Page 1

2009

AWARDS

The Finalists

Thursday, October 1st 2009, The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8


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© 2009, The Nielsen Company


2009

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

CONTENTS WHEN you turn on the TV and every other ad is for a mobile handset promising video, widgets, games, music and browsing, it’s tempting to shout “we’ve been predicting this for years!”. Yes, the wider world has cottoned on to mobile content at last. What a shame it had to do so during a huge economic slowdown. Mind you, we seem to be weathering it well so far. I’m still seeing the same energy and technical innovation as I did when we launched ME in March 2005. And it’s evident among the hundred admirable companies shortlisted for this year’s ME Awards. In this guide, we profile them all. Again, it was a struggle choosing from hundreds of entries. Now, our panel of 400 judges has to find the winners. Eek! Good luck to them, and to the entrants – and see you in London in October. Tim Green Executive Editor Mobile Entertainment

THE CATEGORIES DEVELOPMENT & PUBLISHING Best Gambling Company Best Adult Company Best D2C Company Best Games Developer Best Games Publisher Best Music Label Best Video Company Best Social Media Company

05 05 06 06 08 08 09 09

SERVICES Best Video & TV Service Provider Best Games Service Provider Best Music Service Provider Best Transactions Provider Best Mobile Publishing Platform Best Search & Location Company Best Marketing & Advertising Company Best App Store

11 11 11 12 12 12 14 14

The ME Awards Thursday, October 1st 2009 The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8 Tickets: £295 per seat, £2,750 for a table (prices plus VAT)

OPERATORS & HANDSETS Best Handset Company Best Operator

15 15

Please contact Jodie.Holdway@bhpr.co.uk or +44 (0) 1462 456780

SPECIAL AWARD Outstanding contribution to mobile entertainment 15

Silver Partner

Exclusive Operator Award Partner

Exclusive Drinks Reception Partner

Exclusive Games Publisher Award Partner

Exclusive Best Social Media Company Award Partner

ME AWARDS 2009 03


BEST ADULT COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

PROBABILITY

WAAT MEDIA

2009

BEST GAMBLING COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLISHING

BEST GAMBLING COMPANY

BEST ADULT COMPANY

Gamesys

A3 Media Network

The owner of the Jackpotjoy brand entered mobile in 2008 and has developed six games, with more on the way. The repertoire, which includes a game based on Endemol’s Deal or No Deal, was developed using Rapid Mobile Media’s ‘ThinkPhone’ technology. Gamesys focuses on high-end devices that can replicate the online experience, and enables the sharing of jackpots between the web and mobile. It says the Deal or No Deal jackpots have been among the industry's largest.

US-based A3 (formerly Brickhouse Mobile) mobilises content for adult entertainment giants including Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Club Jenna and more than 80 others. It grew on the strength of personalisation products, but has evolved to embrace richer content such as video, streaming TV, applications and WAP sites. It also provides age verification, content aggregation, and storefront management to 110 carriers in 40 countries. And it’s done it all from the mobile adult-phobic US.

Cellectivity

Cherry Media

Cellectivity remains a key broker for any company wishing to establish gambling services on UK operator portals, managing content, integration, reporting and pay-outs. It also operates Bet2Go, an app that enables users to receive odds from the UK’s six top bookmakers, plus Java-based apps PartyCasino and PartyPoker. Bet2Go was updated in June 2008 to let the punter construct multiple or accumulator bets.

No sign of the mobile adult space losing its Cherry. It would be unthinkable given the profile of Cherry Media and its cheery boss Julia Dimambro. In a competitive marketplace dominated by large public companies, it continues to thrive. In the last 12 months it has launched an affiliate programme, email marketing services and more – and signed 26 new distribution deals as a result. Cherry Media content is now available on more than 65 operator decks across mutliple continents.

Probability Last year's winner is one of the original pioneers of the space and is making real money. It grossed around £5m in 2008, an increase of 60 per cent on 2007. And it has around 400,000 customers. In a busy year, Probability pre-installed links to its LadyLuck's service on 3 UK handsets, launched games themed around The Italian Job, Grease, The X Factor and more. It also signed deals with Mfuse and NextGen to improve distribution and game technology.

Katina Leisure This UK company attracted a lot of attention when it ported the affiliate model from the online adult business to mobile. The resultant programme offers up to 90 per cent revenue share pay-outs, no set-up fees, and no running costs. Partners market their own sites and are invited to promote Katina’s Raw Mobile adult and glamour content or white label versions of it. They offer over 1,000 unique billable events across all formats. With 11 different promotional methods, numerous brands have already committed.

Spin3 Two time ME Awards winner Spin3 maintained its progress in the last 12 months with a focus on browser-based gaming. By going web-based it was able to launch play-for-real casino games for the iPhone, which generated 25 per cent of one client's revenue in May. In 2009, Spin3 launched its Partner Program. This alternative to ‘pay-per-download’ delivers revenues throughout the lifetime of any player introduced. Spin3's year was also distinguished by becoming the first gambling company to use Vodafone WAP billing.

