There's already a great deal of data in the market that show consumers use smartphones throughout the "purchase funnel." Several studies have also affirmed that well over 50% of smartphone owners are searching or conducting product-related research in stores at the point of sale. Most advertisers, however, have yet to respond to this rapidly evolving behavior with the kind of commitment it deserves.
By the same token increasing numbers of advertisers now do take mobile much more seriously and are starting to devote meaningful budget allocations to the platform. Helping to advance the argument for mobile is Millennial Media, with new research combining data from its own network with custom comScore research that takes a look at mobile consumers and the retail vertical.
Of course the study is self-serving. But the findings are consistent -- even "conservative" in some cases -- with other third party studies. Some of the findings (mostly collected in 2010) were teased in the most recent Millennial SMART report.
Millennial said that in Q1 2011 the market segment it calls "retail & restaurants" was the top-spending advertiser category in the US market:
On Millennial's network that category saw 1342% growth from Q1 2010 to Q1 2011. According to comScore data, the number of US-based retailers doing mobile advertising went from 3045 retailers in 2009 to 6445 in 2010 -- in other words, it doubled.
Beyond this, much of the Millennial-comScore report is devoted to consumer data and behavior. The finds reflect that the majority of US consumers accessing retail content on mobile devices (typically smartphones) are between 18 and 35 years old and generally more affluent than average mobile users.
Millennial reported that "the number of consumers who accessed some type of retail content on their mobile device in a given month jumped 74% year-over-over to 13 million (as of June 2010)." Of that group:
My view is that these figures probably under-count the number of mobile consumers accessing what might be described as "retail content" on their phones. By analogy, the comScore estimate (as of Q2 2010) of smartphone ownership is 22%; but the most recent Nielsen estimates put the number of smarpthone owners at 36% of all mobile subscribers in the US. Accordingly, the figures in the Millennial document are probably "conservative."
There were additional findings about "m-commerce" and products purchased via mobile devices. The comScore data reflect that "21% of survey respondents said they had made a retail purchase using their mobile phone via a mobile browser or a mobile application in the past 30 days." The graphic below shows the hierarchy of those product categories according to comScore and Millennial.
It's interesting to compare the above mobile purchase categories to the content categories (below) accessed by mobile users. The red/brown bar is "mobile retail users."
In the end the data in the report affirm that mobile is a critical channel for retailers and brands. The "why" of mobile is certainly behind us; what lies ahead are all the tactical and more subtle questions about best practices and integration of mobile into larger digital and brand advertising campaigns.
Millennial Media released its latest SMART report on mobile marketing trends and data. In the issue, Millennial focuses on growth in the retail vertical (compiled by comScore for Millennial) as well as its traditional range of metrics (e.g., campaign objectives, landing page composition).
In particular, the report says that "local market targeting grew 22% and represented 56% of all campaigns that used targeted reach." While targeting is growing, the majority of Millennial's advertisers appear to still be most interested in broad reach and driving awareness.
Local can mean different things on Millennial's network: targeting by state, city, zip. However the company also said, "advertisers in the Automotive and Restaurant verticals leveraged Local Market targeting to drive foot traffic into their brick-and-mortar locations through targeted regional promotions."
Millennial says that retail "content consumption" by consumers on mobile devices is growing in aggregate volume and frequency:
Below is the hierarchical mix of retail advertisers on Millennial's network: department stores followed by computer/electronics retailers (e.g., Best Buy) and home & garden retailers (e.g., HomeDepot).
It's very difficult to quickly and comprehensively analyze all the implications of Google Wallet. There are many.
I "live blogged" the press conference at Search Engine Land. For both consumers and merchants/retailers the proposition is pretty compelling: offer and loyalty card integration, single-tap payments and so on.
So far it appears that only the Nexus S phone will be capable of accessing and using Google Wallet, although there was some ambiguity around that issue. The merchants that are formally participating at launch the following:
However any merchant that has the MasterCard "pay pass" system enabled can participate. Google has provided a merchant locator by zip.
Offers and loyalty will be a big part of this, which is where the marketing/advertising tie-in happens. The integration of Wallet with Offers and loyalty cards will be the big differentiator for retailers and marketers as well as consumers vs. other NFC payments systems. This is where Google has a big advantage over competitors including Apple, Amazon, PayPal and wireless carriers.
Theoretically at least some of those competitors could participate in Wallet because Google says it's open ecosystem -- in the way that Android is: controlled by Google but anyone can participate. How will this affect other mobile payments initiatives, other payments startups and so on?
