In this report, senior executives from five start-ups, ranging from beta-stage groundbreakers to multimillion-dollar darlings of venture capital, offer insights on the shape of things to come in mobile marketing.
Introduction: The Mobile AgeDigital innovation takes nerve, verve and an undaunted entrepreneurial spirit. In this report,we talk with senior executives of five gutsy upstarts (and maybe even the next Twitter) at theforefront of mobile. Though their companies are developing distinctly different technologies,they all share a common vision of a not-so-distant future where mobile serves as a powerfulnexus of the online and offline world for consumers – and a critical driver of brand success.Major brands are finally – if fitfully – beginning to embrace mobile marketing. Though Apple’siAd mobile advertising network and Google’s acquisition of AdMob have given mainstreamcredibility to mobile ads, the strategies of many marketing organizations can still becharacterized as cautious experimentation and one-off campaigns. Jeff Hilimire President and Chief DigitalFrom casual gaming to group messaging to SMS-based payments, the insights from these Officer, Engaugestart-ups suggest that mobile platforms present valuable opportunities for forward-thinkingbrands today. Those options continue to expand with new and emerging technologies. Inparticular, anticipation in the tech community runs high for near field communication (NFC),the wireless technology that will turn next-generation iPhones and Android phones into mobilewallets, allowing consumers to tap-and-pay at checkout lanes and retail kiosks.These start-ups offer a compelling perspective on how consumers will connect with brands onmobile devices – assuming marketers are ready to meet them there.
04 Kiip Real-world Rewards for Mobile Gamers How did a teenage whiz kid win the support of major brands? A conversation with Founder and CEO Brian Wong.08 Yobongo Group Messaging for Sociable Strangers Could this early stage start-up be the next Twitter? A conversation with Co-Founder Caleb Elston.12 BOKU Leading the Race to Monetize Mobile Can telcos and texts compete with credit cards? A conversation with VP of Business Development Kurt Davis.16 Immersive Labs Intelligent Signage Observes Shoppers and Optimizes Ads Is mobile the missing link to revolutionize in-store displays? A conversation with CEO Jason Sosa.20 Scoutmob Flash Commerce for the Locally Inquisitive Why is GPS the next big thing in group deals? A conversation with Co-Founder Michael Tavani.
4 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Real-world Rewards for Mobile GamersHow did a teenage whiz kid win the support of major brands?As anybody who’s overcome an addiction to Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja can certainly attest,mobile games have an uncanny ability to claim inordinate amounts of our time and attentionin return for the most ephemeral, fleeting rewards. Thanks to Kiip, players can now supple-ment their virtual achievements with real-world loot ranging from free flowers to a free burgerto a free Sony tablet computer.Kiip (pronounced “keep”) is a rewards network that provides redemption offers from majorbrands to players who reach an achievement in mobile games, such as clearing a level or A conversation with Founder andsetting a high score. This cleverly conceived start-up is the brainchild of Brian Wong, a techie CEO Brian Wong.wunderkind who skipped years of high school and landed a job at Digg at age 18, only to be www.kiip.melaid off the following year. Now 19, he’s attracted $4 million in venture capital and a strongshowing of brand partners. Kiip debuted in April 2011, and its network of 15 mobile gamesalready reaches an estimated 15 million players.
