News

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Twitterers: here we come to save the day!

m.twitter is down but do not despair! Go to http://mippin.com in your phone browser, click on mipplets at the bottom of the page and login to twitter here to keep tweeting!

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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

You hum it, I'll play it

Another from the Mippin search archives.

This user begins with a simple enough search time but then decides to be more descriptive in helping Mippin find the appropriate song by providing hum-a-long lyrics. All together now.....

poly midi ring tone - dil de diya dil de diya hai jan tume dege daga na karege


As ever I am impressed with the tenacity of some users to keep typing - surely T9 did not help here!

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Monday, 25 February 2008

Mippin now showing Video




Today we've released Video in Mippin. Any story containing flash video is now converted on the fly to 3gp which means it should work on nearly any phone. Is already proving so popular we're finding that by the time your average person gets there its already been converted.

To see the best video content look in the Video category at the bottom of the main mippin page.

Please see our press release and thanks for SMS text news for a great review already.

Friday, 22 February 2008

New blog feed

Basic Maths on Mobile Advertising Rates

I continue to be astonished by a number of (predominantly) large brands with mobile portals seeking to charge mobile CPMs of £25 or more. At these rates the Brand needs to be very confident of the brand value it will receive. If you were to undertake a campaign purely on a call to action basis you would really struggle to make such rates pay.

The chart below illustrates this point. If your business is selling ringtones to customers and assuming that you have a conversion rate of 25% i.e. 1 in 4 visitors to your site buy one, then at a CPM of £15, the host site would have to generate 10% clickthrough for you to acquire that customer for less than £1.



More typical mobile clickthrough rates at the moment are in the range of 0.5% to 3% with 1-1.5% being the norm. At such clickthrough rates, CPMs should be in the region of £2 to generate that paying customer at a cost less than £1.

Larger brands of course are not just looking for lead generation but also for brand value from a campaign - the premium for that brand value right now is significant at these higher CPMs.

All receivers of mobile advertising need to consider how they can best increase targeting and clickthrough for each campaign, else these CPMs really shall slide. The operators and other large scale brands at the moment are trying to set a price in the market which is to be applauded but this needs to provide value to the buyer. At the moment, it seems as though the squeeze on mobile inventory is being exploited a little too much.

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Thursday, 14 February 2008

Mippin Widget with Typepad

typepad.jpg

For all those Typepad users out there you can now mobilize your blog in an instant.

Just login to your Typepad account and go to the latest Widget in the typpad gallery at

http://www.sixapart.com/typepad/widgets/publishing-tools/mippin_blog_mob.html

The rest is automatic, you'll get the Mippit button on your blog and if you click on it on a PC you can see how to get on your phone. If you click on it from a phone you get your site. It's that simple.

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Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Picking up some loose threads

If you combine this story concerning the selection by T-Mobile of Yahoo! to power its searches from its portal with this story, stating how Nokia devices will include Google Search in addition to the deals already in place with Microsoft and Yahoo!, you reach some interesting conclusions.

That T-Mobile has opted for Yahoo! may seem something of a surprise given the Android love-in but it is an attempt by T-Mobile to diversify away from Google's influence, particularly given that the Web'n'Walk proposition was initially propped up by Google.

Nokia have already been working with Yahoo! and has extended its relationship with search partners to include Google. It has done this because too many customers were going outside the Nokia environment to make searches.

We'll return to this theme with some hard evidence later in the week, but while the focus of attention in the Microsoft pitch for Yahoo! has been to shine a light on the dominance of Google in the online space ( over 60% of all searches compared to less than 20% for the combined forces), we can definitely say that this is even more exaggerated in the mobile world.

The Nokia announcement I think sends a clear signal that it needs Google to feed its own ambitions. The T-Mobile announcement is interesting to follow - if it migrates completely away from Google I think a whole lot of its traffic will shift away from its portal and bookmark Google instead.

In both cases, the power of the internet brands is creating a healthy off operator portal awareness and activity - something we believe is healthy for the industry (and the operators themselves) in the long term.

