A Brief Encounter (Part 2)
And hello again from the MMA Brand and Agency briefing at London's ICO. In the last post, we heard from Groupon's Nicolas Hantzsch, admitting that its mobile offering was, frankly, a bit weak, and then showing how it intends to address that.
Next up to the stage were GlobalWebIndex founder Tom Smith, and senior strategy director Brett Petersen. GlobalWebIndex performs research into multiplatform internet usage, and Smith and Petersen presented results from its 122,000 surveys between 2009 and 2011, taken from 27 markets around the world.
A common theme was Asia Pacific leading the way in terms of mobile web – and especially China, where 80 per cent of internet users are doing so via mobile. That's not so true of Japan, however, which sees a lower proportion of mobile web usage than the UK.
They also presented figures on OSs – which unsurprisingly found Android in the lead - but also showed that 20 per cent of smartphone users don't actually know what platform they're using.
Finally Miles Lewis, Shazam's vice president of advertising sales for the UK and Europe, took the mic, with a presentation entitled 'Empowerment of People via Connected Mobile Devices'. Lewis is a bit of a newbie, having worked at the company for only seven weeks, but he certainly seemed to know his stuff.
He started with the fact that Shazam is an 11-year old company – a revelation to me, at least – having started as a music identification service via the 2580 shortcode. The reason that's important is that, as Lewis revealed, it took 10 years for Shazam to reach its first billion songs identified – and just 10 months to get the second, as the speed of adoption accelerates.
The rest of his talk took up in a range of topics, from the power of music in marketing – with its ability to act as a memory trigger – and how it has always been a social medium, to TV ads. According to Lewis, the TV ad is still going strong, and in fact seeing a resurgence with YouTube rewatching, with 2.7bn ads viewed every day in the UK.
What ties those topics together, of course, is Shazam, as it enables users to recognise ads to get extra content, as in Pepsi's ad during the Superbowl. Lewis also discussed Shazam's place in TV ads' ability to put songs in the charts, and showed an example of second-screening from a US Red Bull snowboarding show, which could be Shazamed to access a second, boarder's-eye, camera view on viewers' mobiles.
The session closed with questions – including on last week's deal with ITV. Asked if he reckoned we were six months away from seeing the Shazam logo on every other ITV ad, Lewis confidently said he thought it wouldn't even take that long.
Rob Thurner of the MTA, our training division, put Groupon's Hantzash on the spot about issues of barriers to entry for retailers, in terms of buying device for staff to scan barcodes, and what the growth of NFC means for Groupon. Hantzash replied tartly, saying he takes the acronym to mean Not For Commerce, and that there's a reason Apple didn't put NFC functionality on the iPhone 4S.
Bold claims both – but most importantly, it gave the attendees an opportunity to try out our cool, UN-style desk mics.