Netplay NetPlay TV is the UK’s largest interactive TV gaming company, enabling people to play on TV, online and mobile. In mobile, it has focused on casino play, developing a trusted system that lets a large number of players participate simultaneously. The technology replicated the TV experience even on low-end handsets, and lets those watching the TV show see which players are betting via mobile. Users can even send messages to the TV presenter from within the mobile application.

Mobile Streams This veteran UK content aggregator has been through a few changes, but seems to be warming to its new role as a distributor of adult content with a vast global footprint. The firm keeps adding new licensors (recent deals include Maxim and Adult Fantasy), but has also renewed its focus on its own D2C sites, launching Porncasa.mobi this summer alongside mobileBilly.com, mobileAdults.com, prontube.mobi and mobileBikinis.com.

Private Media The Spain-based adult brand is arguably more serious about mobile than any of its big-name counterparts. Private claims to be the most distributed adult brand on mobile with over 85 operator agreements in 36 countries. It has achieved this with carefully chosen distribution via 1633 Publishing, Mobile Streams, Waat and others. When we reported Private's free content giveaway on its iPhone site, it was ME's most visited online news story. Quel surprise.

ME AWARDS 2009 05


2009

BEST D2C COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

BEST GAMES DEVELOPER LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

ZED

IDEAWORKS3D

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLISHING

BEST D2C COMPANY

BEST GAMES DEVELOPER

Neomobile

Firemint

The Italian company focused on home for its first two years, becoming market leader. But from 2006, it launched the Dito Mito brand in Turkey, and then bought Arena Mobile to give it instant footprint in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. Neomobile's USP is to package bundles based on personalisation, infotainment, games and apps based around the specific interests of targeted users. In 2009, it added an app store in association with Mobango. Turnover in 2008 was €35 million, up 40 per cent on 2007.

This Aussie developer has emerged as one of the world's premier iPhone specialists. Flight Control was the App Store's sleeper hit of 2009, a top ten paid app in 20 different countries that sold one million. Meanwhile realistic racing game Real Racing scooped all the critical plaudits. It scored an average 9.33 out of 10 from six independent reviews.

Hungama India's mobile content colossus bestrides its home country like an ancient king in a Bollywood film. Quite apposite really, given that Hungama holds exclusive rights to over 70 per cent of all Bollywood content, which it sells in over 30 countries. However, the firm works its content hard, using DVD sleeves, posters and TV to maximise exposure. It's even experimenting with MP3s and other rich content, ready for 3G to arrive in India.

PlayPhone Another fantastic year for PlayPhone, now present in over 25 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company was a stream of constant innovation announcing the enabling of credit card billing in the US and a 'store on an app' for Android Market. Meanwhile, it expanded into content management for third parties – taking over the NTELOS content offering and launching a Wireless Retailer Program to promote good content retailing.

TIM w.e. This Portuguese company casts a huge shadow across the world – especially Latin countries and emerging regions with its D2C service Natta! and the community/dating oriented Solemio. In seven years, the firm has forged connections with around 200 operators in 60 countries, opened 18 local offices and today employees 325 people. TIM w.e. ended 2008 with €123m turnover. Its 2009 target is Africa and other developing mobile economies.

Flycell Flycell has Italian roots and operates worldwide, but has truly accelerated in the US, where it is now based. It runs a classic D2C business, selling mostly personalisation products via slick marketing to younger people. However, Flycell did revamp its offering with Flycell 2.0 in 2007 to embrace richer content such as MP3 tracks pitched at slightly older consumers. Either way, the firm generated $23 million in 1Q 2009 – up 60 per cent year on year. It was the most successful in the company’s four year history, bucking the D2C trend.

06 ME AWARDS 2009

Gamelion Polish/Finnish developer Gamelion is a multiplatform specialist with a strong emphasis on casual gaming. Its recent output includes an iPhone version of Dr. Kawashima Brain Exercise (for Namco), iPod Tiger Woods (for EA Mobile) and LocoRoco Hi (a Java game for Sony Pictures TV). Gamelion also self-develops games for its Gloal franchise and offers tech services via sister company BTL Stream.

Digital Chocolate Digichoc is a two time ME Award winner that is still innovating after more than 60 games released. Its new focus is ‘OmniMedia’, a crystallisation of the casual strategy it's been evangelising since launch. It comprises original IP, viral discovery and multiformat development (phones, consoles, social networks). As evidence of its potential, DChoc points to one million installs of Tower Bloxx on Facebook.

Mr Goodliving Founded in 1999, Mr Goodliving has been there from the start. Its Playman sports games have sold over three million copies, and it's worked on premium titles such as Trivial Pursuit. In 2009, Mr Goodliving games received on average 8.4 in reviews and one of them, Tropical Towers, scooped the ‘Best Casual Game’ award at the 2009 IMGA Awards. It is one of the top 20 all-time most downloaded iPhone games.

