2008 – The Year of the iPhone, 2009 the Year Mobile Marketing Finally Goes Mainstream?

By Peter Young

Mobile marketing is often been forecast as the next big thing, however it has often been the case of ‘always the bridesmaid and never the bride’—as mobile marketing campaigns often failed to deliver.

However in 2008, we have started to see a change. Mobile marketing investment is certainly on the increase. Many organisations previously have been reluctant to invest or merely dipping their toe in the water, now have seen increased traffic volumes and ad networks establishing themselves with media buyers.

YouTube Making Universal Music Money–What about Google?

Well, it looks like the most popular video site on the Internet is making somebody money—but it might not be Google. Universal Music Group reports that YouTube is making them “tens of millions of dollars.”

Rio Caraeff, executive vice president of Universal Music Group’s eLabs and head of their digital group, told CNET:

[YouTube] is not like radio, where it’s just promotional. It’s a revenue stream, a commercial business. It’s growing tremendously. It’s up almost 80 percent for us year-over-year in the U.S. in terms of our revenue from this category.

The tens of millions are part of $100 million in video streaming revenue for the company. The money comes from not only a partnership with YouTube, but other sites including MTV, iMeem and MySpace. Three years ago, UMG made nothing from their videos.

Register Now for Affiliate Summit West 2009

Whether you’re a merchant with an affiliate program, or an affiliate marketer, you won’t want to miss Affiliate Summit West. The event takes place Jan 11-13 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and is your chance to learn from expert speakers and network with fellow marketers.

Group rates are available, as are sponsorship packages, but you’d better register early–paying on site will cost you an extra $500!

I’m moderating and speaking on the panel "Managing Your Brand"–providing advice for both merchants and affiliates–and, if you can stay an extra day, I still have some space for my Online Reputation Management Workshop.

I hope to see you there!

Google Optimizes Search Results for iPhone & Android Users

Google announced yesterday that they have improved mobile search results for iPhone and Android users. The goal of the upgrade was to enhance usability by providing cleaner search results, and all touch-screen functionality.

Now, all Google search options for Android and iPhone lead to results that load faster and are formatted to fit the screen so you don’t have to zoom or scroll side-to-side. We’ve also added touchscreen-friendly buttons and expandable maps for local business results.

Here’s a look at the new interface. I’d take a screenshot from my phone, but I am a dedicated Blackberry user (and will continue to as long as BB Geeks sticks around!)

In addition to launching Friend Connect this month, Google has also updated Chrome, GMail, Google Reader, AdWords editor, and has been seen updating their search suggest feature as well.

Japanese Group Wants Google to Stop “Violating Privacy Rights” of Citizens

The Campaign Against Surveillance Society, a Japanese group of lawyers and professors, wants Google to stop providing its Street View imaging service of Japanese cities and delete all saved images, according to Reuters.

Google’s Street View offers 360 degree views of 12 Japanese cities–as well as 50 in the US–but the Japanese group believes the tool violates citizens’ privacy.

“We strongly suspect that what Google has been doing deeply violates a basic right that humans have,” Yasuhiko Tajima, a professor of constitutional law at Sophia University in Tokyo, told Reuters by telephone.

“It is necessary to warn society that an IT giant is openly violating privacy rights, which are important rights that the citizens have, through this service.”

Burger King Uses Twitter to Send Cease & Desist Notice

Just days after an Australian judge ruled that Facebook could be used to server a home owner foreclosure legal documents, we now have a curious case of a cease and desist notice being sent via Twitter.

The official Burger King Twitter account has apparently sent such a notice to the account "WhopperVirgins"–which we assume has been "brandjacked" by someone outside of the fast food company.

Now, knowing BK, this could just be some kind of inside joke, but it will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of a growing trend. I, for one, have personally been a victim of brandjacking on Twitter–although I chose a more amicable solution for getting back the Trackur username.

Your Vote for Best Tweets of the Year

I’m in an awards mood today, and it’s almost time to reflect on 2008 as we head barreling into 2009. The New York Times blogged about a company’s quest (great PR move by Sawhorse Media)  to find the best tweeters of the year. The awards are called the Shorty Awards, and it’s a hot topic on Twitter. Over 12,000 entries have come in already.

I thought it was for top tweets, but it’s really for the top people on Twitter in different categories. This means it serves as a great way to see who’s popular on different subjects (just in case you need to reach or follow one of them).