That question is hard to answer at the moment. If there's fast adoption of Google's system (a la Android) many competitive efforts will be toast. But that very much remains to be seen. Because even consumers eager to participate in Google Wallet will need to buy the Nexus S right now.
Once other NFC-enabled handsets become available, adoption should dramatically accelerate.
Millennial Media has put out its latest "mobile mix" device report, which discusses operating systems and handsets on its network. The data are not an absolute reflection of market share but reliably indicate directional trends.
As Millennial reported in March the VZW iPhone has provided a big boost for the iPhone in the US (rumors indicate it will be coming to T-mobile and Sprint in late summer). That helped the iPhone regain momentum. In addition, iOS (including iPod Touch and iPads) has returned to the top of the Millennial's list in terms of revenue generation.
Immediately below is the December 2010 chart showing the OS revenue mix on Millennial's network:
Android devices collectively were responsible for 55% of the ad revenue generated in December. The positions have reversed and now iOS (boosted by the iPad) is generating 50% of the revenue on Millennial's network. BlackBerry has also grown considerably, it's worth noting.
These data don't mean that Android has stalled by any means. The company said that Android remains the dominant smartphone OS:
So while Android is leading the smartphone category, the iPod Touch and iPad give Apple advantages over Android. It's unlikely that any of the forthcoming Android tablets will significantly challenge the iPad unless/until a much better software user experience emerges -- though Android tablets have the potential to be very successful in the sub-10" segment.
Finally, Millennial said that for the first time all the phones in its top 20 were smartphones, amounting to 68% of all the devices reflected on its network. According to Nielsen smartphones represent 36% of all US handsets.
In December 2010 smartphones represented 60% of all devices on the Millennial network.
Here's what that same list looked like in December:
Mobile ad network inMobi released new findings based on data gathered from its global mobile ad network. Among other things, the company reports the comparative market shares of mobile operating systems and handsets on its network.
In addition inMobi said that in-app ads grew faster in April than mobile web advertising: "Commenting on the study, James Lamberti, VP Global Research & Marketing at InMobi, says: "Following the global smartphone revolution, 'in-application' advertising continues to outpace mobile web ad growth."
Below are inMobi's market share charts, with the US market represented in the second chart.
Nearly 10% growth in iPhone share in the US was driven by the introduction of the Verizon iPhone. Other data from IDC, comScore, Nielsen and others have confirmed a similar lift for the Apple handset. Here are comScore's March smartphone data for comparison purposes:
What's the principal difference between the comScore data and inMobi's numbers? ComScore's data are derived from consumer surveys, while inMobi's is based on ads and impressions served on actual handsets.
This morning Jumptap announced a new $25 million round of funding, bringing its total money raised to roughly $90 million. Participants in the round were AllianceBernstein, General Catalyst, Summerhill Ventures, Valhalla Partners and agency holding company WPP.
Though one of the largest independent mobile ad networks the perception was that JumpTap had lost momentum, resulting in a management shakeup last year. However the funding would appear to confirm new momentum.
The company now claims reach of 83 million consumers, 10,000 sites/apps in its network and 10 billion ad requests in April. JumpTap accommodates the full range of ad units. The company also operates intentionally in several countries.
Below is IDC's estimate (Q4 2011) of the distribution of mobile ad revenues. No doubt this is inaccurate today but directionally it shows the relative shares of revenue in the US market. JumpTap is the smallest of the "big" players. Nokia and AOL are non-entities right now. 4INFO is a conspicuous absence in the chart below.
JumpTap began as a search-based network and white-label provider of mobile search to carriers. When Google, Microsoft and Yahoo took over the mobile search business JumpTap shifted and became a mobile display network.
The company was growing and then seemed to falter. CEO Dan Olschwang was outsetd last year and replaced by General Catalyst's George Bell, which seemed to indicate the network was in trouble.
However the metrics and new funding indicate the JumpTap is back on track. JumpTap will likely get acquired rather than go public; the question is for how much?
AdMob was bought by Google for $750 million (in stock), while Apple acquired Quattro for between $250 and $275 million. Online ad network ValueClick recently bought Greystripe for $75 million.
JumpTap also holds what appear to be several key mobile advertising patents.
There's an extensive article in the New York Times about Google and mobile search. The article is mostly a feature about the evolution of Google's approach to mobile. It also discusses voice search and Goggles but there's little hard data or new numbers.