Q: What is Kiip and how does it work?A: Kiip is a rewards network. We are creating what we believe is a new category in mobile advertising that is based on a completely different perception of how people pay attention to and interact with their devices. Right now, with the current mobile ad model, we have banner ads that are being ported to a smaller screen. Banner ads are just getting smaller and more annoying, arguably. Ninety pixels on your mobile screen are now taken up by something you really don’t care about. Brian Wong In gaming, when you level up and attain top scores, the moment when you hit that Founder and CEO, Kiip achievement is actually a very powerful one where you feel like you’ve accomplished something significant. So instead of putting a banner ad there, which would be a major buzz kill, we decided, what if a brand was there to provide you with actual, tangible rewards? “In gaming, when youQ: You’ve attracted interest and participation from brands such as Sony, Carl’s Jr., Dr. level up and attain top Pepper, GNC, Homerun.com, popchips, Sephora and 1-800-Flowers. What’s in it for advertisers? scores, the moment when you hit thatA: They realize that there are a lot of people playing these games and reaching them is very achievement is actually difficult to do. Our value proposition is very simple. Our model allows them to reach an engaged audience – a truly engaged audience – which is the holy grail for marketers. a very powerful one...” Kiip
6 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Q: A player in a game succeeds in getting to the next level, then the game pauses for a brand interaction. What are the actual mechanics of that experience and how the rewards are redeemed?A: We are trying to be as frictionless and non-interruptive as possible. When you hit that moment, there’s a natural break in play. We show a small interstitial ad that says, if you’re interested in this real reward from this brand, feel free to tap, and if they tap, a screen comes up describing what they’ve won. They enter their email address, we send them an “Mobile devices are email with the redemption information, which they can review when the game is over. We never take them out of the game. And if they don’t tap on the ad, it goes away and they severely misunderstood. go right back to playing. People think of them asQ: Why is mobile gaming the first focus? handicapped because the screens are small.A: Because mobile devices are severely misunderstood. People think of them as But there are a lot more handicapped because the screens are small. But there are a lot more opportunities beyond what the eye can see. opportunities beyond what And also because of the general competitive landscape. In social, you have Zynga… the eye can see.” and everybody else – it’s skewed. If you want to do something in social games, you have to have a partnership with Zynga. And it has to apply to their scale, which can be dangerous. Companies like appssavvy and SocialVibe are essentially tied to Zynga, and it’s a bit unfortunate. In mobile, the field is more distributed. You can work with more game developers who have a very large audience. There are 15 or 20 we can work with.
Q: You’re coming out of seven months of stealth mode. What did you learn while in beta?A: We did as much as we could to make it as complete as possible before we began talking with partners. They made it even better. We heard a lot of great ideas and the product evolved. A lot of the brands we’ve worked with had a good hand in shaping the service as it grew.Q: What demographic groups are the Kiip advertisements currently reaching?A: It’s all across the board. Mobile gaming has become quite ubiquitous and appeals to a great “We’re trying to variety of people. preserve the sacrosanctQ: There’s a question of what rewards people are really seeking when they play games – nature and intrinsic joy the satisfaction is somewhat ephemeral, it’s not a free bag of chips. When you provide real-world rewards for virtual achievements, doesn’t that change the psychological of getting a reward.” experience?A: We’re trying to preserve the sacrosanct nature and intrinsic joy of getting a reward, which is, by the way, why we didn’t announce the game titles when we launched. We didn’t want people to start playing those games for the sake of getting rewards. We preserve the serendipity, the joy of why those games were being played in the first place. That’s very important. Also, we try to ensure that the rewards will be relevant to the game genre and the person playing the game. We won’t give a Sephora reward to a guy, for example, unless there’s a clever play where he can re-gift to a girl.Q: I’d read that redemption rates for the initial Kiip offers were over 50 percent. That’s amazing. Is it true?A: That rate is based on good rewards. And that’s something we’d like to preserve. Ultimately, if you get a free tablet device from Sony, of course you’re going to redeem it. There’s a range of rewards, beginning in the $5 to $20 range and going up. We don’t do 50-cent coupons. Kiip
8 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Group Messaging for Sociable StrangersCould this early stage start-up be the next Twitter?The group messaging space has drawn an exciting slate of new start-ups such as GroupMe,Fast Society and Beluga, but for users looking to make new connections, Yobongo stands atthe front of the crowd.Yobongo is an iPhone app that creates location-based chat rooms to facilitate new socialconnections among like-minded strangers within the same city, the same neighborhood oreven the same coffee shop. Imagine a mashup between Twitter, Chatroulette and Match.com. A conversation with Co-Founder Caleb Elston.Still in beta mode, the service has launched in Austin (where it was a recent hit at SXSW) as www.yobongo.comwell as San Francisco and New York City. Founders Caleb Elston and David Kasper, formerlyof Justin.tv, are planning to expand to new markets, while considering the best way foradvertisers to join the group conversation.
