India takes centre stage for VCs, Uber testing cash payment option in Nairobi, Spotify now has 75m active users, mobile advertisers get 7X more engagement and 4X more customers plus more…
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
China, by all means, is far ahead of India. Be it the quality of infrastructure, its business-friendly environment and backing from the government — India has a lot to learn from this Asian giant.
It’s no secret that India has always looked at China with a bit of envy, for its astonishing growth over the past couple of decades to become the fastest-growing economy in the world, despite the fact that a large chunk of its people still don’t speak English. According to a recent news report by The Economic Times, prominent Indian startup entrepreneurs have started paying regular visits to cities such as Shanghai and Beijing to pick up business tips from the startups there.
The key advantage for startups in China has always been the enormous size of its market. According to a latest survey, China has an estimated 690 million Internet population, with 520 million accessing it via smartphones. In simple words, Chinese startups have been riding high on its huge growth prospects.
Uber has launched a cash payment system in Nairobi, Kenya. Uber has been operating with a credit card-based system, a strategy that made sense in the US and other mature markets. But the moment the private driver hailing app started operating in emerging markets, it needed to adopt a different strategy.
It is for this reason that the company has adjusted it payment options. Uber’s cash payment began in India and now has branched into Kenya.
Launching in Nairobi is a move into the unbankable African market. Last week, Uber announced its plans about its cash payment option, stating that this brings “more awesomeness to the users”.
Music streaming service Spotify has upped its public numbers, announcing that it now has 75 million active users, with 20 million of them paying for its premium subscription tier.
That’s a rise from the previous figures – 60 million active users and 15 million subscribers – announced by the company in January. The announcement’s timing is no coincidence, coming days after Apple unveiled its rival Apple Music service.
“What a difference a year makes! At the end of May 2014, we reached 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users. Today, we have reached more than 20 million subscribers and more than 75 million active users,” claimed a post on Spotify’s blog.
We’re in the middle of the most massive media shift in history, and brands are lagging behind.
While 2.1 billion mobile users have downloaded over 350 billion apps, time on device grew 76 percent last year, and we are spending more time on our phones than watching TV, brands have yet to completely embrace mobile advertising. That’s led to what Mary Meeker has called a $25 billion opportunity gap in mobile ads.
mHealth apps are becoming increasingly important in the fight against diabetes and complex patient engagement requirements of chronic disease management, says a new survey by Telcare, as providers attempt to provide patients with the tools they need to understand, prevent, or help manage the disease.
The majority of patients living with diabetes would like to take advantage of healthcare technology to help them manage the disease, including 65 percent of patients who want their providers to place more of an emphasis on mHealth and other health IT when developing a chronic disease management regimen.
his week brings insight on two very different issues relating to mobile health technology and use. One is the growing “bring your own device” movement within hospitals and care centers by the nursing population. The second is the fallibility of mobile communications infrastructure carrying all the messaging and data.
While both are very different in nature, they are topics worthy of review and consideration.
Most payments using the new Apple Pay system will be limited to £20 when it launches in the UK in July, the BBC understands.
Major UK banks, apart from Barclays, have announced they will offer the new system. So, too, will many retailers. Apple Pay allows owners of an iPhone 6 or an Apple watch to pay by touching their devices on contactless pads. But banks have told the BBC payments will be capped at £20, similar to existing contactless payments.
The limit on contactless debit and credit cards is due to rise to £30 in September.
Apple unveiled iOS 9 earlier this week with big improvements to Siri, multitasking on iPad, and an updated News app. While there’s many other additions, including a lowercase keyboard, one change that Apple didn’t highlight is the ability to block web ads in Safari. Apple engineer Ricky Mondello first revealed the change on Monday, and the company is planning to provide more details to developers tomorrow. iOS developers will be able to create extensions for Safari that block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other web content.
Messaging traffic will double by 2019, driven by over-the-top (OTT) services like WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk, but revenues from the messaging market will actually decline as more and more consumers adopt free services.
While messages will grow from 31 trillion to 100 trillion over the next four years, revenues will decline from $113.5bn (£74.3bn) in 2014 to £112.9bn in 2019, a reduction of around $600m.
The figures come from Juniper Research‘s latest forecasts into the mobile messaging market, which suggests that revenues made by OTT services will draw level with those from traditional SMS and MMS providers by 2019, with as little as one per cent separating them.
Only two companies have apps with over 1 billion Google Play downloads, and the other is Google. Today Facebook proved just how big a business replacing SMS can be, as its leader David Marcus announced Messenger has now been downloaded over 1 billion times on Android. It joins Facebook and WhatsApp, and Google’s Gmail, YouTube, Search, and Maps in this very exclusive club.
Messenger’s strategy of layering modern mobile sharing features over a speedy texting app has paid off, and it looks like Facebook’s just getting started. With VOIP, video calling, stickers, voice clips, peer-to-peer payments, location, and a whole platform of third-party content creation apps, Messenger wants to own every way you communicate. And it partially is for well over 600 million users.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.