Monday, December 14, 2009

SK Telecom/Hana deal to yield new mobile payment tools

SK Telecom/Hana deal to yield new mobile payment tools: "

South Korean operator kingpin SK Telecom announced its board approved a $343 million proposal to acquire a 49 percent stake in Hana Financial Group's credit card unit, a deal that heralds the introduction of new mobile payment and finance solutions. 'The latest stake purchase in Hana Card came as we plan to promote the proliferation of mobile credit cards and to launch a next-generation payment service,' SK Telecom CEO Jung Man-won said in a prepared statement. 'Through this partnership, we will tap into new areas, such as the telecom-finance convergence market, by maximizing the business synergies of both companies.' According to SK Telecom, it will soon introduce a mobile credit card enabling subscribers to pay for purchases via wireless device as well as access personal banking information.

The Wall Street Journal reports Hana Financial's board approved the sale of the stake last week following seven months of negotiations. Access to SK Telecom's 24 million subscribers should substantially increase Hana Financial's credit card market share: 'A real convergence of telecom and finance seems to be possible via services like mobile banking via wireless Internet as well as mobile (financial transactions) settlement,' said Kiwoom Securities analyst J.M. Ahn.

For more on the SK Telecom/Hana Financial deal:
- read this Wall Street Journal article

Related articles:
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to launch mobile app store
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, Citigroup team on mobile banking


Nielsen, Catalina Launch Service to Measure Sales Impact of Media Buys

Nielsen, Catalina Launch Service to Measure Sales Impact of Media Buys: "BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Nielsen Co. has struck a deal to combine its TV ratings and online-audience measurement data with Catalina Marketing's loyalty-card purchase data in a joint venture they claim can increase efficiency of the package-goods industry's $20 billion in media outlays by at least 10%.

Jeffrey Katzenberg Plans on Living Happily Ever After

Monday, November 16, 2009

artpouring: see what real art looks like
New Dating Sites Match People Through DNA Tests
The Price of Pitchfork Fun | Pitchfork Music Festival Blog: Forked - Blogging the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago

Lessons Learned From the Ad Age/Creativity Idea Conference - Advertising Age - News

Lessons Learned From the Ad Age/Creativity Idea Conference - Advertising Age - News

Remix On Your iPhone Like It’s Your Birthday With 50 Cent’s Sound Lab App

Remix On Your iPhone Like It’s Your Birthday With 50 Cent’s Sound Lab App: "

A plethora of rap and hip-hop artists have jumped at the opportunity to create branded iPhone apps, Including T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Jon, Soulja Boy and P. Diddy. Now 50 Cent is getting an app of his own, in partnership with Vitamin Water. The free app, called 50’s Sound Lab App, lets users create and share their own mixes of “Baby By Me”, a single off of 50 cent’s latest album, Before I Self Destruct. You can download it here.

The app is powered by mobile digital entertainment studio Moderati’s Romplr remix platform. Romplr allows fans to interact with music by creating their own versions of tracks by artists. Users can record and share their personal mixes via Facebook, email, or on Romplr’s site.

Romplr was first implemented on Soulja Boy’s pp, which was actually $4.99 in the app store, instead of free. But 50 Cent’s app only offers one song to remix, while Soulja Boy let users remix several of his tracks.

In addition to being able to remix the single, 50 Cent is giving the user that creates the best remix with the app (and shares it on the app’s branded site), the opportunity to meet him. Compared to the other rap-focused iPhone apps out there, this one falls a little short in my opinion. It only lets you remix one song, and it seems for like more of an opportunity for 50 Cent to create buzz around his new single and promote Vitamin Water than to actually create a broadly entertaining app.

That being said, its free and could provide for some interesting and funny songs. Plus, songs can easily be shared to social networks. If the app could include some of 50 Cent’s more popular songs, such as “In Da Club,” perhaps it could give T-Pain’s popular app a run for it’s money.

Crunch Network: CrunchBase the free database of technology companies, people, and investors

Remix On Your iPhone Like It�s Your Birthday With 50 Cent�s Sound Lab App

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Google Acquires AdMob to Bolster Mobile-Display Ad Business - Advertising Age - Digital

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Humanity Speaks Out! Charter for Compassion

Charter for Compassion: "There is an urgent need for a new focus on compassion.

