The ever industrious Rudy de Waele and his team are staging the next version of Mobile 2.0 Europe in beautiful Barclona on 16/17 June 2011. Last year’s version was awesome but this year they seem to have upped the ante significantly again. Staged in Telefonica’s mindblowing R&D centre Diagonal 00 (just look at the picture, for heaven’s sake!) and boasting a speaker line-up that should everybody get going!
It’s a developer conference, so none (or little) of the usual preaching but you will get more hands-on workshops on everything from app store marketing to HTML5 development. And all this in summery Barcelona! Go on, sign up here!
And if all that is not enough, here’s a selection of the people that will speak with you, work with you, talk to you (a full speaker list is here):
- Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio (yes, he, the Mighty Eagle of the “Angry Birds” guys)
- Daniel Gurrola, Orange
- Sanyu Kirulata, Blackberry
- Reimund Schmaid, Nuance
- Carlos Domingo, Telefonica I+D
- Jose Valles, BlueVia (Telefonica)
- Lucas Allen Buick, Synthetic (they of “Hipstamatic” fame)
- Matthias Sala, Gbanga
- Andy Goodman, Fjord
- Caroline Drucker, Soundcloud
- Vincent Hoogsteder, Distimo
- Andreas Constantinou, Vision Mobile
- Tom Hume, Future Platforms
- John Roberts, Quostodian
- Yes, and yours truly will also be there
See you in the sun very soon!
Last week, I moderated a panel at Mobile 2.0 Europe in Barcelona on “How to Make Money as a Developer”. Interestingly, there was no developer on the panel… However, there were representatives from Orange’s Partner Programme and from Telefonica, and I asked them if they would move from the “classic” 50/50 carrier revenue share (no one confirmed or denied the accuracy of that classic share of course) and, whilst they were clearly not willing to confirm anything (they probably couldn’t, to be fair), they did indicate that a revision of legacy models was under way in view of the not so new anymore challenges of app stores with their – now prevailing – 70/30 split in a developer’s favour.
This week, Vodafone came out a little more openly: at MEM, their Content Services Director pondered to
give [...] it back to the developers to let them monetise it.
The big one then followed. She said – and this must be close to an industry-first – that carriers
don’t necessarily have to drive towards revenue for all of that content.
And that is the real point: I have long been arguing that the real value of (great) content to carriers may not lie in incremental revenues (be it 50% or 30%) but in softer albeit much, much more important values, namely marketing, positioning as well as customer retention.
An example: a couple of years ago, we shipped a whole suite of X-Men 3 content, game, wallpapers, tones, you name it. The launch was, of course, around the movie launch (which was tremendously successful) and we had carefully crafted marketing plans including many brand partners (20th Century Fox, Activision, Panini, etc). We managed to drive some exceptional campaigns to which carriers in a lot of countries contributed serious marketing dollars. Did they do this in order to obtain an SMS-margin-matching ROI? Not in the strict sense. To them, this was brand extension and affiliation. And, boy, did it work!
Carriers biggest trouble is ARPU and customer churn. I am not sure about the latest numbers but for years the annual churn was reaching towards a third. And that is real money. If you can reduce churn by only a few points if you provide your users with great content services, you will see your money back many times. It is (brand) marketing, not incremental revenues that make it.
Now, as long as the content guys have revenue targets, the (normally very mighty) CFO of a carrier will ask painful questions on ROI and margins; and they will always come up short. Classify it as a marketing task though, and you’re looking really good: effective marketing that should yield measurable results at no cost. Hang on: at negative cost. How cool is that? I know that many a content guy at a carrier agrees with me here. Would they ever admit as much in public? You must be kidding me.
It is therefore good to see that Vodafone starts thinking publicly about alternative approaches with a view to strengthening and/or supporting their core business. Now put it in motion, folks!
On 17 June, a wonderful conference opens its doors: organized by the formidable Rudy de Waele and his team, the beautiful city of Barcelona (but without the usual Mobile World Congress stress and with better weather than in February!) is host to Mobile 2.0 Europe.
You will find a great line-up of speakers from across the mobile ecosystem, which should allow for a wonderfully balanced overview of what’s going on. The organizers have lined up senior guys from the giants of the industry, such as:
- PayPal Mobile
But they then coupled them with the nimble and agile guys like us, so you will also find:
- Distimo (analytics)
- Scoreloop (yes, I will be speaking)
- The Astonishing Tribe (UI experts)
- Future Platforms
- and more…
As if this wasn’t enough, the AppCircus will also stop at the event with an on-stage show of the best and brightest apps around.
Join us, it should be tremendous fun! The registration page is here.