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3UK launches real-time in-video advertising

Despite getting rightly beaten up by colleague Ben Smith (regarding their rather appalling 3G / WiFi Router), we’ve got some good things to say about 3 this morning.

3UK has done a deal with 4th Screen (the single point of contact for mobile advertising that’s part of MIG) and Mobix Interactive (the technical supplier).

Later this year, when you download/stream a video from the 3 portal, you’ll get a targeted ad in front of it.

I think that’s rather swish provided you’re not paying out cash for the privilege.

I’m pleased to see this kind of innovation going on. I’d really like to see operators deploy this a little bit more — I perceive it as a much fairer transaction when I don’t have to pay out cash for something but have to watch an ad. Provided the ad is pretty good.

I don’t think mobile operators have quite got a handle on the existing information they own, inherent in their customer records. For example, my location, my age, my average spend. The industry is very much still stuck on the ‘if you watch a sport video, you are, er, interested in sport’ record. That isn’t good enough.

But it seems it’s the main alternative…

Apart from Blyk, has anyone else seen examples of mobile operators using their billing information to help profile customers during their portal sessions?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

9 replies on “3UK launches real-time in-video advertising”

As I work in one of the operators in ths PSMS/Mobile Advertising/Portal area of our business, I can assure you we would all love to be able to “target” ourt base. As you stated we have lots of great info but the real isse arises around how you can release that issue without breaching data protection issues, particularly when you bring an external 3rd party in to do the targeting.

Also there is the cocnern among some operators, that a Normob may get the hump if they thought they were being “targeted”. The term alone doesn't conjure up images of someone gently and politely doing you a favour by showing you the most relevant ad to you but rather of the Normob neing hunted down……….maybe we should start talking about these things in a more Normob friendly way??

Oh….and one other thing……the operators stand to make a lot more money from “targeted” advertising so I can assure you in these lean times they will all be looking at innovating in this area 😉

Ewan and @goodygoody are right. Targeting advertising to user profile is both sensitive and difficult to implement. It will come but I don't think any one is ready to launch this kind of thing yet.

Of course the other thing worth bearing in mind is that the company most likely to do this successfully actually isn't any of the operators – it's Google! And that's a thought that should be scary to all networks – Google may well take control of this potential new revenue model before any of them get to grips with it.

Agree. If you do a very, er, “sensitive” search in Google on your PC (e.g. “Adult toys”) you get a bunch of sidebar ads from Anne Summers etc. I think people now have an implicit acceptance that in exchange for the value of the results Google give you, you accept that they target you.

It's completely different with MNO's doing it, even if Google are the back-end. But if you brand it up as Google on mobile, it solves a bunch of consumer issues – even though the MNO might be part of the LBS picture. Consumers will just think Google is really smart, in pointing you to the nearest Anne Summers shop….

Here's the thing: Currently consumers can and do have a location-aware search results relationship with Google. GMaps has a search function, and results are based in part on the LBS component of GMaps. Try it yourself. Post-purchase download of GMaps > search > 'pizza' > Click to call.

LBS pizza ads. No MNO cut. Job done.

That horsey has bolted, with all the hay and the keys to the Landy too. It remains to be seen if the MNO's can lasso it and get it back in the barn before it starts doing donuts on their front lawn.

/m

Weren't 3 meant to have done this a year or so ago? I'm sure that's what I read back then about them and Rhythm New Media teaming up.

I did notice over the last week that I couldn't find any of the usual free videos from 3. No sign of the news updates from ITN or Reuters and weather forecasts were text/images only.

Weren't 3 meant to have done this a year or so ago? I'm sure that's what I read back then about them and Rhythm New Media teaming up.

I did notice over the last week that I couldn't find any of the usual free videos from 3. No sign of the news updates from ITN or Reuters and weather forecasts were text/images only.

Weren't 3 meant to have done this a year or so ago? I'm sure that's what I read back then about them and Rhythm New Media teaming up.

I did notice over the last week that I couldn't find any of the usual free videos from 3. No sign of the news updates from ITN or Reuters and weather forecasts were text/images only.

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