Q: What is Yobongo – and how does it work?A: The Yobongo experience is very simple. Upon opening the app, you’re connected with about 12 people in your city and you use texts to communicate with them in real time. There are a lot of sites and apps that help you stay connected to the friends you already have. But technology hasn’t really done a good job in helping people make new connections. Our goal is to help make many, many billions of new connections Caleb Elston in the world. Co-Founder, YobongoQ: How do people who connect on Yobongo typically continue those conversations?A: They can just tap on the other person’s photo and send them a message, which then creates a private conversation. If the recipient is not online, they either get a push notification or email alert. Yobongo seamlessly transitions from asynchronous communication to synchronous communication.Q: How tightly linked are these users in terms of location? Can you chat with someone sitting next to you at Starbucks?A: If there are only a few people using Yobongo in your city, then you’ll probably be talking to people all across the city. But if, for example, there are many thousands of people using it at a baseball stadium, then you will be talking to other fans at the ballgame. We automatically add or remove groups based on the density. We have an algorithm that takes into account how many people are using the app, how many people are coming online, how many people are leaving and who you’ve talked to in the past. We try to put you with people you might already have some affinity for. Yobongo
10 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Q: What is the significance of affinity? How do you measure that – and what are you learning about people in the process?A: We don’t care what you say. We don’t analyze the actual texts – we just know that there was a message sent. We go to the very simple and core root: if people talk to each other, that’s a strong signal we should put them together again. An even stronger signal is when two people leave a public chat in order to have a private conversation. “Technology hasn’t really We allow people to provide context about themselves. You can add a short bio, but done a good job in you don’t have to pick settings or list your interests. We don’t buy that just because helping people make new people have the same interests that they’re necessarily going to be friends. connections.”Q: Mashable hailed Yobongo a breakout app at SXSW. What was the response at the event?A: We saw exceptional usage during early mornings when people were discussing where to go for breakfast and which sessions to attend. But the heaviest usage happened at night, when people were deciding which parties to attend. In the past, people at SXSW used Twitter or Foursquare to have those conversations, but Yobongo is unique because it is completely real-time. You could ask how many people were at a party or how long the wait is at the door – and you’d receive an instantaneous response from someone who’s there. We saw many tens of thousands of downloads in Austin. But what we really care about – and what we’ve continued to see – is that more than 50 percent of people are coming back every single day, which is really exciting.
Q: Have you figured out what the role for brand marketers and advertisers will be with Yobongo?A: We saw an inkling of what’s possible when some wineries from Napa participated in the app. They’ve been helping people understand the difference between wines and the various local vineyards, while also offering discounts and inviting them to come and hang out. Theirs was an authentic participation in the conversation. “One of the mostQ: Yobongo is riding an emerging trend of new group-texting services and related apps. fundamentally important What’s driving that trend? things for human beingsA: One of the most fundamentally important things for human beings is to be connected. is to be connected.” Communicating with someone else in the universe – and knowing that they’re giving you attention – is wildly satisfying and something that people crave. So in the bakeoff between playing an iPhone game all by yourself or being able to talk to people and comment on what’s going on around you, the human connection tends to win.Q: In terms of privacy, how does social networking change when you’re all sitting in the same room?A: If you are sitting inside a Starbucks, everyone can see you and could come up to you and cause you problems, but generally they don’t. Being inside an app where you can see other people isn’t fundamentally different, it just feels different. Yobongo
12 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Leading the Race to Monetize MobileCan telcos and texts compete with credit cards?The mobile payments market is shaping up to become a multibillion-dollar battlegroundwhere Google, Apple, Microsoft and PayPal will compete to commercialize near-fieldcommunication (NFC). Next-generation NFC-enabled iPhone and Android models couldtransform cell phones into mobile wallets and there are many players – from tech giants tocredit card companies to telco carriers – who want a piece of the action.BOKU, in many respects, has already pulled ahead of the mobile payments pack. This SanFrancisco start-up – with offices in Asia and Europe – has attracted $40 million in funding A conversation with Vice President offrom top-tier venture capitalists such as Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures. Business Development Kurt Davis. www.boku.comToday, the BOKU mobile platform is primarily used to process online payments.Consumers simply enter their telephone number at the participating website, then respondto an authenticating text message and their purchases are automatically billed to theirphone bill. Behind this simple platform is a deep bench of mobile, payments and onlineinnovators with ambitions to own the mobile payments market.
