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Mobile News: Smartphones Are Still Eating The World, There Will Soon Be 1 Billion In Africa, And Now They Have Their Own Programmatic Ad Sales Channel!

According to Andreesen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans internet companies, who used to “do mobile” as an afterthought, are already beginning to shift from “mobile first”; prioritising building things for mobile that often never found their way back onto the desktop; to “an evolution beyond mobile first”.

Evans asks: “What happens if you just forget about the PC altogether? But also, what happens if you forget about feature-phones? What happens if you presume all of the sophistication that a modern smartphone has and a PC does not, and if you also presume that, with 650m iPhones in use and 2.5bn smartphones in total, you can build a big company without thinking about the low end anymore?”

Good question. Evans goes on to look at the issues that might present themselves if online companies do indeed proceed down that path, and he doesn’t find too many objections. What can you do on a PC that you can’t do on a smartphone? Which is more personal, a PC, or your mobile that lives in your pocket?

He concludes; “if your eye is on all of those 2.5bn smartphones in use today and the 5bn that there’ll be in a few years, that (mobile first) might be the right strategy. But it seems to me that building out from ‘mobile native’ rather than up from ‘mobile first’ might be a good strategy too.”

It seems that the PC’s goose is well and truly cooked.

Wise Move, then; WideSpace Has Built a Full-stack Programmatic Ad Platform for Mobile Branding

Perhaps Widespace, a technology company headquartered in Sweden but with offices across Europe, have been listening to Evans. Their latest product, called Summit (mobile on top?) is a programmatic ad platform developed exclusively for mobile.

Widespace say that the average user touches their mobile device 2,500 times per day, which sounds like an astronomical number, but probably doesn’t to Generation X. The company also argues that “programmatic is increasingly becoming the way advertisers and publishers buy and sell media, with the IAB revealing that it was worth €5.7bn in across Europe in 2015.”

“for buyers who value creativity, quality and brand safety there are limited opportunities to buy mobile brand advertising programmatically today”, they add.

Hence the platform, which comes with an automated guaranteed buying solution, and enables publishers to sell their inventory as part of Widespace packages or via direct deals, “simplifying the tedious manual direct deal process.”

The platform targets users across the whole mobile ecosystem, say Widespace, thanks to “smart brand interest profiling of the user based on historical data and previous brand preferences.” In other words, Summit is a learner, and wants to shop you all the ads you like best.

And, it can guarantee zero non-human traffic thanks to its anti-bot vetting processes, and ability to identify ads that “are simply unlikely to be viewed by a human.” So, that’s 99% of ads, then?

Meanwhile, In Africa Mobile Penetration Reaches 79% & Subscriptions Set To Pass 1bn Mark


Ovum’s Africa dashboard reflects the growing power of the smartphone

The African continent will have 1.02 billion mobile subscribers by the end of 2016, according to global data, market research and advisory firm Ovum.

Ovum also predict that subscriptions in Africa will rise to 1.33 billion by the end of 2021, but say that growth in new mobile subscriptions is slowing. Mobile penetration had reached 79% by the end of June this year, but, Ovum say, mobile voice revenue in Africa is likely to decline between now and 2021.

By that time Ovum are forecasting that there will be more than 1 billion mobile broadband connections across Africa, 157.4m 4G LTE connections, with just short of 1 billion smartphone connections. Non-SMS mobile data revenue is projected to increase from $6.4 billion in 2015, to $27.65bn in 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 27.6%.

Fixed broadband connections will also increase, from a relatively low-base 13.78m connections today to 19.7 million by YE 2021. Whilst fiber and fixed LTE connections are forecast to increase, DSL will continue to account for 70.7% of African Fixed Broadband connections.

All this puts Africa second from bottom amongst world regions in terms of Broadband development. According to Ovum’s Broadband Development Index (BDI) which ranks areas according to how fast they are adopting high-speed Broadband, Africa scored 232 out of 1,000 at the end of 2015 – the lowest apart from Central and Southern Asia.

Africa’s highest ranked countries are Mauritius (279/1,000) followed by South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria and Namibia.

Ovum, incidentally, is a part of the Business Intelligence Division of Informa PLC, the London Stock Exchange Listed intelligence, publishing, and events group.


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