Uppsala based Freespee is going after a bigger target market thank just click-to-call advertising. They write in their latest email that they want to to one big thing: make display advertising as efficiently, if not better than search.
When we first came across Freespee it took my brain way too long to figure out what calls had to do with banner ads, but there are a few angles Freespee is going after. For instance, if you're searching for a plumber in your hometown you might google around on your phone until you see an ad for a plumber that looks trustworthy. Instead of then driving the user to a website to then copy a phone number, it make sense to lead everyone straight to the end-game. While local search is a huge target market, big ticket items like real estate or boat sales also need to lead someone on the other end of the phone.
Start-ups’ have a high need for all kinds of publicity and media coverage but they generally avoid paid advertising channels. Instead they focus on their own and earned channels. This is no surprise considering typical start-ups’ limited marketing budgets. Conversely, they still value traditional media coverage, especially newspaper coverage.
The infographic findings are based on a summary of six case studies of start-up companies’ media purchasing patterns. Idean prepared the study with Project Manager and Doctoral candidate Timo Ketonen from Åbo Akademi University.
If there's anything Rovio knows, it's how to get their brand out there. Well, they make some fun games as well, but they reach a massive amount of eyeballs across mobile apps, Facebook, Smart TVs, and so on. It all comes down to the "all the screens" strategy that Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka has famously promoted for the Espoo-based company. The result is a massive fan base and high engagement. Rovio's Youtube channel has over 1 billion views. And last December Rovio announced it had over 1 billion downloads with 263 million monthly active users.
Now Rovio has put out a press release with the title "Rovio Moving Towards Digital Advertising," which seems to say nothing more than "we hired a bunch of senior advertising people, and we're looking for brands."
Last Friday, the New York Times ran an editorial entitled That's no phone. That's my tracker. The authors Peter Maass and Megha Rajagopalan of ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom, make the point that today's mobile phones are used only occasionally for phone calls, and instead their main function is to help its owners keep track of the time, our friends, where we go, and how much money we have in the bank.
They suggest a new term for smartphones. "People could call them trackers. It’s a neutral term, because it covers positive activities — monitoring appointments, bank balances, friends — and problematic ones, like the government and advertisers watching us."
A Finnish company, RapidBlue, would fall into their latter category, as they are building the service that allows advertisers, media companies, and store owners to track customers in the brick and mortar stores. The solution uses public Bluetooth signals that RapidBlue's receivers picks up, but does not connect to. The company has determined that that their solution can track the movement of 95% of consumers in the Nordic countries, and 91% in Southern europe.
Uplause has signed an agreement with Dorna Sports S.L., a Madrid-based sports rights and management company. The partnership will make Dorna Sports the exclusive distributor and reseller of Uplause's unique crowd gaming solution in the Spanish market, also becoming Uplause's first major partner.
For those of you who haven't seen our past coverage, the concept behind Uplause is pretty unique. They make games for spectators at events by bringing the audience together to play one game. To interact with the game, the crowd can use noise, silence, clapping, motion sensors, and however else they are instructed. The games are shown on the stadium screens, or on the perimeter LED displays that go around stadiums.
Good insight into how people are talking about your brand or keywords can be invaluable when shaping a marketing campaign. A Swedish company, Lissly, has built a social media monitoring tool that can collect, find, and sort data on how the web is talking about your brand. The company is plugged into many sources of social content, including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blog posts, and forum posts, which can help you figure out what you customers are saying wherever they are on the web.
Videoplaza has just come out with an announcement that they have secured a $12 million investment aimed for global expansion. The Series B funding comes from Qualcomm Ventures and Innovacom. We've written about the Sweden based company before as well, regarding their strong growth. With this investment the growth is sure to follow. The company had a great 2011 according to the press release. It served five times greater ad volume than the year before and opened up new offices in Madrid, Berlin and Singapore. It now operates in 17 different countries.
Skype founder Toivo Annus’s and Herty Tammo’s joint tech investment venture, Poohtech AS, announced today that it closed a deal with smartAD, a Baltic advertising network that services many major brands for the region. CEO of smartAD Rando Rannus tells us that the size of the funding round cannot be disclosed, but that in 2011 the company was able to double revenue to 1 million euros. The funding round will be used for geographical expansion, where in Finland and Sweden they will first try to partner with ad networks and agencies and who are trying to help companies expand out of their local market.
