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Voda, Telefonica invest in mobile ad firm

Mobile advertising platform Amobee Media Systems announced Wednesday that UK operator Vodafone and Spanish operator Telefonica have both made a minority investment in the company.

The two carriers join Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Globespan in funding the ad firm.

Amobee launched its first live consumer trial in March 2006 and has now several commercial operator launches including Vodafone in Greece, Czech Republic and Spain.

Vodafone is making a big mobile advertising push across its international footprint, forming dedicated teams at its local subsidiaries and striking partnerships with specialised agencies and contractors.

More recently, the initiative reached Australian shores, where Vodafone’s local operating company expects to make A$10m from mobile advertising in the current financial year, A$30m next year and A$100m the year after next, according to David Green, Vodafone Australia’s general manager of mobile advertising.

“Vodafone believes it [mobile advertising] is going to be the next big thing,” Green said. “It is a big group initiative for Vodafone – a huge play.”

According to Informa Telecoms & Media, worldwide mobile advertising will rise to $11.35bn in 2011.

“Mobile internet is fast emerging as a mainstream information, entertainment and transaction source for people on the move. We see a tremendous opportunity for brands to target segments that traditional media reach less efficiently and help them run truly integrated communication campaigns,” said Frank Boulben, Vodafone’s director of Strategic marketing & Communication Planning.


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