Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Amobee gets new funding

Another interesting news is that Amobee got some new money, along with a strategic partnership, from Telefonica. Vodafone is another mobile carrier that has invested in Amobee. Amobee focuses on mobile advertising and got its start in mobile in-game advertising. Unlike the other companies in the space like Greystripe and Hovr, Amobee focuses on the carrier channel. It wants to convince mobile carriers to complement some of their premium downloadable mobile games with ad-supported or subsidized games.

I certainly see the potential of mobile advertising and mobile in-game advertising but I also have some reservations because of the consumer data I have in hand. I'm busy crunching data for my upcoming mobile gaming report titled The New Frontier: Portable and Mobile gaming. What I found is that a fairly large percentage of mobile users don't want advertising on their mobile phones, period. Further, heavy mobile gamers and mobile gamers who are already paying for their downloads are more interested in ad-supported free mobile games. Therefore, if mobile carriers want to use ad-supported mobile games to attract new gamers to the market, it won't be an easy task. They'll need to educate the market about the availability of such games first, and the mobile phone deck is not the ideal place. Carriers will have to leverage online channels, which provides higher visibility for such games. Also, in order to not cannibalize potential revenue from game downloads, they'll have to differentiate the premium offerings from ad-supported content through windowing or other tactics. Amobee's approach, subsidizing the game instead of making games totally free, is another alternative.

Those are just some quick thoughts and now I'll need to switch my focus to the Discovery channel, which is showing another episode of "Rise of the Video Game". What a great program!

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