Editorial note: This is a guest post by Timo Jäppinen. He is the managing director of a marketing agency Drayton Bird Associates Finland.
You can’t do much about Europe – either it will fall apart or it won’t.
Here are three things you can bet money on, though.
First, the politicians won’t save you. They have no worries. And second, the only economy you should worry about is your own.
And there is one piece of good news. Those who start getting things right during a recession come out stronger than those who sit on their hands.
Advertising is important for independent bloggers as it is so far one of the biggest revenue sources for them. VideofyMe, a Sweden-based start-up, is trying to serve that need by helping independent bloggers monetize their original video content. With their service bloggers can create videos in browser and on the go with their iPhones (Android app to be launched soon), easily publish those videos to Facebook or Twitter and earn some money from pre-roll ads that VideofyMe provides. The start-up has been working in the Swedish market since 2009 and is now going global.
Online advertising is an industry full of problems and possibilities. Hence, there are a lot of start-ups working in that sphere from different angles. Burt is a Swedish company founded in 2009 that makes software tools for the advertising industry. Their three main products include Copybox (a tool for copyrighters), Meme Machine (cloud computing for marketing data) and Rich (online campaign analytics tool). Burt recently closed $3M funding from Industrifonden. The new investment is said to be used for international expansion and further improvement of their campaign analytics tool Rich. This is Burt's second investment since foundation. Back in 2009 the company received $500,000 angel funding.
Ads on the web can be quite annoying. They pop up when you don't want them, they make webpages crowded and messy and they can distract you from the content you are looking for. At the same time, ads are an intrinsic part of the web: they make all the free content online possible and sometimes they even bring value to the user. How do you reconcile these two conflicts? InfluAds, a Copenhagen-based startup, has launched their solution to this problem: a crowdsourced ad network. The start-up also received undisclosed seed investment from Kima Ventures.
The Swedish originated video advertising platform Videoplaza is on fire to say the least. We heard news from the company yesterday and they're doing very well. Back in March we wrote about Videoplaza securing a 3.5 million euro financing round to further grow the company. The company has signed a lot of different broadcasters from Europe as its clients and also moved its headquarters to London.
Apple will be the talk of the town in mobile advertising this year. Last week at Apple’s OS 4 event, Jobs presented what advertising industry has been asking from mobile: iAd - the engagement media with scale and quality.
For brands, mobile advertising has had a big promise but no breakthrough: digital media and technology companies trying to fit the traditional online advertising model - mainly display and search - into mobile have not taken off. Mobile media is different to online: being based on communications and quick tasks one performs, not browsing, mobile requires different user experience. Running banners on mobile is like running radio ads on tv.
In the beginning was the pageview and it was good. However, The Awl is reporting today that Gawker Media has decided to change how they measure their sites from pageviews to monthly uniques. The metric will hopefully give them, "a new number that more accurately reflects the growth of our audience." This change is relevant to all online media entrepreneurs and content creators for 2 reasons.
The first is that unique visitors as a statistic to sell advertisers represents something different than pageviews. In fact, it seems like a step backward. The original promise of online advertising was that for each ad impression, someone clicked to reach that page. One page, one impression, two eyeballs. However, as Nick "Pancake Man" Denton rightly points out, while the pageview might be the purest form of measuring eyes-on-page, focusing exclusively on pageviews incentives editors and content creators to squeeze increasing amounts of clicks from the existing user base. Using monthly uniques as the performance metric of choice allows you to represent the number of eyeballs your site has access to, a measurement more like TV's share of audience or newspaper circulation numbers. An increasing number of monthly uniques demonstrates to advertisers that passed links and breakout stories travel easily from your core audience to the wider web. This is prime bait for mainstream brands, who will always have the largest ad budgets.
The other important change at Gawker announced today that has relevance to anyone managing online content: a change in the way variable pay is distributed and therefore how content creators are incentivized.
Finland's biggest directory service Fonecta has made an undisclosed "strategic" investment into social yellow pages service Tupalo.com, run by an Austrian startup. Finland marks the beginning of the service's Scandinavian expansion. For Fonecta, this is a step into getting involved with social media technologies for directory services. Tupalo's service has now also been launched in Finnish.
Eat.fi, a Finnish website that focuses on restaurant search and reviews, finally rolls out its business model after building the high quality site and community for three years. The company, quite predictably, has chosen to let the restaurant owners advertise their lunch time specials and other offers.