The $1 billion mobile ad run rate is mentioned as are several previously released data points. Here are a few of the stats and observations from the article:
We've estimated, using comScore and Google's own public data that between 1.9 and 2.4 billion monthly queries on Google are coming from mobile. Google has said 33% of mobile queries have local intent. That would mean that between roughly 600 million and almost 800 million monthly queries are local-mobile.
But here's the "money quote" from the NY Times' piece: “Mobile search is definitely going to surpass desktop search,” said Scott B. Huffman, who works on mobile search at Google and leads its search evaluation team. “The lines will pass, and I think they’ll pass before anyone thought they would.”
As reported last week (I was out for a short vacation) ValueClick is buying "brand-focused" mobile ad network Greystripe for an estimated $75 million. None of this has been confirmed or announced (though it's apparently an accurate report). TechCrunch says Greystripe's gross revenues will be between $25 and $30 million this year. (See below for update.)
Here's Greystripe's description of itself:
Greystripe is the largest brand-focused mobile advertising network in the US by reach. Greystripe delivers the highest engagement and most sophisticated targeting for brand marketers, the maximum revenue for publishers and app developers, and the best ad experience for users. Greystripe’s proprietary advertising platform serves billions of rich media impressions to over 30 million users of touch-driven devices through more than 3,500 application titles and mobile websites across all major mobile platforms.
Recently Greystripe released research that found roughly a quarter of iPhone and Android owners will be in the market for a new or used car in the next year and 78% of them will use their smartphones as part of the car-buying process. This research illustrates the importance of mobile as both an awareness and direct marketing medium for car-makers -- and by extension brands in general.
Last week WHERE (which operates a local ad network) was acquired by eBay. Although not a pure network, this is another indication that more consolidation is on the way in mobile.
Major independents that remain in the market include inMobi, 4Info, which recently became a "full service" mobile ads platform, Millennial Media (right now headed toward an IPO) and Jumptap. Others include Mojiva and Medialets, as well as mediators such as Smaato.
Independent Local-mobile ad network xAD is also a definite acquisition target. Because xAD hasn't done a great deal of PR for itself most people are unaware of its reach, high CPMs and overall quality. It's definitely a prize waiting to be snatched up.
Recently DataXu established the first "mobile DSP." This PC-mobile crossover will become standard in the near-term -- and ValueClick-Greystripe is an indication. To a lesser degree so is the eBay-WHERE acquisition.
Below is comScore's "Ad Focus" rankings that show the top 50 PC ad networks:
Each of the PC networks will be compelled to add mobile reach/distribution either through a partnership or acquisition within the next 12-24 months.
Update: According to Citi's Mark Mahaney, "Greystripe will be run as a wholly-owned subsidiary within ValueClick Media." He says that Greystripe is "expected to add $24-$26MM in revenue and $2-$3MM in EBITDA."
As you've no doubt seen by now WHERE.com was acquired by eBay for an estimated $135 million. WHERE had 2010 revenues of $17 million and projected revenue for 2011 was $40 million.
WHERE has a bunch of assets: great domain, strong mobile app, mobile ad network (120K-130K advertisers), deals functionality and a strong team. The company was reportedly offered a bunch of VC money but chose to take eBay's buyout offer instead.
They were right to do it. While it's possible that WHERE could have built a great deal more revenue and usage, the company also faced massive challenges from larger players such as Google, Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare. It also faced challenges from newer entrants (flavor of the month).
In addition WHERE.com, the PC site, is a huge opportunity that the company has not been able to develop successfully -- so far. Let's see if eBay can do it.
WHERE's ascendancy might be peaking now and a year or two from now the company might not be in the same position of strength. It's possible that WHERE could have grown much bigger if it were to remain independent but I'm not so sure.
Accordingly I think it was smart to take the money and run.
The iPhone had been driving strong wireless growth at AT&T for the past several quarters. So when the Verizon iPhone hit many financial analysts assumed there would be widespread defections and a corresponding slowing of wireless growth. Not so according to Q1 2011 AT&T revenues released this morning.
The AT&T saw a 39% increase in Q1 profit. Revenues rose to $31.2 billion in the first quarter, up $700 million vs. a year ago. Here are some additional earnings highlights:
Rougly 40% of the 5.5 million smartphone sales (AT&T's third best quarter for smartphone sales) were made up of non-iPhone devices. The carrier now has 97.5 million wireless subscribers.
