Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fab’s Mobile Users Spend 20 Per Cent More

Fab, the online design product marketplace, has found that its mobile users purchase 20 per cent more items per order than PC customers, with 30 per cent of total sales now coming from its mobile apps. 

This figure, the company says, sometimes reaches above 50 per cent. People who use Fab’s mobile apps convert to purchasers more than twice as often as web-only users and they purchase twice as often, the retailer added.

“Success on mobile is now a barometer of a company’s success,’” said CEO Jason Goldberg. “It is not an understatement to say that Fab is a breakout mobile retailer.”

Fab has introduced updates to its iOS and Android apps, including improved search, browsing and filtering to enable mobile searchers to find items by product type, colour, price, popularity and availability.

The company, which prides itself on the sociability of its user-base, has also introduced Fab profiles so fans can bookmark and display all of the items favourited and purchased. Social has been a key part of the network’s growing success, with 50 per cent of its members coming from social.

The retailer, which launched in 2011, currently has 10m users who can browse up to 15,000 products from designers at any one time.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Telefónica Commits to EU Tech Job Pledge

Technology companies, including ARM, Cisco and Telefónica, have joined a ‘Grand Coalition’ announced by the EU commissioner for technology at Davos in order to boost digital skills, innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Neelie Kroes said that Europe would have 1m new tech jobs by 2016 and 2m by 2020, with up to a fifth of these in the UK. The initiative should equip Europeans with technological skills and knowledge to fill these roles.

Telefónica’s COO, José María Álvarez-Pallete, pledged to give support to 1,000 start-ups globally by 2015 through its Wayra Academy programmes, along with commissioning an attitudes survey of Millennial adults in the 27 member states and launching a new tech event in London, Campus Party Europe, to take place in September. Telefónica also aims to have built an online community of 300,000 young entrepreneurial Europeans, to teach digital literacy to 50,000 students in its Think Big School and get 5,000 young people and graduates into tech roles via its Talentum programme.

Skills shortages

“The transition to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy is accelerating, but skills shortages and gaps are negatively impacting growth, competitiveness, innovation and employment in Europe,” said Álvarez-Pallete, speaking at the World Economic Forum. “We believe that commissioner Neelie Kroes’ Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a very helpful catalyst to help European recovery. The private sector has a critical role to play and we will be working actively to build a real momentum across Europe”.

Telefónica has already been working to address existing skills gaps and encourage entrepreneurship, launching five Wayra start-up academies in Europe in the last 12 months. The company, which owns the UK’s O2 network and serves 100m customers in the EU, says it has invested in a new start-up every three days and created nearly three new jobs every day since Warya opened its doors. It has also trained 4,180 young people to start their own social projects and taught 1,000 young people about digital skills.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Mobile a Big Success in Record Year for BBC iPlayer

Mobile now makes up a quarter of all iPlayer traffic after a 177 per cent increase in smartphone and tablet usage during 2012. For the first time in its history, PC traffic made up less than half of all visits, 47 per cent, in December. Along with mobile, connected devices, including games consoles and smart TVs, make up the remainder.

The iPlayer app has now been downloaded 14m times, including 300,000 on Christmas Day alone. Mobile downloads of BBC programmes have proved a massive hit, with 10.8m downloaded to iOS devices since the service launched in September. They have quickly taken a 6 per cent share of viewing on mobiles and tablets. The majority of viewers download programmes at 10pm and watch them on the way to and from work at 7.30am and 5.30pm, the BBC has found.

Record usage

2.32bn TV and radio programme requests and 36.5bn minutes were consumed across all platforms during 2012. This is 34 per cent more time spent watching iPlayer than ever before. December continued to be the most popular month, with a record 217m requests for TV and radio programmes, a 23 per cent increase on 2011.

2013 has had a strong start, with 6,732m requests for TV programmes on January 1 alone, the most ever seen in 24 hours. The Olympic Opening Ceremony topped iPlayer viewing, followed by Top Gear and Sherlock.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

FTC Tells Google: "Don’t be Evil"

Written for and first published here:

Google has agreed to change some of its business practices following a large-scale investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into the company’s operations.

The FTC criticised Google for breaches of licensing agreements on patents essential to the development of the industry. The agreement could spell the end of the wave of costly class actions over patent infringments between technology companies.

Google has also promised to stop using content from other companies’ websites for use on its own vertical offerings, and will also give advertisers more flexibility to manage ad campaigns on Google AdWords, along with other rival ad platforms simultaneously. While Google was investigated for manipulating search algorithms to favour its own vertical websites, the FTC concluded that this ‘could be plausibly justified as innovations that improved Google’s product and the experience of its users’.

Standardised patent ruling

Motorola, bought by Google in June, is accused of reneging on commitments to give competitors fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to patents needed to develop products including iPhones, iPads and Xboxes. Google continued this, seeking injunctions against companies that wanted to license these patents, which ‘constitute unfair methods of competition, as well as unfair acts and practices’, the Commission said.

Should the terms be accepted following a period of public comment, this could set a precedent for similar disputes across other industries where companies amass patents for ‘for purely defensive purposes’. The judgement should prevent firms from performing a ‘patent ambush’, where the cost of royalties incurred by businesses can be passed on to consumers, or prevent products from being developed at all.

“The changes Google has agreed to make will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of competition in the online marketplace and in the market for innovative wireless devices they enjoy,” said FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz. “This was an incredibly thorough and careful investigation by the Commission, and the outcome is a strong and enforceable set of agreements.”

Some members of the Commission criticised the FTC’s use of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act as an abuse of the its authority and claimed that this judgement is in conflict with a previous ruling concerning Apple and Motorola.