Even though you could argue that is has taken way too long for the founder Tina Aspiala to monetize the site, it might have been worth the wait. Eat.fi is one of the only Finnish sites that I use regularly when checking out new restaurants and especially while making lunch and dinner meetings. To get an idea of the popularity of the site, Eat.fi iPhone app topped the Finnish App Store and boasts currently about 12,000 downloads (and 2,000 Ovi Store downloads).
We've never been too shy to promote our advertising solutions in the past and nor are we now! We've begun our autumn period with a very nice gain in our visitor statistics which only mean that there is a lot of demand for a media like ours. To be more specific, our visitor stats have improved over 60% compared to our July/August statistics. This of course makes our job easier here at ArcticStartup, but also guarantees a lot of great visibility for our advertising partners. We're very proud to say that our monthly banner spots aren't spoiled with high prices - they're selling for only 400 € a month, that's a mere 100€ a week!
Why am I bragging about our advertising solutions to you then? Well, I want to make an offer. The fastest to sign up with us in the coming weeks will be guaranteed to have their future ads running at 400€ a month, while the slower ones will have to dig a little deeper. We're planning to re-check our prices in the coming month for the winter, so for all those thinking about the possibility of advertising with us - think no further, get in touch with email@example.com and we'll be glad to tell you more.
We're currently servicing close to 40 000 pageviews a month from over 100 countries. Just to be clear, these visitors aren't the yellow press type, they stay on site and read - our average visit duration is over 1 minute 30 seconds. On top of the banner visibility, you'll also get noticed in the two blog posts monthly where we thank our sponsors with a little custom message they may have to the startup community. So if you wish to reserve your spot in the sun, don't hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or send us an inquiry through the contact form.
Burt, a Swedish analytics company that is literally spun off from an Advertising agency is launching a new analytics service called Rich. More specifilly, Rich is an analytics tool for campaigns. Their other products include Copybox - "a Photoshop for copywriters", basically a smart text editor and Mememachine which provides cloud computing for marketing data.
Burt reveals Rich today at the famous Demo conference that's currently held in the US. As Burt stated in their blog, the latest Swedish company (well, at least partly Swedish) presenting a product at Demo was Skype, and we all know how that company ended up.
In short, the idea behind Rich is to give agencies everything they need on one simple report page, that answers critical questions such as “was the ad visible?”, “how long was it visible?” and “did people notice it?"
Arkady Volozh, the CEO of the Russian Yandex.ru, has revealed in a conference held last week that their revenues in 2008 are 80% higher than in 2007. Revenues in 2008 were said to be more than $300 million. Yandex has been closely developing itself to become the local Google. This goes hand in hand with the share of revenues. 85% of Yandex' revenues came from contextual advertising both on Yandex' sites as well as partner sites, according to Quintura.
Other figures also confirm that Yandex is truly becoming the dominant advertising solution in Russia. In 2008 it had more than 100 000 advertisers, up 50% from 2007. Quintura also comments that Yandex' search volume is increasing steadily as the Russia heads into economic downturn. Yandex has some 54% marketshare against Google's 32% in the Russian market.
Sorosh Tavakoli, the CEO of VideoPlaza, has announced on their blog that they have signed a large advertising deal with the Swedish TV4 -broadcasting company. VideoPlaza is a Swedish video startup offering innovative solutions for online video advertising, be that managing, tracking or displaying video advertisement.
Sorosh wrote that, after talking to some of the British online video producers during his visit to the UK earlier this year, he realised the Swedish TV4 is actually one of the biggest online video players in Europe. He cannot confirm this with official numbers though. The deal is pretty large as it covers all the TV4 domains, and not just the main tv4.se site.
Seems like the video market is on the rise for 2009 as Sorosh Tavakoli stated that there will be more announcements in the coming days.
Travellerspoint is a Norwegian community based travel website that both combines wiki-style guides and a personal plaform for content sharing. Travellerspoint offers a relatively good source of information on numerous cities as well as a place to host your travel photos as well as blog about your travels. The site is by all means popular - their tour states they have over 178 000 travellers registered as members.