Fishlabs Although a veteran developer, Fishlabs is a flagwaver for new formats – notably iPhone. It's made 23 games, including headline-grabbers like Star Wars Imperial Ace 3D, and developed a games engine called Abyss. In 2009 it eschewed the Java/operator model and committed to iPhone. Its big release was Galaxy on Fire 2, made available for free with paid-for levels unlockable using 'myFISHLABS' credits.

Dynamic Pixels This Russian firm is nominated thanks to the success of its micropayment-based titles. It built a user base of 1.4 million for the AquaPhone games, which are given away free but monetised when users buy credits for gameplay using PSMS. Dynamic Pixels claims to have grossed over $1 million even after operator shares have been deducted. Another micropayment game, Wireless Tanks, has now shipped.


2009

BEST GAMES PUBLISHER LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

BEST MUSIC LABEL LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

EA MOBILE

SONY BMG

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLISHING

BEST GAMES PUBLISHER

Games Publisher Award Partner

BEST MUSIC LABEL

Gameloft

Ministry of Sound

Fashions come and go, but mobile gaming without Gameloft remains unthinkable. Gameloft has deals with ABC, Ferrari and dozens more, but owns hit titles such as Block Breaker Deluxe and Ray-Man. The huge output (300 games so far) employs 3,300 developers in 12 countries. Interestingly, Gameloft moved smartly into iPhone, with 45 games on iTunes to date. It's rarely out of the top 20.

The dance label has always been keen on apps, doing its best with what Java had to offer. It was a natural fit with iPhone, therefore, and intevitably put out the Clubbers Guide To Ibiza and then Dance Radio, enabling fans to live stream Ministry of Sound Radio and search 20,000 other stations from around the globe. The firm’s former mobile front man Patrick Hagenaar did his own bit of PR for the label when he became the first DJ to play a set on two mobile phones at the Ministry club in London.

Glu After a transitional phase, Glu posted revenue of $21.6m in 4Q 2009, up 19 per cent year-on-year. Shortly after, it revealed that 30 to 40 per cent of its output is for smartphones. Glu remains a favoured partner of big-name publishers – it signed a five title deal with Activision in 2008 – but has also begun seeking out casual content such as Doggie Dash, developed by online specialist PlayFirst.

EA Mobile Not the best year for the parent company, but EA Mobile is flourishing. It generated revenue of $189 million in FY2009, up 24 per cent year-on-year. For all the sure-thing status of Tiger Woods, The Sims et al, EA moved nimbly into casual and iPhone. Indeed, it confirmed the launch of a dedicated unit that will make 99 cent games for Apple’s platform and will aim to produce at least one title a month.

Ngmoco Founded by former EA execs as a pure iPhone publisher, Ngmoco bagged VC funding to develop seven games. – each made by teams of one to three in weeks. Ngmoco comes up with concepts internally – Rolando, Topple, Word Fu – and then finds developers to finesse them. Its back-end system manages in-game ads, friend lists, referalls, push notifications, in-game currency and more.

Connect2Media This UK firm emerged to snap up what was the Hands-On business in Europe, and then bought Israel's RayFusion to extend its footprint across the Middle East. It quickly grabbed new partners including BlackBerry specialist Magmic, then handpicked some intriguing casual content such as web phenomenon Tumblebugs, which has had 35 million downloads online. It also developed in-house titles including Go! Go! Rescue Squad.

Namco The Japanese firm could just let the Pac-Man royalties flood in, but in 2008/9 it upped its game, targeting European OEMs and D2C, while boosting handset coverage. It also exploited its arcade heritage on App Store with 'remixes' of classic games, while publishing eye-catching IP such as X Factor. In order to target new demographics it launched Pac-Man and Dig Dug on Facebook.

08 ME AWARDS 2009

Universal Universal is the biggest music label and in some ways the boldest. In 2008 it saw the launch of Nokia's revolutionary Comes With Music service, a project that went live with all label backing, but which it backed first. While the trade waits to gauge the success of Comes With Music, Universal made headlines again as the major label supporter of Virgin Media's unlimited DRM-free MP3 downloads service. This would have been unthinkable just 18 months ago.

UrbanWorld Wireless The hip hop label started as a newsletter, grew during the ringtone era (its ‘pimptone’ by the comedian Katt Williams went triple platinum) and is now a flourishing multimedia empire, with its own digital music label, udubmusic. The firm also operates what it calls the world's first hip hop mobile storefont. Ironically, the ringtone squeeze has turned UrbanWorld back to the potential of its news service, which is now an ad-funded app live on the Apple App Store as udub news.

Sony Music Sony's intriguing JV with Dada to develop and sell communitybased mobile music and DRM-free tracks – Dada Entertainment – accelerated in the summer. After an equity deal, Sony Music broadened its artist and product availability through the site, and pledged to expand into new territories. Elsewhere, the firm experimented with new digital music formats, announcing a partnership with EpicTilt to release the TapStar rhythm game for iPhone. The game invites users to tap along with artists like Britney Spears.