Ad network InMobi released its latest Mobile Insights Report: Global Edition March 2011. Based on 31.9 billion monthly impressions generated by 220 million consumers, the latest report shows phones running the Android OS overtaking Apple's iPhone. This is consistent with most other data in the market.
The report continues to show Nokia as the global smartphone leader but, like other sources, indicates a decline in its overall share. Strikingly, InMobi says "Nokia lost -3.9 share points in just 90 days, while Samsung (+1.6 share pts), Apple (+1.9 share pts) and HTC (+2.8 share pts) gained share."
Another striking data point: "35% of all mobile ad impressions now occur on smartphones."
In North America, as with the Millennial data just released this morning, the Verizon iPhone has helped Apple but that has not been enought to slow Android's momentum. But for quarter, according to InMobi, Apple's growth outpaced Android's in North America. RIM also grew.
Globally Android, iOS and RIM grew while others declined according to the report. Below, compare the most recent IDC numbers (global estimates for year-end 2011) and those from comScore (US) representing the most recent quarter.
The IDC numbers for Android above are quite aggressive vs. what InMobi show. IDC's numbers are projections based on existing sales and additional assumptions about future consumer purchase behavior. ComScore's data are based on consumer surveys.
NAVTEQ put out a press release yesterday announcing results of "its first hyper-local ad campaign targeting millions of users of the Poynt application." Poynt is a search app. The NAVTEQ ads tested were location and/or contextually relevant to user queries.
Here are the results:
The maiden campaign featured hyper-local ads for national gas station and restaurant brands throughout the United States. All four campaigns performed three to five times better than the industry average* click-through rate (CTR) of .49 with an average CTR of 2.68% across campaigns. Post-click user engagement ranged from 4.49% to as high as 11.25%, depending on advertiser.
The 2.7% CTR and engagement numbers are better than average, but still not as strong as those reported by several others offering local-mobile advertising or location-based ads on mobile devices. Off the top of my head I know that TeleNav, xAD, Placecast and JiWire have local-mobile ad performance data that exceed the reported NAVTEQ metrics.
[Ads] resulted in a click thru rate of 3.8 percent, which is significantly greater than traditional mobile and online display ads. Moreover, the data indicates that the conversion rate of users who drive to the business location after clicking on an ad presented in TeleNav's local search results is nearly 24 percent.
Local-mobile ad network xAD told me that it sees average local search CTRs of 5% to 8%, with some campaigns exhibiting higher response rates. Google also previously reported that after a local-mobile lookup 61% of users called a business and 59% visited a location in person.
The larger point is that directional searches on the go are highly commercial in nature with action likely to be taken by the individuals conducting them.
Marchex has acquired Jingle Networks, which operates the 800-Free-411 consumer service and a mobile ad network. The acquisition is valued at $62.5 million and is a mix of cash and stock. Jingle had previously raised roughly $70 million since it was founded in 2004 in multiple rounds from investors.
The acquisition will boost the Marchex Call Advertising Network and (finally) provides Jingle with an exit. Jingle launched with terrific fanfare and seemed like a great option for mobile callers seeking to avoid growing 411 fees. However, the growth of smartphones has taken a toll (so to speak) on directory assistance call volumes and they continuing to erode albeit at a relatively stable pace.
Compared to traditional carriers, Jingle had a more interesting and diversified model than traditional 411. (Google shuttered its Jingle competitor, 800-GOOG-411 last year.) The best of the free 411 services was Microsoft's, Bing-411, which continues to operate.
Marchex says that the addition of Jingle's calls and mobile network to its own will deliver "annualized reach of more than 500 million phone calls across digital media." The company says that Jingle's revenues will be $26 million in 2011. Call-based advertising will now constitute "75% of [Marchex's] revenues on an annualized basis by the end of 2011."
Marchex says that the overall market for calls is worth $179 billion annually and includes both online and offline media. These are ads "intended to generate calls." The company also says that some of the campaigns on its call network generate 10X response and conversions from consumers vs. clicks.
While there are dozens of forecasts out there, most of them with aggressive predictions of growth, no one knows really how big the tablet market will be. Much of that will depend on pricing. Regardless, tablets are not a fad and there's considerable evidence that they're starting to impact PC usage for their owners. (Smartphone usage still generally seems to be "additive" to PC usage.)
The latest tablet usage data to come out is from AdMob (Google), based on a March 2011 survey (n=1,430) in the US market. Google doesn't break it out by device, but respondents were probably more than 90% iPad owners.