Bringing together voices from all cultures and religions, the Charter seeks to remind the world we already share the core principles of compassion.

On November 12, thousands of people across the globe will listen together. More »"

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Outdoor advertising isnt your grandfathers billboards anymore 10/30/2009 - Media Man on Blog Talk Radio

Outdoor advertising isn't your grandfathers billboards anymore 10/30/2009 - Media Man on Blog Talk Radio

I was invited by Media Man to sit in for Matthew Duddy, VP and General Manager Lamar Outdoor who had to cancel last minute.

The official tag was "Discussing the new & improved outdoor advertising model. From digital billboards, touch screens and mobile content, outdoor has come a long way from the Burma Shave billboards."

We talked about OOH becoming interactive and portable, as well as new engaging formats: projection technologies, subway train animation, narrow casting, SMS, NFC and more.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thanks to everyone who listened in and participated in Media Man's Blogtalkradio show today!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obopay Introduces Mobile Payments for Online Games, Digital Goods ( )

Verizon And Motorola Roll Out The Droid

Verizon And Motorola Roll Out The Droid: "At a news conference in New York Wednesday, Verizon Wireless introduced its latest attempt to blunt Apple’s iPhone, the Motorola Droid. And it promised the largest advertising campaign in its history to tout the phone’s advantages."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Google to feature Twitter updates in search ( )
Google Voice Can Now Take Control Of Your Mobile Voicemail ( )
As Attention Swings Towards Mobile, The Rise of �App-vertising� ( )
Twitter And Y Combinator Team Up For Startup Stream Access ( )
Out of 25 Biggest Newspapers, Only Wall Street Journal Gains Circ ( )
Surprise! Family Guy too raunchy for Microsoft sponsorship ( )
Wine Notes ( )
Japan Mobile Stats for Sept 2009 ( )
Congrats!! Bump Technologies Confirms Sequoia Funding, Reveals Roster Of Angels ( )
Are retailers going too far tracking our Web habits? - ( )
Microsoft, Google and the Bear - Bits Blog - ( )

Big Cellphone Makers Shift to Android Platform From Google -

Big Cellphone Makers Shift to Android Platform From Google -
Volkswagen turns to iPhone game to launch new vehicle ( )

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gold Dust Orphans presents 'Valet of the Dolls' beginning October 23 | Explore Boston Theatre ( )
Don't Blame Google Sidewiki if Your Brand Takes Another Hit - Advertising Age - Digital ( )
Android Avalanche: A Complete List Of The Android Phones So Far ( )
Doro PhoneEasy cell phones for seniors ( )
Target, CVS encourage reusing shopping bags by paying back their customers - Chicago Sun-Times ( )
Verizon adds wireless to bundle for quad play ( )
Sprint Nextel to acquire iPCS : $831M deal ends years of legal wrangling ( )

Monday, October 19, 2009

NPR's New Wi-Fi Radio is a Baby Boomer's Boombox | Science Inc. | Fast Company ( )
Did JPMorgan And Citi Screw Taxpayers By Cheating On Student Loans? ( )
Prepaid Cards Cheaper than Low Balance Checking/Debit Accounts ( )
Jan 14, 2010: Edward Tufte: Seeing Around at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum ( )

Wireless Developer Network

Mobile crowdsourceing commuter traffic app Wireless Developer Network
7 Must-Haves For Scoring Venture Capital Cash ( )

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shazam Gets Funding, Counts 50M Users of Mobile Music ID App

Shazam Gets Funding, Counts 50M Users of Mobile Music ID App: "London
- Shazam Entertainment, a provider of music recognition technology, announced
on Wednesday that it raised an undisclosed sum of new funding from venture
capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers' iFund.

read more


Friday, September 25, 2009

Industry reaction mixed to FCC net neutrality plans: New regs bring some clarity, beg new questions (

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today's Mobile Apps Are Just an Appetizer

Today's Mobile Apps Are Just an Appetizer: "
In grand historical terms, this whole mobile app thing is only now climbing out of the primordial ooze.Which, believe me, is what you want to hear. It would be pretty depressing if the evolution of mobile apps was destined to stop at Ask Happy Buddha. Or iFart.