BEST SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

SKY

FLIRTOMATIC

2009

BEST VIDEO COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLISHING

BEST VIDEO COMPANY Fun Little Movies Still little, still funny, FLM remains is the most enduring and engaging of original mobile video producers. The firm is defined by its CEO Frank Chindamo, himself a comedy writer and deeply amusing man. In five years, FLM has scooped 22 awards, including the 2009 Mofilm Grand Prize for Turbo Dates: English as a Second Language. It's made and acquired 2,000 films, which it distributes across multiple operator channels and portals including Sprint, MSN iPhone, and Ovi.

Orange France In 2008, Orange France launched Orange Cinema as the world’s first TV service available on – and transferable between – TV, PC and mobile. It comprises five channels offering more than 1,200 films, 1,000 hours of TV, 200 documentaries and 300 hours of children’s series. Features include catch-up and rewind TV and VOD. Orange cinema series (and its sister Orange sport) have gathered over 365,000 subscribers, 97 per cent of whom were new to premium TV.

Sky It's probably unsurprising that Sky displayed all the nous it used to dominate pay-TV to gain a vice-like grip on mobile. The firm offers live TV through all UK operators (except O2) and its made-for-mobile clips – such as 24-7 Football – are ubiquitous. In the last year, Sky also moved to take more direct control of its activities, hosting broadcasts and managing ad inventory even when offered through an operator portal. It also launched an app that lets subscribers set up Sky+ recordings remotely using an iPhone.

Mofilm Short mobile movies have a much better chance of being seen now that Mofilm exists. The company aggregates the best work and takes it to operators, D2C portals and Mobile World Congress, at which it hosts a glitzy annual showpiece event. In 2009, over a thousand people watched Kevin Spacey host the MWC awards event. In the summer, Mofilm evangelised mobile movies to major brands by holding the ‘You to the Power of 12’ competition at Cannes Lions 2009.

BBC Yes, it has publisc funding through the licence fee. No, it doesn’t have commercial constraints. But no one would deny the fabulousness of the iPlayer streaming service and what it’s done to promote the viewing experience on mobile formats. iPlayer lets audiences view 400 hours of BBC TV and radio up to seven days after transmission. Now, three per cent of all iPlayer traffic now comes from iPhone or iPod Touch. The Beeb has also added video to its mobile website, which attracts 3.4 million UK visitors a month.

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY

Social Media Company Award Partner

Mocospace If Mocospace wants to be the Facebook of mobile in the US, it’s going the right way about it. The mobileonly community has over seven million registered users generating over 2.1 billion pages per month. It adds 16,000 new users per day – all off-portal and mostly by word of mouth. Having built its ad-funded network, Mocospace is starting to get more ambitious. It recently agreed to put a Mocospace bookmark on the Skyfire browser, and is working with labels to break new music on the community.

Buongiorno Buongiorno launched its peoplesound social network in April 2009 for web, wap, Java and iPhone. It enables users to communicate with their 20 closest contacts using free SMS. Soon after, the basic micro blogging experience was updated to permit the sharing of pics, photos, videos and links to mp3 files. The ultimate objective of peoplesound is to become a social marketplace for digital content, hosting free and premium channels monetised through the firm’s connections into operator billing platforms.

Flirtomatic This garlanded company won the award last year, and is still innovating around a service that makes real money from 1.2 million users. Flirtomatic is a forum for flirting between members that offers premium content to buy using ‘Flirt Points’. These can be virtual and real gifts, revealing which users have rated your profile, erasing poor ratings and more. Flirtomatic has even launched a ‘flirt words’ programme for brands to buy keywords. ARPU is now over $10 per month.

GoFresh GoFresh’s itsmy.com community has more than 2.5 million registered users across five million pages containing 10 million UGC items. These sites even permit personal mobile TV broadcasting. The firm has also launched the itsmy.biz ad network to make its inventory available to brands. It’s now enriching its offer with the opening of an in-house division dedicated to social browser games. The first trial of three such titles generated more than five million played mini games in three months.

BuzzCity Across Asia, BuzzCity's myGamma community is a veritable phenomenon with 3.2 million members across multiple countries. The site lets users chat, blog and share, while Buzz City makes money from micropayments made with MyGamma dollars. It has also built a lucrative ad network across its UGC sites and 2,000 publisher pages. Like many online communities, Buzz City has opened its API to third party developers to integrate their apps.

ME AWARDS 2009 09


MAKING MOBILE WORK (beautifully)

emea.playphone.com


MUSIC SERVICE PROVIDER LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

QUICKPLAY

SHAZAM

SELATRA

2009

VIDEO & TV SERVICE PROVIDER GAMES SERVICE PROVIDER LAST YEAR’S WINNER: LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

SERVICES

BEST VIDEO & TV SERVICE PROVIDER

BEST GAMES SERVICE PROVIDER

BEST MUSIC SERVICE PROVIDER

Saffron Digital

Partnertrans

Shazam

This UK-based company made a name for itself this year by inking major agreements with Sony Ericsson and Sky. The UK pay TV giant is using Saffron’s technology to to deliver its 24-7Football service to the likes of T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2. The company is also powering Sony Ericsson’s all you can eat PlayNow Arena Movies store.

