Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
The credit card industry processes a massive volume of transactions — about $4 trillion this year in the U.S., according to BI Intelligence estimates. With so much money in play, it’s no wonder that a host of startups are trying to carve out a niche for themselves and offer services to merchants and consumers that will rewrite the value they get from every credit card payment. But the credit card processing industry isn’t going to change over night. These startups are entering into an extremely complex and entrenched space.
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It’s been rumored for months that Apple will be stepping deeper into health and fitness tracking when it launches its next-generation iOS 8 software for mobile devices. Now a series of in-depth screenshots purportedly from Apple’s “Healthbook” app has hit the web, revealing capabilities to track everything from steps taken and blood pressure to how you’re sleeping at night and if you’re drinking enough water.
Global Mobile Ad Spend Jumped 105% In 2013, On Track For $31.5B In 2014 Led By Google, Says eMarketer
As more people turn away from PCs and turn to smartphones and tablets for their online fix, the market for mobile ads continues to shift, too. Figures out today from research firm eMarketer note that mobile ad revenues surged 105% in 2013 to bring in nearly $18 billion in sales. It predicts that 2014 will see more modest growth, up 75% to $31.5 billion. Crucially, mobile ads are finally breaking through into meaningful shares of overall digital spend, and will account for nearly one-quarter of it this year.
The way we pay for goods and services is changing, as the world migrates from cash and credit cards to apps we run on our smartphones. It’s an evolution made possible by ubiquitous mobile platforms and always-on Internet connections, fueled by upstarts like Square and Stripe, and propelled by industry veterans like MasterCard who don’t want to be left behind. A recent Forbes magazine cover story on the $15 Trillion Gold Rush and the battle for control over the future of electronic payment systems, points to the intense competition and technology arms race among the incumbents and the upstarts.
In hot pursuit of the $16 billion-plus Facebook and WhatsApp merger, China’s Alibaba is leading a massive $280 million round in mobile messaging network Tango, which brings social fun and entertainment to chatting on your smartphone. Alibaba is investing $215 million in the round, while the rest is made up from participation by Tango’s existing investors.
As Asia’s fast-growing smartphone messaging apps are locked in battle to attract new users, any move by one popular service tends to be quickly followed by the others. Take the recent Nokia X smartphone deals. Line, a messaging app that dominates Japan and a few other Asian markets, said last month it would be preloaded on the Nokia X. Tencent Holdings followed suit, saying its WeChat messaging app, the clear market leader in China, would also be preloaded on the Nokia X.
A typical multiscreen user in the UK consumes just under seven hours of screen media on an average day, according to a report from Millward Brown – and it takes them just five hours in real time. That’s due to second screening, with users spending two hours every day using on two different devices simultaneously. However, the report notes, only seven per cent of second-screeners are ‘meshing’ – accessing related content – a figure that’s lower than almost any of the 30 countries surveyed.
With the era of bargain pricing in mobile paid search nearing an end, marketers can expect a tougher time breaking through on smartphone screens unless they have big budgets or can enhance their strategies through contextual relevance, social and voice.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.