Q: Can you give us some background on Boku?A: The company began about two and a half years ago with the merger of Mobilcash and Paymo. They had both been around for four or five years, independently. The acquisition gave us good people, great coverage in 55 countries and allowed us to get more carrier relationships. We’ve moved from doing SMS connections to doing a direct billing API, which means we can do flexible pricing and the carriers can provide faster payouts and, in many cases, higher payouts. Some carriers give merchants up to 90 percent payouts in certain countries. We’ve signed up some of the biggest merchants online, such as Facebook, Sony Online, EA, and some of the biggest online gaming companies.Q: Is online gaming where most money is currently being spent in the U.S. through Boku?A: Yes, there’s a chunk through Facebook and there’s a chunk through online gaming companies. Those are the two main areas right now.Q: What do you think that will look like five years from now?A: I think you’ll see several lines of businesses and I think [online] will be a very small part of the overall pie. There’s a much bigger world out there.Q: There’s been a surprisingly slow uptake in mobile retail, partly because people are frustrated with filling out credit card forms on their phones. What’s the solution?A: In the future, we’ll be seeing offline purchases with NFC phones. Retail will eventually have a combination of mobile funding options. The phone itself could be a gateway to the credit card, or direct debit, or a mobile wallet. Rather than handing a card to the cashier, you’ll just tap your phone. BOKU
14 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Q: What’s a reasonable forecast for mainstream NFC adoption, in your opinion?A: Generally speaking, NFC is just getting started. Japan is the forerunner, but almost everywhere across the world it’s pretty much on even par. Next-generation iPhone and Android phones will have NFC chips built in, but it’ll take two to three years to get those phones to 50 percent to 60 percent of people. That’s the point when it’ll really hit. In the meantime, there are a lot of changes that will need to be made to POS legacy infrastructure. “I don’t know the exactQ: How will large consumer brands benefit from Boku and similar services? answer to how it will allA: Mobile advertisements are going to meet mobile payments, and that’s where you’ll come together. I don’t see a significant tie-in. For example, if you check in with Foursquare and you receive a coupon for Coca-Cola, you could get an additional 50 percent off if you pay with think anybody does yet.” your phone. But I don’t know the exact answer to how it will all come together. I don’t think anybody does yet.Q: The Boku website suggests that conversion rates are higher for mobile payments than credit cards. Is that really true?A: In Europe, they’re very accustomed and very comfortable using a mobile phone to check out. In some parts of Eastern Europe, where credit card penetration is low, mobile payments are used in 60 percent of all online transactions. In Germany, 30 percent to 40 percent of all online transactions are paid by mobile. In the U.S., it’s not as high – maybe 10 percent on a very good day. People here have credit cards and are accustomed to using credit cards. Carrier fees are dropping in the U.S. and merchants are getting 80 percent payouts. But if you’re a merchant accustomed to 97 percent payouts from credit cards and most of your customers have credit cards, then credit just makes sense, right? So the uplift is not as high in the U.S. But the mobile phone is a very fast and frictionless way to pay. And it’s very safe with low risk of fraud.
Q: Do you think those carrier payouts will eventually come more in line with the credit card payouts?A: It’s possible. I think in the offline world, the carriers will find a way to fund the accounts, so that they can compete with credit cards. But online, the carriers are still going to take their 10 percent cut. I just don’t see them going after the online market as aggressively.Q: With mobile payments, telco carriers serve as intermediaries between merchants and consumers – more of a platform than a service provider. What’s their reaction?A: The carriers have realized that their networks are being commoditized and that they need to be offering something other than voice and data. The carriers have definitely seen the light. We have AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., and Vodafone in the UK and all the German carriers. So it’s getting there. BOKU
16 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Intelligent Signage Ads Observes Shoppers and OptimizesIs mobile the missing link to revolutionize in-store displays?Silicon Alley start-up Immersive Labs has pioneered new advertising technology that makesdigital signs smarter – and far more attentive – to their audience. When equipped withan optional web camera, Immersive Labs-enabled digital billboards can detect faces ofpassersby and determine their age, gender, attention time, number of glances and distancefrom screen. This data is then used to optimize selection and rotation of the ads.Since debuting at the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder, Colorado, the people-watchingbillboards have begun appearing in New York City and will soon be observing travelers at A conversation with CEO Jason Sosa.JFK Airport. www.immersivelabs.comAccording to founder Jason Sosa, the company is also considering how to integrate theinteractive billboards with mobile phones and near field communication (NFC). NFC isan emerging wireless technology that allows consumers to make transactions, exchangecontent and connect devices by simply tapping their mobile phone against a card-reader.He describes mobile phones as a powerful nexus of the online and offline worlds andexpects digital display ads to grow increasingly interactive and intelligent once NFC gainsmainstream traction within the next two to three years.