This specialist handles translation, voice recordings, linguistic quality assurance and language specific content creation for a host of publishers. In January Partnertrans opened up a new UK office to complement its German operation, and is working with the IGDA Localization SIG and with the German G.A.M.E association on several industry initiatives.

In less than a year since it launched, Shazam is the fifth most popular application in the Apple App Store, having been downloaded by over seven million iPhone users worldwide and used to identify over 185 million tracks. On average, there have been 25 ‘Tags’ per user, with an eight per cent conversion rate from tagging a song to purchasing the full-track and associated products. Shazam’s app is also available for BlackBerry and Android handsets.

Mobix Mobix’s Adrenalin system serves up mobile video in several forms – from ad-funded to ad-supported to premium. Earlier this year the company entered a long-term relationship with 3 UK, for which it powers the 3-on-demand service. This delivers full-length content, including South Park and The Hills, that can be paused and resumed at will.

QuickPlay Media In April, QuickPlay announced PrimeTime2Go, a premium mobile TV service offering access to full episodes of popular programs from leading networks and cable providers including ABC, CBS, MTVN, NBC and ESPN. PrimeTime2Go is currently available in the US via the BlackBerry App World storefront. Subscribers can pause a programme, exit the app (to answer calls, etc) and then resume.

Mplayit Mplayit offers a widget platform that powers mobile ‘arcades’, using web browser-based technology. The stores enable users to download Java game demos and tell their friends – whether on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace – with a single click. The solution is being used by AT&T, Sprint, Electronic Arts, Gameloft and Glu among others.

Accumulate Accumulate UK was founded by mobile games veterans to bridge a perceived ‘gap’ between playing and paying customers. Its flagship service, Flexion, enables what the company calls innovative retailing and pricing models. Accumulate now has deals in place with O2 UK, 3 UK, Orange Global and Sony Ericsson.

Mobiclip

Metaflow

Mobiclip's white label solution was first deployed for the news channel France 24. The France 24 Live app offers three live TV channels and several podcasts for Symbian, Windows Mobile and iPhone and was the first app to offer live 3G TV for Apple's device. In April, a Mobiclip-powered MTV application offering four live TV channels was launched in France on the iPhone. Mobilclip apps have to date generated 600,000 downloads across all platforms.

Publishers including EA Gameloft, Glu Mobile, NamcoBandai, Fox Mobile and THQ use Metaflow software to collectively prepare over 750,000 mobile game SKUs for 350 different sales channels each month. Metaflow's software also enables flexible billing and in-game advertising. The company is profitable and has just grown revenues, for the third year in a row, by 135 per cent to £750,000.

Player X Now part of Zed, Player X is involved in mobile video creation, hosting and distribution. Its video-ondemand platform can offer clips as single downloads, edited chunks or via the company’s own TV channel network. This year Player X expanded its video unit to offer white label solutions to traditional media companies.

Selatra Ireland's Selatra offers both pure mobile games aggregation and what it calls carrier grade mobile games service outsourcing. In addition to managing market complexities, it is also recognised for on-time reporting and payments, IP management and the provision of feedback to clients regarding market or channel movements.

Omnifone Omnifone’s MusicStation-powered unlimited music services are available to 50 million device users, with partners including Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, Telenor and Hutchison Telecom. Omnifone says 18 months after launch Vodafone’s MusicStation remains the UK’s largest subscription based unlimited music download service, with more paying subscribers than Napster, Nokia Comes With Music and Spotify.

24-7 Entertainment 24-7 Entertainment has been developing digital music services (both mobile and online) since it was founded in 2000. 24-7 says it provides the highest volume of digital downloads in Europe amongst all B2B service providers and delivers 10 million downloads a month. Its clients include TDC PLAY (Denmark), Omnifone, MediaMarkt (Germany) and 3 Austria. In June it was announced that TDC PLAY had generated 100 million music downloads since launch.

RealNetworks Real’s Music-on-Demand platform is now being used by Vodafone to deliver music services across nine European countries, providing a multi-platform and multi-product service offering full-track music downloads for both mobile and PC. This converged service approach has also been deployed with SK Telecom and Verizon Wireless. Combined, these carriers sold over 76 million pieces of mobile music content in Q1 ’09, with bundling increasing crossproduct purchases by 25 per cent.

Muzicall

Dilithium

Babel

The company introduced its Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA) in May 2008. Dilithium’s 100 deployments worldwide have propelled the company to seven consecutive quarters of 100 per cent yearon-year growth. Dilithium’s services cover networks with 1.5 billion subscribers in 60 countries. Customers include Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia and China Unicom.

This Brighton-based company has played the role of Vodafone's test house over the past 12 months. This work encompassed embedded content for all European Vodafone handsets, as well as testing a significant number of games for the Vodafone portal and the operator's new ACE platform. Clients include EA, Glu, Gameloft, Namco, Digital Chocolate and THQ Wireless.

