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Google Plays Catch-up to Yahoo’s Mobile Efforts?

It’s not often you get to suggest that Google is playing “catch-up” to a competitor, so I’m sure the headline above will bring a wry smile to the folks at Yahoo.

Humor aside, it does appear that Google’s blog post, announcing their expansion of features for Google Mobile, is in reaction to Yahoo’s oneSearch initiative.

Here’s what you’ll now get with Google’s mobile site (from their blog post).

  • Get the information you care about, right from your homepage. Because it can be difficult to manage small screens and small keypads, and because mobile search is often more about seeking specific information than browsing for extended periods, we’ve made it possible to add the information you’re interested in directly to the mobile homepage. Ranging from movie listings to stock-market updates to website feeds or news snippets, these gadgets can be added with a simple click. You can then reorder, replace, or modify your gadgets however you like.

A Trifecta of Yahoo Mobile News

Yahoo’s had a busy start to the day, announcing three new mobile initiatives.

  1. They’ve launched Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services, “a suite of services designed to enable publishers to increase the discovery, distribution and monetization of their content on mobile phones.”
  2. They’ve opened up oneSearch to aforementioned Yahoo Mobile Publishers Services.
  3. They’ve announced a new mobile advertising alliance that sees Yahoo become the ad network partner for MobiTV’s mobile video advertising sales and delivery.

CBS Goes Mobile

You’ve got to give them credit for trying: CBS does kind of seem to be getting the new media. For more than a year they’ve been making deals with Google Video, YouTube, and CSTV. in addition to their own streaming channel. And now they’re going mobile.

MediaPost blogs about the new deal to provide popular shows on mobile phones. CBS has signed deals with several providers, including Cingular and Verizon. Their most recent deal, with Sprint, is the first to include preroll ads for their shows and clips.

Aside from the convience of watching the shows that you weren’t going to watch anyway or the evening news whenever you want (what, a week after it airs so it’s already out of date?), what are the advantages of mobile TV? I certainly don’t want to watch TV on a 2″ x 2″ screen while paying by the kilobyte—and that’s even without preroll ads. (Though, like Wendy on MediaPost points out, early adopters will be all over it.)

Desktops, Movies, Mobile and Ninjas!

You know, my Google Reader link blog would be even more useful, if I could add my thoughts to each added item. Instead, I’ll share some interesting news right here!

BTW, two of those news items come courtesy of MP readers. Thanks guys!

Will Mobile Phone Networks Realize Their Future is Tied to Social Networks?

Day one of reading the many feeds submitted by our readers, and I’m already sharing a lot of cool stuff over at my link blog.

Worthy of further consideration is Andrew Girdwood’s suggestion that mobile phone networks should look to embrace social networks as a way to grow their user-base. One of his ideas…

I think a great way phone networks could encourage loyalty from their subscribers is to offer a mobile social networking platform that’s coupled to the network. Leave the network and you’ll also have to leave that mobile social platform behind. Many people pick their networks simply through a social selection process. My friends are on Network X and therefore it makes sense for me to be on Network X.

More Mobile Marketing Opportunities

We’ve been talking a lot about mobile marketing lately. If you’re not sick of the subject yet, eMarketer has some more data on mobile marketing opportunities (as always with eMarketer, free for a limited time only). Yes, I said data. I love . . . well, you know.

Highlights from their data (all emphasis added):

  • 90% say that they are not at all interested in getting ads on their mobile phones, according to Harris Interactive.
  • Right now, mobile is the only interactive medium where the typical user pays for both the cost of network access and the content it delivers. Mobile operators and content providers are finding that besides early adopters and enthusiasts, it is tough to find buyers for paid mobile music downloads, let alone video and games.

Google Tries to Squash Cell Phone Reports

Despite a lot of evidence suggesting Google is working on a rival to the new Apple iPhone, Google executives have stated the company is interested only in developing mobile software, not hardware.

Google’s South-East Asia managing director of sales and operations, Richard Kimber, is quoted as saying “At this point in time, we are very focused on the software, not the phone.”

Of course, we all know that doesn’t completely rule out a Google cell phone. It’s quite possible that Google is working with a cell phone manufacturer (Samsung) to create a Google branded phone, they’re just not working on the actual hardware.

What’s interesting, as always, no flat out denial from anyone at Google.