Despite the success with the site (it gathers about 50-60k uniques a month), they have not managed to integrate the different parts of the site very well. I guess this is something that still lacks in many ways across the industry. I have to say that TripSay is perhaps a step closer to this (then again - they do lack the large community TravellersPoint has). By integrating the services I mean the issue of combining them closer instead of having each service in its own "silo" and not cross-linking for example. I'm sure there is a ton of interesting data to be found from the travel stories of people in the blogs - but the link between these and the wiki-style guides is still missing.
TravellersPoint's business model at the moment is advertising and commissions from hotel and hostel bookings, as one might guess. The interesting question to ask is will these sites gain more traffic as people search deeper online for that best deal on hotels in a certain city or will they suffer from the downturn in the same way as the travel industry in general?
Wıshfi ıs a facilitating technology solution that aıms to capıtalıze on the internet connectıon in a novel way, by enabling a placement of highly targeted messages into consumers browsers.
Wishfi's customers range from internet connection providers, namely ISPs, Wi-Fi-, WiMax-, 3G Operators to other access point providers such as venue owners, airports, hotel & cafeteria chains to ordinary companies. Wishfi does not only offer a possibility to a revenue stream for above mentioned actors, but it also offers a way to brand networks and deliver localized messages to a given audience. In effect, Wishfi makes the Internet information flow more localized and more efficient. In networks where third party content is allowed, Wishfi wants to bring a new solution for marketer and media agencies.
Despite the difficult times, Blyk and Xtract are promoting advertising (at least in a sense) as a revenue model. Blyk's business model is built around advertising as a source of revenue. Blyk confirmed they are going full steam ahead with internationalisation in a recent blog post about entering the Dutch markets in the first quarter of 2009.
In the blog post Blyk refers to an IAB research which states that consumers are sceptical about receiving ads on their mobile but become strongly willing to accept ads on their mobiles when they are incentified. Furthermore the willingness is increased by relevant ads. Something that shouldn't really be all too shocking when you use common sense.
This thinking is confirmed by Xtract in their most recent white paper titled Brands Need People and People Need Brands. Xtract argues that when ads are positioned correctly at the right touch points - they work, and people actually want to see them.
The problem with business models based on advertising usually is that the companies don't understand the difficulties the advertisers face. In SIME Helsinki, organised in September, I had multiple talks with advertisers that all these new innovative startups don't really understand the needs of the advertiser and thus only bringing about banner advertising - is not very appealing. What do you think, are the advertisers up tight or is their discontent acceptable?
Photo by trialsanderrors (CC:BY).
We've done a few changes to the site to make it more appealing to our readers. As there are many startups and organisations who we haven't been able to write about, we've enabled advertising on our site with 125x125px banners to give more visibility to these companies. You can read more about the advertising solutions over here and if you wish to ask about some customisations or details, don't hesitate to contact Miikka (@arcticstartup.com) about it. By advertising on our site, you're also supporting the whole scene by keeping us going and helping us dramatically improve the concept over time.
On another note, we're also announcing a new Arctic Evening (previously known as ArcticStartup events). Mark down 2nd of October to your calendars as we'll be gathering once more in Dubrovnik for some drinks, networking and discussion on the startup scene in general. We're still in the making of the schedule, so I can't reveal too much of that at this point in time, but keep reading - we'll open it up in a few days as things progress.
Supponor Ltd, a Finnish novel digital advertising technology provider founded in 2001, has raised 6 million euros in Series A funding. Supponor offers "digital billboard replacement" (DBR) solutions using a unique technology for real-time replacement of digital billboard ads, Supponor DBRLive. The ads are stated to appear as real as those seen on location, offering non-invasive and unintrusive new way of advertising. Live sports broadcasts are the main target for the company.
The investment round was led by a Nordic early stage venture capital firm Northzone Ventures, and a Finnish early stage technology venture capital firm Conor Venture Partners, in addition to an unnamed existing investor. The investment will be used to "leverage the business opportunities that Supponor DBRLive brings to digital advertising agencies and television right holders". Supponor is aiming to launch DBRLive in Europe and the United States, the world’s leading markets in sports advertising."
The investment is really big in the Finnish scale, and tells the opportunity the company is able to tackle is seen as very lucrative one so the company and investors want to move extremely fast to take on the international markets. The message to potential customers and partners brand owners, event organisers, and broadcasters is indeed very clear: Supponor promises more money, increased possibilities for segmentation and measurability, and dynamic cost-efficient content management.