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Mobile Media Intelligence Service

With a focus on the economics of mobile content and services, Mobile Media Intelligence, provides must have analysis of the business models that are transforming the digital world, including apps, app stores, messaging, games, music and video. This includes the value-added service strategies of operators and smartphone makers, plus over-the-top start-ups and established media companies. The service offers both global trends and market data for 48 countries.

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Sesame Workshop launches new SVOD service, Sesame GO

Sesame Workshop, the organization behind Sesame Street, is bringing the classic children’s show and other shows like Pinky Dinky Doo online through a new video on demand service, called Sesame GO, which will be available on Mac and PC, tablet, and mobile devices. The new SVOD service is powered by Kaltura Media GO OTT Solution.

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Vodafone launches M-Pesa in Romania

Vodafone has launched its mobile payments service M-Pesa in Romania. • Customers will be able to transfer between RON1 (USD0.31) and RON30,0000. • The service can be activated in 300 stores initially and Vodafone claims it will covering 6 million subscribers, growing to 2,000 points of presence by end-2014. Following international expansion M-Pesa now has 16.8 million customers in Kenya, Egypt, India, Lestho, and Mozambique. Vodafone will view M-Pesa’s launch in Romania as a trial for further deployments across emerging European economies. Vodafone will continue to aim expansion of M-Pesa at emerging economies where penetration of banking services are low; in Romania Vodafone estimates that 35% of the population does not use banking services.

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With Android Wear, Google kickstarts its wearable portfolio using its smartphone developer base

Android Wear is a new version of Android aimed at wearable devices. LG and Motorola will be among the first to launch smartwatches for the platform. Google is already seeding the market with an app development kit for Android Wear. Shrewdly, Google is leveraging Google Now as a key part of its wearable content and services. Unlike other wearable device makers, Google is able to leverage its extensive search capabilities which already provides bite-sized contextual content to Android smartphone owners.

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Vodafone acquires Spanish cable operator Ono

Vodafone has enhanced its Spanish multiplay capabilities with a EUR7.2 billion acquisition of cable operator Ono.

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Flush with the success of Candy Crush Saga, King files for IPO

Game operator King has filed for its initial public offering (NYSE, ticker ‘KING’). The past year has seen the company achieve ski-ramp growth across both Facebook and mobile, its monthly active userbase (MAUs) increasing from 67m to 408m, between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013. For that year, it posted profits of $568m on $1.88bn in revenue. Its key title, Candy Crush Saga, attracts 93m daily active users and generates 78% of revenue. Its IPO will consist of 22.2m shares, priced between $21 and $24, potentially valuing King at an upper bound of over $7bn.

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Bouygues to conditionally sell its mobile infrastructure to Free

Bouygues has confirmed it has made an offer to conditionally sell its mobile infrastructure to Free.

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Spotify acquires The Echo Nest

Spotify, one of the world’s leading music streaming services, has acquired The Echo Nest, the music metadata service that provides recommendations, audience and audio analysis.

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Facebook blocks competitive threat with WhatsApp buy

Facebook has acquired leading mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $19bn, of which $3bn will be paid to WhatsApp employees... ... The acquisition of WhatsApp helps Facebook neutralise a competitive threat. To understand Facebook's rationale, the focus must be on the cost of Facebook not buying WhatsApp rather than the price Facebook paid for WhatsApp. Facebook could not risk WhatsApp’s 450m monthly and 315m daily active users falling into the hands of a competitor, such as Google.

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Consumers spend $57bn on Digital Games, Movies, and Apps - IHS & App Annie Digital Content Report

IHS Technology is partnering with app industry analytics specialists App Annie to produce a report analysing trends in the digital games, movies, music, and apps industries globally and in seven key countries: USA, UK, Japan, South Korea, Japan, Russia, France and Germany. Overall digital games, movies, and app spend was up 30% in 2013 reaching $57bn globally.

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Rakuten expands into communications with $900m acquisition of Viber

Leading Japanese online retailer, e-commerce and content company Rakuten has acquired messaging and communication app provider Viber Media in a deal worth $900m. ... Acquiring Viber helps Rakuten expand its global footprint, but monetisation still presents a longer term challenge as it will need to work hard to find a way to integrate content services within the app.

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Mobile Media