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MWC

We'll give a low down on MWC in due course but I realise that the team took off and we forgot to tell you all that you can keep up to date with the show - whether you are there or not - through typing mippin.com/mwc into your phone browser. Or use the Firefox sidebar to keep up to date on your desktop.

For those of you that do not know what MWC is - that is probably a very healthy reflection of your lives - it is the mobile industry's annual shindig in Barcelona. Wall-to-wall networking and late night parties resulting in total exhaustion. Be glad you are not there but rejoice in Mippin bringing together the latest for you to review wherever and whenever you feel so inclined.

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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The Big Mo

As the Super Tuesday results come in everyone begins to wonder - "who has it? do they have it? do we have it?"

They are talking about the Big Mo -  momentum - who has generated enough of it to ensure that they secure the race for the biggest prize of all.

You see - we think.....  we hope ..... we have it. The progress of Mippin last year was extremely rewarding but your feedback, usage and recommendation of the service so far this year has been tremendous.

We have set record after record over the past couple of weeks and just this weekend surpassed 10m page views through Mippin - remember the clock started ticking only last October 8th.  We added nearly five million page views in the first five weeks of this year alone and are watching new daily records being set consistently through the week.

There are now over 7,500 sites available for you to browse and between us we are adding close to 500 per week.  (Some of you are already typing your favourite URLs into the search box to view your favourite content through Mippin - if you haven't tried it yet then give it a shot).

Thanks for your support and feedback to date. We launch another survey this week - asking you "what would be the one improvement you'd most like to make to Mippin?". We'll make sure that you'll see it in the very near future in the service. We'll have an announcement in a couple of weeks regarding an exciting upgrade to the service based on some feedback you gave us previously - so stay tuned.

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Friday, 1 February 2008

Further Observations on Mobile Search

Justin did a good post last time on Mobile Search and this week I found myself commenting on a post from Peggy-Ann Salz here, so I thought I'd pen some thoughts on our findings regarding mobile search and discovery.

The first thing to say is that these terms mean different things to different people depending on their objectives and that for observations on the relative merits of each system, one really does need to isolate from which perspective the observation is made.

Mippin itself interacts with these search and discovery engines in different ways:

(a) as a receiver of natural search traffic. Our universe is constantly being indexed by bots from search engine providers  and as a result our chances of being found by someone in response to a search on their phone is growing. In this regard much has been made of the immature way that Google's algorithm over-emphasizes the importance of web presence in its calculations - and this certainly is to our disadvantage - but the fact of the matter is we receive 30 times more traffic in this way from Google than the next best search engine (which is just Yahoo! but it changes by the week). If Yahoo!'s clickthrough rate is higher it really is immaterial at this point because for us it is the traffic that matters and we do not pay for this of course.

(b) the second element which is important to us is in paid for search terms in which we are returned as a link in response to a user query. We define a list and bid an amount for these terms. Justin may be able to shed more light on this in due course but again we find it very easy to drive momentum through Google and almost impossible to drive it through Yahoo! in any market. Again, clickthrough rate is irrelevant really (it is relevant for conversion as higher context means more effective acquisition but that is for another day) - as we pay only for what we see. In this category, AdMob also plays and is an effective distribution channel which is improving all of the time. Outside of the US, it is our empirical finding that Google is already driving more traffic here, though AdMob is a good and complementary second play. Yahoo! is not a player yet - or at least - Yahoo! has not been able to educate us sufficiently to be able to drive any meaningful traffic.

Much can be said on how Google and AdMob could improve visibility and reporting and I am happy to respond to any questions on this.

(c) A third way in which we interact with these engines is on the revenue side. We are integrated with both Google and AdMob to be able to ingest adverts from them and serve them to our users. On the positive side, it works and AdMob is our preferred partner currently because Google tends to serve up a lot of its own inventory to its other mobile services which gets a bit tedious for the user. On the downside, there is very little targeting capability in either engine but here I think we are at the forefront of what can be done and will always be in a position of trying to cajole the ad servers to be better.

Observations that AdMob's ad inventory mainly relates to mobile content suppliers is true - though a number of premium brands are beginning to use it - but to be a rounded discussion one should also point out that Google is certainly no better at this point.

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