobile users’ behaviour in the UK. Have a look at their infographic here. An impressive 80% of Twitter users access the platform via a mobile, with 66% using it in front of the TV, 50% before bed and 1 in 3 during their commute.

Facebook introduces ‘buy tickets’ button for events

Facebook have introduced a new feature for events:  a button that reads “buy tickets”, linking to an offsite location for users to complete a transaction.  Previously, those planning an event were able to include a shortened hyperlink link for the same purpose; the new button now adds emphasis, highlighting the option to those visiting the event page that they can be directed straight to the call to action and allowing advertisers to directly track their transactions from Facebook.

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