What Adobe's Omniture Acquisition Means for Advertising

What Adobe's Omniture Acquisition Means for Advertising: "NEW YORK ( -- It's sexy these days for creatives to talk about data. And yesterday's marriage of Adobe and Omniture means analytics could soon be conceived right along with art and copy.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

So many clueless, so little time: "Boy, that's news to me. I don't really see it impacting us." (

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Here's To the Media Pioneers - OR - Hey You Get Off of My Cloud

Media change is a naturally organic and healthy process spurred on by creativity, innovation, technology and social behavior. The process isn’t new – it’s as old as Guglielmo Marconi and PT Barnum ¬– but the cycle of change and adaptation is increasing with media proliferation, wireless connectivity and device portability. Media channels have traditionally competed for mass attention and sponsorship. Now, instead of competing, media channels are being woven together as all media is becoming interactive.

As a kid I remember early broadcast TV being really primitive. Just before my time, radio stars with silk voices and sandpaper faces found themselves suddenly and unexpectedly out of work. Television was taking over the broadcast drama format and radio had to either change format or loose listeners. You will notice that radio didn’t vanish. It simply evolved in new directions.

Even so, TV programming was pretty awful at times before it was even experimental. It took pioneers taking risks to build an amazing media institution that has lasted more than seven decades.

The same is true of the Internet but this is much harder to see because it is still so rapidly evolving. Did you know TV is interactive now? The trouble is that almost no one less than thirty years old really cares much and most people over the age of 45 can’t take advantage of the benefit. The interactive experience of television doesn’t rival the adrenalin rush of a multiplayer Halo match zapping aliens to kibbles. Most of the folks who struggled to program the VCR don’t enjoy scrolling through menu selections. We’re witnessing the dawn of information portability, access, personalization and content creation wherein "the masses control the media." When TV is interactive, on demand, on mobile phones and user created, is it really TV any longer? Not as most of us, including sponsors, advertisers and networks understand TV. According to the Advertising Age 2007 budget numbers, 56B on TV vs. 11B Internet, online hasn’t replaced television by a long shot. To witness how television networks, programming and hardware have developed over the past decade however, it would be hard to miss the influence of interactive media. TV is evolving in new directions.

Here on this media battleground enters the wireless device. It was the rapid adoption of SMS text by teens that created the vast mobile market. Not the media and not the wireless carriers, it was, the people that drove the shift to mobile. The growth of SMS was as organic, unplanned and unexpected as the iPhone’s domination of the wireless web that strains AT&T’s network. By now it is no secret that the new social zeitgeist has far outpaced the strategy of the media oligarchy to monopolize consumer interest. Mobile messaging and social media are inherently connected, interdependent communications media phenomena. The social network model has smoothly and rapidly embraced the mobile channel while so many entrenched channels are struggling and competing in silos. Coincidentally, we're in something of a global “recession” and an environment where taking risks on new media can be akin to martyrdom. As always, marketing trendsetters are the few visionaries and change agents, willing to take a punch to drive in a new era. These pioneers must convince the many, change averse, sheepishly employed guards of the status quo, propping up rotting sacred cows, creating barriers to new media availability. Most pioneers die on the trail, there are few known heroes and many casualties. Right now, the speed by which media attention is shifting to the mobile platform may also shear a few bystanders.

Consider that a generation – the largest since the Boomers – has been raised on wireless interactive communication. 260+ million people in the US out of 300 million men women and children have wireless devices – more than half of which text and roughly 30 percent have wireless web enabled handsets. After more than 70 years of media supremacy, TV doesn't have the market penetration mobile phones gained in just half a decade. Now there’s tremendous opportunity for those who embrace media channel convergence on mobile platforms and applications with originality. We are rapidly approaching the tipping point where the me too approach – e.g. "we are also considering a mobile iPhone application"– has become a far greater risk than learning by inventing something new. In my opinion, there are already too many ‘apps for that’ thank you very much. There are however, several innovative case studies in the “nascent” mobile media history dating back to 2003 that are truly groundbreaking and worth learning from.