London-based Muzicall is attempting to revive the European ringback market with a service and shared platform that enables off-portal brands to sell ringbacks, and also invites brands to access the ringback as an advertising channel. Muzicall says this helps operators reduce their operating expense, eliminate the CapEx and grow ARPU from ringback tone users. The firm is already working with Orange UK and others. It also has its sights on ad-funded services and the corporate market.

ME AWARDS 2009 11


2009

TRANSACTIONS PROVIDER LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

BEST PUBLISHING PLATFORM SEARCH & LOCATION COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER: LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

BANGO

VOLANTIS

TAPTU

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

SERVICES

BEST TRANSACTIONS PROVIDER

BEST PUBLISHING PLATFORM

BEST SEARCH & LOCATION COMPANY

Mobile Interactive Technology

Mobile IQ

abphone

Over the past 12 months MIT strengthened its position in the UK mobile transactions space, winning contracts with major brands and broadcasters. It extended a deal with ITV to handle mobile services for shows like The X Factor and signed agreements with O2, MTV, Vodafone, Sky, Flirtomatic and more. Its MIDAS platform also delivered 4.75 million interactions for Comic Relief.

Fabric, Mobile IQ's platform, now 500+ live sites running in 45 countries. It's a genuinely open system that integrates dozens of ad networks and billing systems. Customers include The Guardian, Trinity Mirror, News International, Blyk and more. In 2009, Mobile IQ saw a 25 per cent month on month increase in traffic and expanded into the US.

Launched in 2005, France's abphone is dedicated solely to mobile entertainment content. Its business model allows any publisher to index their products for free, since abphone is ad-sponsored. Partners include Gameloft, Glu, Twistbox and others. abphone generates 150 million page views a month, and says its audience increased by 30 per cent in 2008 in the US, UK, France and India. Meanwhile, ad revenues grew by 40 per cent.

Wapple Ericsson IPX Last year's winner provides billing services to two billion subscribers via over 100 operators. It works with a vast number of content providers, recently adding Gameloft and PlayPhone to the list. In 2009, it introduced tools to help US customers through the carrier approval process – from submission, troubleshooting, launch and reporting.

Netsize In 2008 Netsize, which covers more than 100 mobile operators in 28 countries, broke its own record for transactions on its mPayment platform. It processed €300 million of mobile billing from more than 25 million transactions a month. This summer it also unveiled a Smart Application Billing system, enabling mobile application storefronts to use operator-based billing to charge for app downloads and offer billing within the app itself.

txtNation Founded in 2002, txtNation has developed a suite of products pitched at mobile merchants. They include the mBILL API for bringing billing and messaging to websites, the mENABLE billing platform, the mPUSH audio or video push tool, and mFUSION, which packages all campaign tools. Now, it's launching the mENABLE Widget to consolidate SMS, phone and credit card billing in one streamlined interface.

Bango Bango can claim with justification to be a catalyst for off-deck mobile payments. The Bango algorithm considers factors including network, payment history and device to determine the best method for each transaction. This year’s breakthroughs centred around wi-fi payments (to connect smartphones that bypass operator billing) and the expansion of its analytics system for tracking site visitors.

mBlox mBlox connects via more than 600 carriers in 180 countries. It sent 79 messages a second in 2008, delivered over 2.5bn transactions and settled payments with a retail value of $500m. In 2008/9 the company's focus was ‘Sender-Pays Data’, which allows content providers to include data costs in the retail price of a product. It also launched an adinsertion pilot scheme.

12 ME AWARDS 2009

Previous winner Wapple is one of the original mobile site building experts. Its Canvas platform has constructed thousands of mobile sites for brands as diverse as Chanel, RAC and Red Nose Day. However, because Canvas is based on easy-tounderstand XML language, many smaller firms have signed up to it. In 2009, Wapple unveiled Architect to help developers mobilise web content and teamed with imovo to integrate barcode vouchers to its sites.

Netbiscuits Germany's Netbiscuits was founded in 2000 and now hosts 8,000 plus mobile websites in 50 countries. It delivers more than a billion mobile page impressions a month for clients such as Yahoo, MTV and eBay. Netbiscuits enhanced its support for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and S60 this year, integrated modules to enable location-based services, and launched a new partner programme.

Kilrush Though only launched in the summer, Kilrush has already picked up contracts with major brands. The firm is the site building unit of MIG, which launched it to complement group activities in messaging, ads and billing. Shortly after launch, ITV hired Kilrush to build sites based on its TV properties, Voda worked with it to power its ‘My Page’ personalised mobile portals and Five used Kilrush to build a CSI Miami site.

Mobrool Mobrool was launched in 2008 as a sister business of mobile marketing agency Que Pasa. The idea was to fill a gap between self-service offerings and costly carrier-grade platforms. The web-based system optimises content ‘on the fly’ across all devices and includes a mobile emulator so users can see how sites will look on the phone screen. Mobrool has already been employed by Nike, Borders and more.