According to the findings, "77% of respondents reported that their desktop/laptop usage decreased after getting a tablet" and 28% now call their tablet their "primary computer." In a related finding "43% of respondents spend more time with their tablet than with their desktop/laptop."
A majority (68%) of users spend at least an hour a day with their tablets, while most tablet usage is at home, at night, during the week. In terms of activities, here's what the survey revealed about most and least popular:
Millennial released some February "SMART" data this morning. Here are some of the highlights:
For Millennial "local market" can be zip, state or metro-level targeting; it varies. But this growth indicates that the sophistication of mobile marketers is also growing, creating different ads/offers for different markets.
The second graphic is more interesting in many ways. It reflects tactics and campaign objectives:
While there are always going to be a range of objectives on display, depending on the marketer and the campaign, a set of "better practices" will emerge and there will be a tighter range of objectives over time. One of the objectives that will survive is branding/awareness.
Mobile will emerge as one of the most effective branding and awareness media, perhaps second only to TV. It will also have the benefit of being "actionable" in a way that TV is not: submit a form, make a call, locate a dealer.
The branding or awareness messaging and functionality (e.g., video) qualifies the user and then "find a store/dealer" or "put me on the list" creates the lead capture or direct response opportunity. However all awareness media become more "actionable" with mobile; consumers are using their mobile devices with or beside other traditional media and even their PCs. Here's a nice graphic from Microsoft to illustrate it (but there's much more data like this too):
TeleNav has a subscriber base of more than 20 million people, distributed over 600 devices in many countries. The company has done a good job of surviving the free navigation push by Google, Nokia and more recently Mapquest. It has an enterprise business as well as a direct consumer business. TeleNav also powers many of the carrier navigation services.
Earlier this week the company put out an "infographic" with some top-level US data about navigation usage. (As an aside I wish companies would stop putting out these so-called infographics for PR purposes. People pick them up, just as I have, but they make reading and understanding the data more difficult than it needs to be. It's a gimmick that should come to an end in my view.)
The chart shows that the top places US TeleNav users are navigating to. It also stands as a kind of unintended indictment of Americans' tastes and behavior.
The most searched/navigated locations are Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy. McDonald's is in there at number 6. Navigational queries like this (name-in-mind searches) represent about 60% of local searches coming from mobile devices currently. Collectively Pizza, American (food) and Burgers represent about 63% of restaurant-related queries. And among them McDonald's and Pizza Hut figure prominently.
Separately TeleNav conducted a survey of drivers and found, among other things, that:
Nearly 25 percent of both sexes reported sending at least one text message while driving per week. Men texted the most, with 36 percent of those who text while driving indicating they send an average of seven or more texts per week while on the road. In contrast, only 23 percent of women admitted to texting as frequently.
Below is a video demo of the current version of TeleNav (as AT&T Navigator):
Millennial Media's "Mobile Mix" report for February is out. It reflects device usage on Millennial's ad network, which the company says (per IDC) is the largest "independent" network, after Google and Apple. Among the stats offered by the company:
Moving on, there are a number of interesting observations to be made from the "Top 30 Mobile Devices" chart below.
The Galaxy Tab is the number 7 device on the list. In January Samsung announced that it had sold two million of the devices. However it was later forced to clarify that those were not sales to consumers but sales to distributors. The actual consumer sales figures are significantly less -- perhaps less than half the announced number. Indeed, while I've seen them in stores, I have not seen one in use in the world by an actual person.
Take a look at the "Google Insights for Search" chart below. This is for the last 30 days but it looks very similar going back. There is effectively no demand, as reflected in search volume, for the "Xoom" or the "Galaxy Tab." Accordingly, given all the available evidence, we can safely assume that almost all consumer sales of the Galaxy Tab have stopped or declined to a trickle.
There are likely relatively few Galaxy Tabs actually in the market. This probably means that to be in the seventh position on Millennial's chart those few devices are getting very heavy usage -- especially in comparison to other Android smartphones.
Alternatively it could mean that sales of those devices below the Tab on the chart were fewer than the Tab itself. That would probaby be an incorrect interpretation however. More likely the data reflect that the Tab is being used much more than other Android devices and all the BlackBerry handsets, for mobile Web access.
This brings to mind InsightExpress' comment in its recent consumer insights report that there's a new "a middle category" of mobile users who technically own smartphones but don't engage with them as fully as, for example, iPhone owners. InsightExpress equally observed that this middle group doesn't act like feature phone owners either.