Q: What does the Immersive Labs system do for digital signage?A: The software learns what ads perform best, based on the attention time of the viewers. The camera can track up to 25 feet away with a 90 percent accuracy rate. It’s a self-learning system. If it’s a male viewer or a female viewer, it adjusts accordingly. The system calculates the probability of success for each ad, based on second-by- second analysis. You just upload the ad assets and it automatically determines their best placement.Q: The camera sounds essential. Why do you say it’s optional?A: Even without the camera, we can use other data to make a better determination of what impressions to display. For example, we can incorporate weather, time of day, day of week, tweets and Foursquare check-ins. In large crowded environments, like “Our goal is to bridge subway terminals and Times Square, we can gather information from a number of the gap between the sources. virtual online world and In general, though, we encourage use of the camera. We think it’s the best way to the physical world, and gather performance metrics and take full advantage of the system, because it creates a feedback loop that lets us learn which advertisements work best. mobile could be a big part of that transition.”Q: You’ve indicated that the company is considering innovative ways that interactive billboards could be synchronized with mobile phones. Can you explain?A: Our goal is to bridge the gap between the virtual online world and the physical world, and mobile could be a big part of that transition. Mobile phones are a private interface where you feel comfortable entering your credit card information and email address, while a large touch screen can provide the public interface that aggregates information according to that location. So you could have an Amazon- like recommendation experience at shopping malls and grocery stores. Immersive Labs
18 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Q: Immersive Labs’ technology has been compared to the special effects in Minority Report, where camera-equipped billboards target consumers by name, peppering them with personalized pitches from Lexus, The Gap and American Express. How far away is that future?A: We are excited about the future and where things are going. Initially, however, we’re going to focus on making the current display ads smarter and then we’ll be looking at “Near Field Communication adding more interactive features down the road. Near Field Communication will be coming out in the next 12 to 18 months and that will usher in an era of even greater ... will usher in an era of connectivity between devices and things and people. even greater connectivity That said, we take personal privacy very seriously and our goal is not to invade personal between devices and things space, but to enhance the shopping experience. Our systems collect purely numerical and people.” data, no images are ever saved or recorded. In fact, this is a lot less intrusive than Facebook, Amazon or even a cell phone. They collect a lot more personal information. The software was designed to work with digital signs today. It utilizes existing hardware that’s already out there and available right now. We believe that by bringing the online experience to offline stores and digital signs that a whole new world of possibilities will emerge.Q: What was the initial inspiration for Immersive Labs?A: In 2006, I visited an American-style restaurant in Shanghai, China that had an infrared- based floor projection of rippling water that reacted to your body’s movements. I realized I wanted to create a more intelligent machine that would interact with humans in a new way. It became an obsession. I began exploring computer vision-based multi-touch solutions in combination with face detection, and eventually built a team around the concept. Our CTO, Alessio Signorini, brings years of machine learning, being the former director of technology from Ask.com, and Christopher Piekarski, VP of engineering, has been focused on embedded systems. They have both added significantly to the evolution of this technology.
Q: How has the idea evolved since your eureka moment in the Shanghai restaurant?A: Back then, the infrastructure wasn’t in place and the technology was just emerging. The industry has really, really matured since then, and the cost of the hardware continues to plummet. Right now, digital signage is about one-third of total industry out-of-home ad spend, and it’s growing at a 20 percent annual rate. So within five years, it will represent nearly half of all out-of-home spending.Q: The first retail launch of Immersive Labs billboards occurred late last year in Boulder. Where else have you deployed the technology?A: We also tested our optimization and targeting technology at the Sony Style store in New York City. We saw a 60 percent increase in consumers’ attention time when we created relevant and contextual display advertising, as opposed to the random rotation that was previously used.Q: What was the reaction from consumers?A: They were totally unaware. They had no clue whatsoever that the system was intelligent. There’s nothing to indicate that it’s optimizing, or learning, or anything like that. It looks just like a display ad, similar to what you would ordinarily expect to see there. Immersive Labs