We owe our thanks to those pioneers who came before us risking their fortunes and reputations to shape the industry where we have found our careers. We owe it to the entrepreneurs that reinvent their way through massive social shifts and disruptive technology changes to keep tens of thousands or even just one person employed. We owe our thanks to the unsung garage and basement dwellers that work to reinvent technology and media every day just for the passion of inventing, enabling communications and the satisfaction of possibly one day making a contribution.

We the media and technology professionals have something of a common history, and a debt to our forbearers. We owe it to the industry to value integration over channel specialization. We owe it to ourselves to demand better than a “look me too” approach. We owe it to our society to promote new media technology invention and clear the path to innovation of yesterday’s sacred cow carcass.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Charge My Mobile or Who Swiped My Wallet?

With the recent announcements by Visa, Google, Chase and Nokia, mobile phone payments in the US are a near-term certainty. The forces driving adoption and market penetration are entrenched players in wireless and financial transaction markets. Soon you’ll be hearing a lot about a wireless technology known as near-field communication (NFC). Near-field is about to do for mobile media what e-commerce did for the Internet, only on a much larger scale.

Credit issuing banks are going to increase their share of retail market spending or customer wallet by providing the convenience of mobile payments and advantage of mobile tracking of spending and expenses. Using radio frequency identification (RFID), mobile phones are to be used for small ticket item purchases instead of credit cards. Already available in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, The Netherlands and now the UK, NFC enables mobile phone payments at retail terminals, transit systems and vending machines. In the US, “proximity” payments will enable consumers to pay with their mobile phones in place of plastic.

According to the Smart Card Alliance, there are already close to half a million contactless NFC terminals in the US. These readers support RFID wireless technology currently deployed for smart cards (a credit card embedded with an RFID chip). Smart card technologies include MasterCard’s Tap – I know that’s an unfortunate choice of words these days – and Visa’s Wave. Catchy branding sounds good but no one’s waving any credit card bills and most Americans are tapped already. Smart card penetration has reached about 10 percent of the credit card market but that’s not really the end game for credit issuing banks. I have yet to see anyone physically tap or wave a credit card. I doubt there’s any added convenience to waving a card at a terminal, certainly not enough to change behavior. People have learned to slide credit cards through payment terminals – ironically the term for this action is called “swipe.” Smart cards were clearly an interim step on the path to mobile proximity payments.

There’s nothing inherently “smart” about smart cards, so privacy advocates, please don’t get unraveled. The RFID tag in your credit card is a storage device, not a processor. RFID tags embedded in smart cards, are intended for reading by an external card reader in the terminal. If you’re thinking that wireless transmission of your personal credit card data may be a bad idea, you’re not alone. There are numerous articles written about security, fraud and privacy. RFID has been the subject of heated debate. An RFID tag is basically used for wireless tracking of items. Although the broadcast range in smart cards is limited to a few centimeters and the data has been securely encrypted, third party readers that get within range could access those cards. Hacking RFID tags has become a pastime for Stanford undergrads and makes great fodder for industry trade rags.

The major difference between smart cards and mobile proximity payments is that mobile phones are equipped with RFID readers. Mobile NFC payments do not use the same write-once-read-many (WORM) configuration as smart cards. For one thing, the mobile phone uses an NFC reader writer device configuration. NFC can be activated and deactivated as needed by the mobile phone user. For another, the mobile phone can both send and receive signals using multiple protocols. Mobile phone payments offer far more robust functionality in terms of payment security, verification, access and tracking than read-only smart cards.

There’s plenty of incentive for wireless carriers to deploy RFID readers through their handset manufacturers for transactions. US mobile network operators have an installed base of more than 260 million subscribers from which to monetize transactions. Within the GSMA (an international wireless industry trade association) there are 721 mobile phone operators across 218 countries. Nearly half of the mobile network operators (MNO’s) in the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) are involved in the world-wide NFC initiative and reach more than 800 million customers.

