Amobee, APAC telcos sign 'big data' mobile ad deal

Amobee, APAC telcos sign 'big data' mobile ad deal

Summary: [UPDATE] Philippines's Globe, Australia's Optus, Singapore's SingTel, and Indonesia's Telkomsel ink a deal to tap the mobile advertising vendor's Pulse platform, bringing "big data" capabilities to the mobile ad space.

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[UPDATE] SINGAPORE--Amobee has inked exclusive partnerships with four telcos in the Asia-Pacific region which can now tap its publisher-side mobile advertising platform to deliver targeted ads. 

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In a statement released Tuesday, the mobile advertising vendor said the Philippines' Globe Telecom, Australia's Optus, Singapore's SingTel (Singapore Telecommunications), and Indonesia's Telkomsel will use its mobile advertising platform, Pulse for Publishers, to deliver "most relevant, high-quality mobile advertising inventory to reach the fast-growing Asian market".

It added that Pulse for Publishers allows operators to "enhance mobile inventory with targetable user data", giving better results by reaching the right consumers, at the right time, in the right place, with the right offer.

Amobee CEO Trevor Healy said it offered big data capabilities to the mobile advertising space. 

SingTel's CEO of group digital life, Allen Lew, said in the statement consumers were increasingly turning to mobile to consume content and conduct research for their purchases. "Many of them are also warming up to targeted ads which reflect their interests, connections or locations. This makes the mobile space increasingly relevant for brands and advertisers," Lew noted. 

He added that Pulse would enable SingTel to extract insights from the vast amount of customer data it has, and deliver better personalized, more relevant and "non-intrusive" ads to its mobile customers.

Amobee was acquired by SingTel in March 2012 for US$321 million. The Singapore telco also owns stakes in the other three operators included in this partnership.

At a briefing here Tuesday, Healy told reporters the mobile advertising platform was also being implemented for Thailand's Advanced Info Service (AIS), an operator which SingTel also has a stake in.

Big data key in mobile advertising

According to Healy, big data gathered by telcos is a very important piece in mobile advertising. With more data, advertisers will be able to target specific audience and reduce ad wastage, he said.

He added that based on mined data from telcos, Amobee offers about 20 different customer categories from which advertisers can choose. These categories include the "social butterfly" who goes out and interacts with friends, business traveler, domestic traveler, luxury buyer, "shopaholic", "sports junkie", and "cocooner" who prefers staying at home.

Prior to the acquisition by SingTel, Amobee did not have such detailed information on mobile users and their daily habits. Healy said monetizing big data through mobile advertising was a "big synergy point" for Amobee and SingTel.

He is forecasting the Asia-Pacific mobile advertising business to grow at 300 percent in 2013. For Amobee, the region  will become its biggest market by year-end, accounting for 40 percent of its total revenue. In early-2012, Asia-Pacific contributed only about 10 percent of the company's overall revenue, but this grew to 18 to 20 percent by end-2012, he shared.

Core markets in Asia-Pacific for Amobee include Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Healy said the company is also eyeing Japan and China and recently set up offices in these two markets. However, he noted that Amobee will needs to better understand the two East Asian markets before expanding its business there.

While smartphone advertising currently make up 65 to 70 percent of the company's revenue, Healy said feature phone advertising is also effective as users are happy to receive short message advertising, too. Taking the Philippines as an example, he said text messaging is a popular communication tool as users spend many hours commuting and send text messages to their friends en route to their destination.

Healy shared that Amobee's clients in Asia-Pacific include advertisers from the west looking to reach consumers in this region, as well as local conglomerates and companies. While it had started out as a mobile advertising firm, Amobee has since expanded into other advertising venues such as interactive outdoor display boards, e-mail, display boards, and tablets, he added.

Topics: Telcos, Mobile OS, Singapore, Australia

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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