Apple music streaming service launch, Spotify & Starbucks team up and mobile ad-blocking woes – plus all the weekly mobile news from around the world…
Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
Apple is planning an early launch in Russia for its upcoming music streaming service, according to a report in Billboard — indicating that it is likely to see a large-scale global launch.
The Cupertino company is widely expected to relaunch its Beats Music streaming service later this year, after acquiring Beats in a high-profile $3 billion deal in early 2014.
The Dr. Dre-backed music company was best known for its headphones, but the real prize for Apple seems to have been its music streaming product — offering it an entry point into a rapidly-growing sector of the music industry.
A few months after ending its tradition of selling CDs at its branches, Starbucks has made a deal with music streaming service Spotify to provide the soundtrack in its branches, with both employees and customers able to influence what music is played.
The partnership links together Starbuck’s immensely popular loyalty program with Spotify’s music ecosystem, giving My Starbucks Reward members unique access to to the brand’s presence on Spotify.
“For over forty years, music has played a vital role in Starbucks Third Place experience – inspiring our partners and customers in unexpected ways that have helped to shape the global pop culture,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks. “By connecting Spotify’s world-class streaming platform into our world-class store and digital ecosystem, we are reinventing the way our millions of global customers discover music.”
Yes, Disney uses mobile marketing automation to make its games more fun. And yes, the publisher behind Subway Surfer finds ways to make you jump those trains just a little bit longer.
But no, mobile marketing automation is not just a tool for game publishers and mobile startups. For example, TV network Epix HD boosted app sessions 800 percent. Insurance provider Allianz increased mobile usage 40 percent higher than desktop. And many other enterprise brands are using mobile marketing automation to understand their users better, increase retention, and — most importantly — build a better relationship with their customers.
“Oh, shut UP.” The mute button on my computer keyboard sees a lot more action than it used to. As I sit here working, I’ll find myself whacking it indignantly to silence disembodied voices promoting products from web pages I’m not even looking at. These voices fail to sell me anything, but hey, that’s intrusive advertising for you. Pop-ups, pop-unders, interstitials (pages that appear before the one you’re trying to get to), video and audio ads that run without permission – they all combine to form an online irritant that continually tests the boundaries of our patience.
“But without the advertisements, you’d have no worthwhile content,” runs the argument, and in a chaotic online economy with wafer thin margins, it’s a fair point. “But… must it really be like this?” we wail, as the entire article we’re trying to read slides off the edge of the page and is replaced with a promotion for cheap flights to the Algarve.
The shift in online activity from fixed-line to mobile devices has thrown up a host of winners. Advertising-funded services have seen revenues soar as consumers increasingly use their smartphones to access the web, unleashing a torrent of marketing spending that is due to hit almost $70bn this year.
Facebook, for instance, has built a mobile advertising business with an annual run-rate of $6.5bn in just two years, representing more than half of the total income it generates from that source — and it is growing at many times the fixed-line rate. In the hardware world too, the victors are already accepting their laurels. Sales of mobile devices far outstrip those of conventional computers
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is preparing to launch an operating system for the internet of things that’s just 10 kilobytes in size. The company says that its “LiteOS” is the “lightest” software of its kind and can be used to power a range of smart devices — from wearables to cars. Huawei predicts that by 2025 there will be roughly 100 billion internet-connected devices in the world, with 2 million new sensors deployed every hour. The company also said that the OS would be “opened to all developers” to allow them to quickly create their own smart products — although it’s unclear whether this means that LiteOS will be fully open-source. Huawei says LiteOS also supports “zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto-networking.”
According to a new research by Juniper Research, data mobile traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets will double over the next four years, approaching 197 000 Petabytes by 2019. The research estimates that 41% of all mobile data traffic will be carried over cellular networks by the same year. The rest of the data traffic will be offloaded via Wi-Fi networks which the research points out as a major player in data usage. The consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, impacted heavily by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage. Video already accounts 60% of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this is expected to exceed 70% in two to three years.
A London hospital is the latest to put the Apple Watch to use within its walls, this time to improve medication management and adherence for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. According to a report from Wareable, King’s College Hospital will be the first to pilot an app from Medopad, a British company that also makes tablet-based mobile health technology.
“Cancer treatment is a challenging journey,” Dr Siamak Arami, a Consultant Haematologist at King’s College Hospital, told The Journal of mHealth last month, when Medopad launched the app. “Adherence to complicated treatment regimens, and the streamlined recording and reporting of health issues during treatment are of paramount value. Medopad’s Apple Watch chemotherapy application is an exciting new development in medical technology that can transform the quality and safety of care for patients, carers and care providers. This can eventually reduce the cost and improve the outcome of treatment for cancer patients.”
Starbucks on Wednesday acknowledged that criminals have been breaking into individual customer rewards accounts. The Starbucks app lets you pay at checkout with your phone. It can also reload Starbucks gift cards by automatically drawing funds from your bank account, credit card or PayPal.
That’s how criminals are siphoning money away from victims. They break into a victim’s Starbucks account online, add a new gift card, transfer funds over — and repeat the process every time the original card reloads.
China will take over as the top game market in the world this year, according to the upcoming 2015 Global Games Market Report by analyst firm Newzoo.
The company predicts $22.2 billion in sales this year in the Asian country, versus $22 billion in the United States. That gap will widen over the next three years, Newzoo chief executive Peter Warman said, with China ending at $32.8 billion and the more-stable U.S. games market at $24.1 billion.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.