Fonestarz A previous winner of the imaging award, FoneStarz has transformed itself into a publishing platform using its Daius system. Daius manages the retailing of games, video and personalisation content and integrates with billing services around the world. The platform publishes content from 130 brands, from Disney to Playboy. FoneStarz manages on and off portal services in 10 EMEA and Asian countries.

Useful Networks Useful's LBS advertising tool uses Cell-ID to automate location for mobile services. It does so through a '1-Click Store Finder WAP-app' that presents the user with relevant local advertising content after clicking a URL or banner. Trials have already been launched, including one with Burger King that showed click through from the banner to the location-aware page displaying the map were up to 1,000 per cent better than when users manually enter their location.

Taptu Last year's winner remains wholly focused on mobile-only search, and now handles over one million searches a day from 3.4 million unique users. Taptu improves mobile search by crawling only mobile-friendly sites and providing a visual preview of search results. In 2009 it launched an app for iPhone that optimises results for the device and lets users flick through the visual previews horizontally.

MCN MCN's 'federated search' model, which brings multiple search engines into one process, is wellestablished worldwide. But the firm has developed new methodologies now, including Smart Search – an SMS triggered search service already adopted by SMART in the Philippines. Other notable deals in 2008/9 included the agreement by Fox Mobile to use the MCN allwords vertical paid search programme on its D2C sites. Overall, MCN powers more than 20 operator and portal search solutions worldwide and reaches 200m subscribers.

Yahoo The web giant continues to push hard into mobile, launching new products consistently. At Mobile World Congress, it tied together its various mobile offerings – Onesearch, Stay Connected, My Interests – into one product, which lets partners bring in non-Yahoo apps. It also reiterated its commitment to browserbased (rather than app-based) search with a site supported by more than 300 devices. Intriguingly, Yahoo moved voice search forward by making oneSearch with voice available for 80 phones.


2009

BEST MARKETING & ADVERTISING COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

ADMOB

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

SERVICES

BEST MARKETING & ADVERTISING COMPANY Velti Velti plans, executes, monitors and measures mobile campaigns, and this holistic approach has been very successful: it's now in 35 countries with FY 2008 revenue up 164 per cent to €52.4 million, and it's also been on a buying spree, snapping up stakes in India's HT Mobile, Casee and Ad Infuse. Velti has developed campaigns for Unilever, Chrysler and P&G, and works with operators worldwide.

Out There Media With rivals' attention elsewhere, Out There Media moved smartly into 'virgin' Eastern Europe, bridging the gap between operators and agencies. It now has 16 operator deals reaching 100 million subscribers. Out There won awards for its Amita Motion campaign, which generated ten per cent clickthrough, though campaigns can hit 45 per cent. It also launched the Blyk-style TomatoPlus in Croatia.

AdMob Every year the numbers get bigger: AdMob now handles eight million ad requests a month across 7,000 mobile websites and 1,500 apps. The firm was first to launch special ad units for iPhone and Android, which now account for over 30 per cent of ads requested. AdMob also runs a free analytics product, and handled what it claims was the first $1 million mobile campaign for Land Rover and Jaguar.

mKhoj mKhoj launched a self-service ad exchange in India in August 2007, and its success was such that it now serves over two billion impressions a month across 27 countries – that’s up ten times in six months. The company's belief in emerging regions led it to enable ads in hundreds of local languages. But it still thinks Europe is there for the taking, and is launching soon.

RingRing UK-based RingRing Media has become a £2.5m turnover company in 12 months, with monthly billings exceeding £500,000. How? By helping brands and advertisers make sense of the fragmented space, and delivering average click through rates of five per cent. RingRing works for clients such as Nokia, Skype, Warner Music, Gamesys, Flycell and Cellfish.

4th Screen Advertising 4th Screen works with a range of premium brands, operators and publishers in the UK. It boasts access to half the UK’s mobile internet users through its ad serving platform Mpression, which targets by time of day, gender, age, behaviour, operator and handset model. 4th Screen also claims a high average CPM of up to £6.

14 ME AWARDS 2009

BEST APP STORE GetJar The Lithuanian app shop got into its stride in 2009, with its 'Wikipedia’ meets Amazon' approach to app distribution. It passed 500m downloads, and now generates one million downloads a day across 45,000 products to over 1,500 devices. Apps are uploaded to GetJar for free, giving developers the chance to generate sizeable footprint for known cost. GetJar has also launched a premium paid option.

Mobango Launched In 2004, Mobango was arguably the first app store. It’s an open platform and community that offers content for free. Mobango makes money from advertising, placement and the offer of direct marketing to specific user groups. It is also moving into white labelled content offerings with D2C partners such as Neomobile. There are over 20,000 registered developers on Mobango, which generates 12 downloads a month.

Ovi The long-awaited Nokia app store finally went live in Spring, distinguishing itself from RIM, Apple and Android with its vast potential handset reach and its operator billing option. The store was pre-loaded onto the N97, providing users with the richest experience ever seen on a Nokia. But it's the footprint that stands out: Ovi is compatible with more than 50 million S60 and S40 handsets globally.

