In fact, the mass unleashing of digital content and services in manageable smartphone-size chunks, suited to people's lifestyle and delivered in a timely fashion on demand -- has created an apparent overnight sensation in the advertising business itself.
Moreover, what was really just an instinctive feeling a couple of years ago, has become a gargantuan upslope on most recent analyst’s charts, that look to reflect a fundamental shift toward the top right hand corner, as to where ad dollars are increasingly being spent. InternetQ has posted insight on these numbers before, and, we can safely say at least USD$50 billion of mobile ad revenue is actually headed in our industry’s direction over the next three years.
In this regard, probably the best news is that the specific type of mobile advertising campaigns we run at Int ernetQ, are not likely to suffer the vagaries of the somewhat declining display ad business models, and in-app campaigns can naturally side-step ad blocking matters – and equally importantly, avoid the pitfalls of bot-related fraud. In reality, when you are paid on “performance”, with KPIs agreed in advance, the outcome is clear, both for you and for your clients.
This positive uplift has just been reflected in the numbers that InternetQ posted in its recent trading update for the six months ended 30 June 2015. InternetQ achieved continued growth across all business divisions during the first half of the year – and revenue increased to €72 million, marking a 10% year-on-year revenue improvement!
These revenues were mainly fuelled by growth at Minimob, have effectively displaced the legacy messaging-related marketing business. Adjusted EBITDA increased by approximately 35%, against the comparable period, to over €13 million; noticeably reflecting higher margins in Minimob. Increased traction arose for Minimob with new contracts secured with global brands, including Delivery Hero, a Rocket-Internet food-ordering service; Lazada, Southeast Asia's number one online shopping and e-commerce platform; and Bravofly, a flight search engine. Altogether, over 15,000 new performance-based ad campaigns ran through Minimob.
Panagiotis Dimitropoulos, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of InternetQ, said: “I am pleased to report increased revenue and EBITDA on the prior year across both the B2B and B2C business divisions. Our investment in improving the functionality of the Minimob platform is paying off, with significant growth in app campaigns and the attraction of new global clients. As such, the Company remains confident for full year results to be in line with market expectations.”
Akazoo presently has more than one million paying subscribers, mainly in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia – and has partnered with some of the World’s biggest handset and Telco brands. Even becoming the most heavily streamed ‘local’ music service in Malaysia in 2014.
Launching the enhanced Akazoo entity with a compelling new ingestion of patented personalisation and recommendation technology from industry-leading UK Company R&R Music – it also comes replete with some $17 million Euros in additional funding from a consortium (led by renowned tech investors) Toscafund Asset Management and Penta Capital.
The cash investment itself will be used to grow Akazoo's operations and footprint and expand the new entity's proposition across new verticals, and distribution partnerships through the continued development of the Akazoo platform and R&R Music's unique technologies.
These combine patented algorithms, behavioural science, expertise with social media, and human curation to create a highly innovative profiling and recommendation engine and boasts a range of unique and compelling products and services for music fans, artists, businesses and brands.
The newly emboldened Akazoo unit can take full strategic advantage of the sky-rocketing demand for content streaming and related services globally, as well as the recent successes of Akazoo in penetrating blue-chip customers and its large, attractive geographies.
The market landscape has changed significantly in the past year-or-so and the resources being brought to bear by digital giants such as Apple Music, Google and pioneers such as Spotify, mean that the global thirst for streaming services is being boosted exponentially.
Yet, the challenge for brand marketers today in various vertical industries who are looking to associate with any music proposition; is that despite this overwhelming consumer desire – there are sizeable difficulties and limitations that arise when contemplating having an association with such globally powerful, eponymous services.
As such, there needs to be much more in the way of innovation, in order to provide the opportunity for brands and Telco partners to leverage this evolving consumer taste. This innovative approach is therefore best served by more independent and adaptable platforms.
The tremendous flexibility of the Akazoo platform, now combined with state-of-the-art algorithms for music expression (which can be served-up unobtrusively in line with sponsored outcomes) means the perfect sound wave has been created. The explosive growth in streaming is truly headed for the stars.
The stats say it, the analysts say it – at one point in time, everybody in the Telco business had said it, and now Google demands it; so the oft-satirised ‘Year of Mobile’ has somehow smashed into us with a vengeance!
Companies like InternetQ PLC, that have been at the forefront of mobile services development almost since 2000, have been patiently and steadily, building solutions for a mobile marketing-led economy for fifteen years – and can rather look on wistfully at such a dramatic structural change to the ‘Internet’ and say, “welcome”.
But more than this, the absolute deluge of activity in the smartphone boosted environment is leading some people to say the smart device is having a more profound effect on the global economy than the “Industrial Revolution”. An interesting metaphor, but one that captures the enormous step change taking place in both enterprise and consumer buying behaviour.
All activity is Mobile-related and all the money is shifting to mobile in a hurry. Take for instance the recent post on the mobile advertising industry crashing through the US$100 billion mark. This reflects the media analytics slides that Mary Meeker has been talking to for the past five years – and where we see the sheer weight of dollars that are being pushed into mobile advertising. In short, mobile ad spend in 2011 landing at USD$1.6 billion and then rising meteorically to US$13b in 2014.
Whichever report you read and extrapolate, the logic is compelling, more than 12 billion dollars has shifted into mobile (from online) spending in the US alone – and between now and 2018; around $50 billion is slated to convert in the same way. It’s a huge gush of cash going directly into our business sector – and we look forward to the tides rising higher as performance-based advertising leapfrogs all other forms of display advertising.
The numbers are quite staggering and will have an important impact on InternetQ's future as a company – given it supports so many mobile advertising campaigns worldwide. So, anyway, don’t forget the popcorn, because ‘mobileAdgeddon’ is the sequel that’s coming soon!