Extrapolating from the position of the Galaxy Tab vs. other Android devices on Millennial's network it would appear that a large percentage of Android users fall into this new middle category.
Yahoo released a mobile white paper called "Mobile Internet – Delivering on the Promise of Mobile Advertising." It's part one of a series. There's a great deal of mobile consumer data in the document. The report covers multi-screen usage (TV + mobile) and tablets in addition to laying out some general mobile consumer behavior numbers and trends.
Citing third party data the report asserts that by the end of 2011 there will be 126 million mobile Internet users. Currently there are more than 90 million in the US according to Nielsen. I would estimate that at the end of 2011 mobile Internet users will number closer to 150 million.
Yahoo cites survey data that shows about 50% of consumers claim they purchase an item after researching it on mobile, while "90% of mobile owners access the web from the retail store floor." Google has slightly different numbers but they're broadly consistent (79% of smartphone owners use their phones while shopping and 74% purchased something as a result).
Yahoo also identifies mobile Internet usage patterns, which appear to be largely parallel during week days and on the weekend. Google and others have argued that PC and mobile usage patterns are complementary.
Here's Google's data about PC and mobile Internet "daypart" usage (via Efficient Frontier). It shows a slightly different pattern than the Yahoo data above.
Mobile Internet use is high in the home, as well as on the go. Yahoo said that 89% of mobile users access the mobile Internet at home. In addition, "86% of mobile Internet users surf the Web while watching TV, often searching for information on advertised products."
Mobile devices thus need to be thought about by marketers and publishers in a more holistic sense. Consumers are using them in the home and in conjunction with other media. This media mutlitaksing was previously done via laptop in front of the TV. I would imagine laptops are quickly being replaced by smartphones and tablets.
Finally Yahoo says that when online and mobile advertising are combined there's a significant lift. This is the same argument that has been made about search and display: "1 + 1 = 3." In addition, in terms of effectiveness Yahoo cites case studies that show significant mobile performance gains over PC:
See related post: Report: 43% of Mobile Internet Usage Happening in Home
Mobile ad network InMobi today released its "Mobile Insights Report: Global Edition January 2011." The report effectively covers all major regions of the globe and there's a trove of data from each continent. I'll focus only on North America and global data.
The company reports that smartphones now represent 36% of global ad requests on the InMobil publisher network, up from 24% -- just three months ago. Most of that growth has been driven by Android. But most ad requests (84%) are coming from mobile Web vs. apps (16%).
Unlike in the US where Android is now the top smartphone platform, Nokia and Apple outstrip Android on a global basis. However Android's growth is much greater than that of the iPhone and Nokia is declining by almost as much as Android is growing.
In North America operating system share appears like this to InMobi:
InMobi explains that Android has gained 21 share points in just three months to become the largest OS in North America.
These numbers are not an absolute reflection of market share but what InMobi sees in terms of handsets and operating systems making ad requests. In terms of individual handsets, the iPhone continues to dominate on InMobi's network globally and in North America.
Global device share:
North American device share:
It's clear from the totality of all the available data that Android's gains are coming through the sheer number of devices in the market. Windows isn't on the radar for InMobi in North America. And RIM appears to be getting overwhelmed by the Android onslaught.
Loopt was an early friend finder and social network for mobile devices that has been forced to reinvent itself and try different things repeatedly because of the entry competitors and better-known brands into its space: e.g., Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Google.
The most recent effort to do that is with its new "Reward Alerts," which are limited-time offers that are pushed to users based on location. This is similar to an AT&T-Placecast ShopAlerts initiative that was also announced this week. In that case AT&T handset users opt-in to receive deal alerts and they're pushed to users via SMS/MMS depending on location.
Initial advertisers for the Loopt program include Participating companies include Altec Lansing, FOX Broadcasting, Gilt City, Jawbone, Microsoft, OkCupid, Southwest Airlines, TabbedOut, Twelve South, TiVo and Yurbuds.
In order to participate, users must download the new version of the app, turn on "rewards" then the deals start flowing based on where users are. Loopt has had a deals/coupons product for some time in Loopt Star; however this is a more interesting and potentially successful implementation.
Deals have become immensely popular and the opt-in/push dimension of Placecast's and now Loopt's programs will make them compelling to marketers. For Loopt scale will be key. The company has more than four million users (compare Foursquare's 6+ million). However the Placecast program, because it's text-based, has an addressable audience of 95 million hypothetically (the entire AT&T subscriber base).
WHERE also offers location-based push couponing.