Most retailers are familiar with RFID for supply chain management, inventory and shipping but mobile media is altogether different and still fairly new to marketers. The retail industry began implementing RFID for managing and tracking inventory as early as 2000. Manufacturers tag pallets using RFID embedded with an Electronic Product Code (EPC) to track shipments and manage inventory. In retail security, items tagged with RFID will set off alarms at security kiosks located at store exits. As early as 2004, Prada, an upscale retailer in New York installed RFID technology in smart closets. RFID tags on products trigger corresponding product video to play on displays located in store dressing rooms. A similar configuration using smart shelves was recently deployed this year in Germany for merchandising P&G hair care products. While retailers are familiar with the various implementations of RFID for security, tracking and even merchandising, most US retailers haven’t implemented mobile for payment systems, loyalty and point-of-sale (POS) redemption. Retailers just now seeking answers about mobile media are already behind the technology curve. Fortunately, there are several options for brining mobile payments to retail including mobile loyalty, pre-paid credit cards, stored value, and third party merchant transaction services.

Mobile proximity payments along with other NFC uses will change everything we understand about retail, merchandising, mobile and traditional media. Consider the matter of consumer and industry adoption a relative certainty. Mobile phone payments will replace credit cards and ultimately cash for retail purchases. Which players will most effectively leverage mobile NFC technology to offer customer convenience, extend reach and grab media market share is still the only mystery.

The mobile phone-as-payment method broadens the retail, financial transaction, wireless and media network playing fields. In the m-commerce environment, network operators and media distribution networks have as much at stake in financial transactions as credit issuing banks. Last year, Visa formed partnerships with Chase, Google, Nokia and US Bank with a launch of mobile payments targeted in Q4 2009. Soon, brick and mortar retail should offer all the advantages of e-commerce. The fact that more than seventy percent of purchases searched online are transacted in-store seems to indicate that mobile proximity payments may already be more aligned with consumer behavior.

Within the year, alliances will be drawn between online media networks, transaction services and wireless network operators. Wireless carriers may become banks, handset manufacturers may become media networks and media networks may purchase handset manufacturers. If activity in Japan is any indicator, DoCoMo’s purchase of a 35% stake in Packet Video as well as acquiring interests in several banks globally should tell us something about media and technology convergence. As wireless MNO’s are running out of new subscribers to sell plans to, they’re looking for new sources of revenue. There is certainly opportunity in this scenario for new entrants to invent wireless media and mobile purchases in a way that consumers will embrace.

You can find out more about NFC by contacting me directly at or visit

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Art Bastard

Check Out is the Mobile Buzz

You've heard the buzz, now get the facts. Subway, Papa John's, Dunkin' Donuts, MGM Grand, Payless and several other retailers are delivering mobile coupons with reportedly staggering response rates. The promotions take on various configurations depending on mobile agency, provider, degree of integration and retail marketing objectives. Most of the press I've read oversimplifies the process, making it all sound very turnkey. In my experience, integrating legacy architecture with third party platforms is never simple. Mobile integration is a fairly complex process involving networks, aggregators and device interoperability. Complex enough for Barnes and Noble to bypass integration altogether and have their register clerks scan a generic coupon behind the register anytime a customer presented a coupon on their mobile phone. Well, it's not so complex that it warrants loosing valuable consumer data they could be using to market more effectively.

There are several platforms available for integrating mobile promotions and redemptions with POS through loyalty programs, stored value, pre-paid, optical and third party merchants. No doubt there are more platforms in the development pipeline and with the clear winners will eventually emerge some standards. Meanwhile, customers have rediscovered coupons on the mobile phone and mobile marketing is driving traffic now. Few forms of marketing will prove as valuable as placement on your customers' hand-held and those customers that opt-in today have limits to how many retailers they'll invite.

Sound like future-tech? Credit card issuing banks have been working on micro-payments since around 2000. Visa, Chase, Mastercard and Citi are all on board with wireless carriers and handset manufacturers to launch mobile proximity payments and replace plastic credit cards. More than half of all in-store retail transactions in the US will be mobile by 2013.

As with any media, costs vary according to scope, reach, offer, delivery channel and integration platform. Unlike other media, delivery is only half the job. Mobile promotions provide opportunity for increased loyalty, pre-paid accounts, gift cards and partner merchandising while gaining valuable behavioral insight.

Find out more about proximity payments and NFC at
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