20 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Scoutmob for the Flash Commerce Locally InquisitiveIs GPS the next big thing in group deals?The only way to really get to know your city is by getting out, being curious and exploring thescene for all it’s worth. That’s the premise behind the popular flash commerce site Scoutmob,which sends unbeatable daily discounts to local businesses via email, text or mobile app.Atlanta-based Scoutmob has grown exponentially since its launch in January 2010. While ithas been compared to other popular deal-of-the-day coupon sites like Groupon, LivingSocial,Gilt and Woot, there are actually several features that differentiate this quirky start-up fromother group-buying sites. A conversation with Co-Founder Michael Tavani. www.scoutmob.com
Q: For those that don’t know, tell us what Scoutmob is.A: We are in the flash commerce space, utilizing emails and social media to get consumers to act in a short period of time and respond to a deal. Groupon was really the first major player in this space, but Scoutmob does two things that are drastically different. First, for consumers, there’s no payment upfront. It’s absolutely free. People love that and it creates a lot of viral buzz, growth and signups for our site. Our whole process is friction-free for the consumer. Secondly, on the merchant side, we use mobile apps to guarantee location. We use GPS to prove that somebody showed up at a participating business to redeem the deal. Michael TavaniQ: Sites like Groupon and Woot typically have a 24-hour window. They do one deal Co-Founder, Scoutmob a day. But Scoutmob offers lots of different options, correct?A: That’s right. Consumers usually have three months to claim the deal. If you have an iPhone or an Android, those deals will remain in the app until the expiration date. And if you have a different phone, you can still receive, store and redeem the same deals via text messages.Q: How do you find all of the deals? Do you have a team of people that go out or do the businesses come to you?A: In developed markets, such as here in Atlanta, we joke that our salesman has the easiest job. We’re getting a lot of incoming calls literally say, “Where do we sign up?” In markets that have recently launched that are less established, we’re going out and seeking more contacts. We like to kind of uncover spots that have, you know, a meatball that’s a homemade recipe that has been in the family for 75 years. We like to tell their story and then explain why this is a unique deal. Scoutmob
22 | Start-ups to Watch Q2Q: How did you decide to keep all of the deals at 50 percent?A: We are in no way tied to 50 percent. We’ve done deals that were less than 50 percent and we’ve done deals that were more. But, in general, 50 is a good, clean number. We’ve found that 75 percent off does not attract significantly more customers, but if you go much lower than 50 percent – say, around 25 percent – then substantially fewer people take the deal.Q: The Groupon revenue-split model prioritizes exposure and volume over immediate profit with the hope that after a one-time deal, which could even represent a net loss for the day, the newly acquainted consumers will come back and become recurring customers. So many companies seem to only use Groupon once. Do you find that with your partners?A: We try to drive a ton of new customers and make it a profitable transaction for the merchant. Scoutmob is a way to attract a lot of people who have never been to your restaurant or business. And we encourage these customers to come back again. We’ve introduced “return perks” on the app – that’s our early entry into loyalty. It is a smaller discount that you automatically receive once you’ve used the big discount.Q: How do you spread the word so people are excited for that first deal?A: We’ve really grown by word of mouth. We do very little traditional press. We have done some social media and that helps prime the market, but it only makes about a 10 percent difference. Nowadays, people are so connected and there is a lot of sharing that takes place on Twitter and other networks. People just talk about it.Q: Where did the idea for Scoutmob come from?A: Groupon broke a lot of ground in this market, showing the possibilities of discounts. And you can see the kind of results driven by these types of discounts. Combining the discount with the measureable results, those were the two big things that came together and made us realize, “Wow, there’s something to this.”
In 2011 , mobile will contribute an additional $1.1 billion to the digital ad market, which will top $28.5 billion this year. Source: eMarketer. The revenue created from customers buying and downloading apps to smartphones and tablets will reach $38 billion by 2015 . Source: Forrester Media. Corporations will spend up to $17 billion creating apps for their products and working with third-party services and companies that manage these apps. Source: Forrester Media. 23%of consumers now use handheld wireless device to research products for purchase. Source: North American Technographics. In 2009 , the estimated revenue for mobile advertising — including search and display ads delivered through tablets and smart phones — grew to between $550 million and $650 million. Source: Interactive Advertising Bureau and Price Waterhouse Coopers. 85% of consumers expect their mobile shopping experience to be as good as online shopping, and yet fewer than of the top 20% 500 online retailers in the U.S. have sites that are compatible with mobile browsers. Source: Tealeaf, Acquity Group. Among mobile subscribers in the U.S., 68 percent send and receive text messages, but only 37 percent use mobile browsers and 35 percent use downloaded apps. Source: comScore. Nearly 25 percent of the 234 million U.S. mobile subscribers aged 13 and older currently play games on their mobile devices, an audience of nearly 60 million. Source: comScore.image credit: flickr/Mr. T in DC, flickr/denisdervisevic, flickr/mrhayata
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