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AOL Buys Mobile Ad Network

Monitoring 200 RSS feeds, you’d think we would have caught earlier news that AOL has acquired Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising network – let’s just say it was one of those “did we cover this already” moments.

Anyway, lots of others picked up on the story and Mashable has the best summary of the deal…

Third Screen Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com division. The acquisition of course lends to better positioning of AOL for the mobile market, and allows them to offer this ad distribution channel to their advertisers as well. Third Screen Media acts as a broker for advertisers, publishers and mobile phone carriers, connecting them on a common platform to enable ad-management and delivery via WAP, downloadable applications, SMS, MMS, and mobile video, putting forth a wide array of options for all parties involved.

Ask Launches Ask Mobile GPS for Sprint

If you own a GPS-enabled Sprint phone, you’re among the first to be able to test out Ask’s new Ask Mobile GPS mobile service.

With Ask Mobile GPS, you can:

  • Share your current location with anyone in your address book.
  • Get turn-by-turn driving or walking directions.
  • Tap into IAC’s comprehensive CitySearch database of local businesses, restaurants and services.
  • Send out, and respond to, Evite invitations.

The service is available on seven Sprint phones and will cost $9.99 per month. Ask is hoping that it can gain traction by offering a solid search platform with GPS, before others can.

“Up to 30 to 40 percent of what is done on the Web could move to mobile,” Ask’s CEO Jim Lanzone told Reuters. “At the end of the day, everyone needs to go mobile. But being early in the game can help lock people in for the long term.”

Listen-up Hollywood! Here’s Why Mobile Content is Slow to Grow

I just finished reading a NYT article on the frustration being felt by Hollywood because they can’t get advertising dollars to support their mobile content.

…while short, multiepisode cellphone series are growing in popularity, the lucrative advertising dollars prevalent in other entertainment segments — and which studios rely on for profit — have been slow to migrate to the supersmall screen…”an advertiser would have to pay us to develop content for wireless phones because right now there is no business model. There has to be a way to make money there.”

Welcome to the world of new media! Here’s where you’re going wrong.

Hope for Mobile Marketing

The Cellular-News brings new hope for mobile media marketing today: teens in the UK say OK to mobile ads. Among the 1500 cell users aged 11-20 surveyed by Q Research, 32% were willing to receive ads on their mobile phones. Contrast that to the 90% of American adults who weren’t at all interested in receiving them.

Targeting increased teens’ willingness to receive ads: 71% said they’d be willing only if the ads were for things they were already interested in. 76% would be willing to receive ads in exchange for incentives like discounts and special offers. 82% would be willing to receive ads in exchange for “top-up” credit (pay-as-you-go customers’ willingness rose to 90%). Again, to contrast this with American adults, only 1/3 were willing to receive ads in exchange for incentives, and their preferred incentive was cash (78%).

Yahoo’s oneSearch Brings Mobile Search to Six New Countries

If you live in the UK, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany or France, I have good news for you. Yahoo has announced the expansion of their oneSearch mobile search service to your country!

If you’re not quite sure how oneSearch will change the way you search for pizza, we have a refresher from the US launch.

oneSearch is designed to make searching for and finding information as quick as possible for consumers by providing relevant results right on the page such as news headlines, images, business listings and more as well as easy navigation to other web sites. Effectively, oneSearch anticipates the type of information you are looking for, and does away with the arduous task of navigating ten blue links in a mobile browser (see the “pizza” example, right).

Google Phone Launching Before End of 2007?

The infamous Google Phone is kind of like Kaiser Soze - does it exist or not?

Engadget is spreading rumors – which we’re happy to pass on – from a Taiwanese counter-part, claiming a Google Phone will be in our hands by the end of 2007.

They cite “handset component makers” as their source. The phones will feature Texas Instruments’ 3G platform with EDGE and of course built-in G-Mail and Google Maps. Unfortunately, they will not be GPS enabled. The handsets are also said to sport both Google and carrier branding with “sources” claiming that European’s Orange might be the first carrier to see the hotness.

At this stage it’s still very much a rumor.

Microsoft’s Tellme Launches Free 411 Service

In case you missed it, April is “National Launch a Free 411 Service” month. I know, we both missed it on our calendars, but I know it’s true because hot on the heels of Google’s free 411 service, comes news that Microsoft’s recently acquired Tellme has launched its free 411 offering.

According to Tellme, here’s what you’re getting:

  • Tellme by Voice:  Call 1-800-555-TELL and just say “business search” to find a business listing or search for a particular category, such as “flower shops,” from any phone, including a map for the selected listing.  Callers can also choose from many other great services like movie tickets, ring tones, sports, news and more.