Apple App Store Hard to believe the Apple App Store is barely a year old. It has served up 1.5 billion downloads since July 2008, and hosts more than 65,000 apps accessible in 77 countries. The average number of apps per user is 38. Apple's main problem now is how to deal with its success and make navigation easier for the consumer and therefore visibility better for developers. Nice problem to have.

BlackBerry App World RIM has over 1,000 developer partners, and with the launch of App World it has given them a new outlet, which lets them set their own prices and retain 80 per cent of revenue using PayPal as a billing channel. The store launched in April and was stocking 2,000 apps by July. It is poised for a Europe-wide launch, having rolled out first in the US.

Android Market Though still only available on two devices, Android has received a big thumbs-up from users and especially developers – the latter thrilled with the open platform model and accessible programming. Total apps hit around 2,500 within six months of launch and included some real eye-poppers, notably the world's first 'augmented reality' programmes for overlaying camera views with information and ads.


BEST OPERATOR LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

APPLE

O2

ANSSI VANJOKI

2009

BEST HANDSET COMPANY LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

AWARDS

Thursday, October 1st 2009

The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London W8

OPERATORS AND HANDSETS Operator Award Partner

BEST HANDSET COMPANY

BEST OPERATOR

Apple

Orange

Apple won last year's award after re-inventing the mobile user experience and opening the eyes of millions to the phone as rich media fun box. But in July 2008 it launched the App Store, and a new era of downloadable mobile content was begun. Within a year, the store had completed 1.5 billion downloads.

In February 2009 Orange announced a renewed app shop strategy that will reward developers and make discovery easier for users. It expects to have 'out of the box' embedded widgets in 80 per cent of its Signature range by the end of 2009. The revamp will boost an operation that already offers two million DRM-free songs in nine markets, TV over iPhone, a content partnership with Wikipedia and more.

Nokia Is there a more committed and tireless supporter of mobile content than Nokia? Within the last 12 months it has sprung onto the world Comes With Music – free unlimited tracks bundled with the cost of the device – and Ovi Store, an app shopfront that uses operator billing alongside credit cards. Add in LBS, games and a stack of content-led handsets and you have another busy year for the market leader.

Sony Ericsson

Vodafone Once Vodafone Global dominated on-portal content. Now, Voda is aiming high again with a strategy very different from the WAP storefront model. It’s embraced web runtime, and will release its billing and location APIs so developers can make browserbased apps that connect to Voda customers. What's more it's teamed up with Softbank, China Mobile and Verizon to target a combined 1.1 billion customers.

In 2008, Sony Ericsson super-charged its PlayNow content store, adding millions of songs, hundreds of games and unveiling PlayNow Plus – an unlimited music offering now launched with Telenor Sweden, Swisscom, Singtel and Orange Austria. This summer it also revealed the first handsets to offer a 'free' movie subscription. Meanwhile, the handset range got a shake-up led by the 12 megapixel Satio.

O2

INQ

Telenor

INQ's successful entry into a crowded handset market was based on the premise that social media drives mobile use, but that this shouldn't be the preserve of high-end smartphone users. Its first device, the INQ1, launched with 3 UK, Italy, Hong Kong and Australia is entry-level priced and links to IM, Skype, Facebook and more.

Telenor qualifies for this award on the strength of its commitment to music. It first launched in 2004, selling 1.25 million songs in four years. But this year, the service was re-launched through a partnership with retailer Platekompaniet and aggregator Aspiro. DRM was abandoned and there was a fresh focus on local music and unsigned artists.

RIM

Vodacom

RIM accelerated the march of BlackBerry out of its email ghetto and into the rich media mainstream with the launch of its Bold and Storm handsets, the former with improved UI and screen size, the latter with fullon touchscreen. It has now shipped 50 million devices. RIM's BlackBerry App World store has 1,000 developer partners, and has scored 15 million downloads of social media apps alone since April.

South Africa's advanced content market is a direct result of operators commitment to affordable data. In fact, market leader Vodacom grew data revenue by 50 per cent to R4.7 billion in 2008. Although it has nurtured a healthy premium-rate VAS market, Vodacom also offers advanced services like Playa streaming TV. And with millions of mobile web users, Vodacom is also formidable mobile ad broker too.

O2 isn't all about iPhone, even though it’s played its part in its success. Elsewhere, it re-vamped its Active portal, launched the 100% concept to offer rentals, trials and other extras on games, and green-lighted Litmus to give smaller developers a shot at tech and marketing bucks. It's also pioneering 'experiential' mobile ideas at The O2 venue.

SPECIAL AWARD OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MOBILE ENTERTAINMENT A special award for the individual who’s gone beyond the call of duty in furthering the cause of mobile content – either through positive public perception or hard sales.

LAST YEAR’S WINNER:

ANSSI VANJOKI

ME AWARDS 2009 15


2009

AWARDS

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ME Awards 2009: The Finalists  

Details of all the companies shortlisted for this year's event