Archive for March, 2011

Demand for Content Drives Syndication

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

By Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing)

While most analysts and observers think of BuzzCity as a mobile ad network, we’ve been quietly and quickly building up another side to our business: content syndication.

As of this month, we now syndicate content to more than 1000 partners across the globe!

This process started in 2010 as we undertook a concerted effort to help develop mobile audiences. We did this by taking content from BuzzCity’s diverse mobile platforms — myGamma, Djuzz, JAMsked and Now-Cook – and sharing it with partners.

Our sites are designed to satisfy mobile internet users’ insatiable demand for relevant, useful and entertaining content on the mobile internet. They also provide a great context for advertisers to promote their brands.

With syndication partners growing at a phenomenal speed, BuzzCity’s content partners are assured that their games, recipes or gigs reach the desired target audience – whether it’s a student who loves to play cricket games in the UK or a Thai Tuk-Tuk driver yearning to satisfy his appetite for speed.

Today, we’d like to share with you some examples of our latest partners:

MTV (Brasil)

In mid-March, MTV Brasil launched a games catalogue and is expected to start a catalogue of Brazilian gigs with JAMsked soon. In March 2011, Brazilian traffic was ranked 13th on the BuzzCity Ad Network after tremendous growth in the second half of 2010.

Arpu+ (Egypt)

Arpu+ are based in Egypt and offer our catalogues as part of their mobile entertainment news services. Three catalogues go on offer to Egyptian users from March 2011 offering games, live music and recipes .

HTC (Thailand)

As handset manufacturer HTC launches more Android devices this year – including the Aria, Desire HD, Hero, HTC G1, Magic and Wildfire — each handset will come with preloaded launcher applications for Djuzz and myGamma. HTC expects to retail 30,000 of these handsets each month for the rest of the year.

Videocon (India)

Videocon is using BuzzCity’s catalogues to provide its subscribers with content from Djuzz, Now-Cook and JAMsked, enabling them to download the latest mobile apps and games, browse a catolgue of thousands of scrumptuous easy-to-make recipes and check out information on the hottest music gigs in India.

The Business Angle

Here at BuzzCity, we’re really very excited by this tremendous growth and the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of partners across the globe. Syndication and creating new platforms for content fits hand-in-hand with the advertising side of our company’s business model.  This encourages growth of the network and we monetise the traffic through advertising.

Thanks to some pretty direct feedback from our user base, we’ve long known that the demand for mobile content has outpaced supply, which is why we’ve made a commitment to further grow the mobile internet by working with partners to deliver quality content to the people that demand it.


App Monetisation Secrets (Part 1)

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

By Romulo “Je” Alipio, Executive Producer, Games

“Freemium”. Is it the golden grail for application developers? It’s certainly the key buzzword in the industry right now. But not that long ago pay-per-download and embedding were on top.

Developing cool and useful mobile applications isn’t easy. Making money off them can be even harder. Even if you believe in freemium, there are so many different models – Try & Buy, Upgrades, Mobile Rewards . . . what to do?

Well, let’s start with a sense of history. Today’s piece is the first of a multi-part series in which I’m going to take a closer look at the evolution of mobile monetisation, explore why some business models work and others don’t, then share reflections about what’s to come in the near future.

The First Mobile Game

In the mid 1990s, mobile phones were analogue and couldn’t do much other than transmit voice. Nokia soon started making hipper devices, adding SMS, data and finally content.

Then in 1997, an engineer named Taneli Armanto took a popular 1970s video game – SNAKE – and embedded it onto the Nokia 6110. The move was a hit. SNAKE has since been distributed on some 350 million devices and was a turning point for Nokia as well as a source of inspiration for developers across the industry.

Early Business Models

Game development houses cropped up, but the question was always how to monetise new content. At first, there were basically three business models:

1. Embedding

Nokia was bullish about getting content and would pay developers either a one-off bulk fee or a per-phone installation for the rights to embed games and apps on its mobile devices. Sony and Ericcson followed suit. Everyone wanted to be part of it. The going rate for per-phone installation was about US$1 per device or US$2-3 for better-known branded games and well-known IPs. Top partners could make US$250 – 500k per deal per game. And they were often commissioned in advance. Smaller and newer developers might make as much as US$100,000 or as little as US$10k.

2. Outsourced Development

The bigger and more established game makers — like EA, Digital Chocolate, Hero Craft and PHQ – began to strike deals with the smaller players to purchase content and distribute it to phone manufacturers. EA and the others already had good relations with Nokia and the like; they would often bundle content into packages before offering it to the Top Five. Sometimes garage developers received a straight fee. Other contracts were based on revenue sharing, with the smaller company generally receiving a 30-35% cut.

3. Pay Per Download (PPD)

Before the days of App Stores, WAP sites were the best place for consumers to check out mobile content. If you saw a game you liked, you would SMS in a code, then receive a download link. A mobile carrier or billing service would charge the consumer’s credit card.

Revenue Issues
Embedding and outsourced development fell out of favor first. As the number of development houses mushroomed, margins became smaller and smaller and it just became too difficult to turn a profit. PPD seemed the way to go . . . but the grail was still far away.  

In Part II of this series on App Monetisation Secrets, we take a look at some of these revenue hurdles. In Part III, we examine the rise of “freemium” and the diversity of its models. And in Part IV, we look at the factors to consider when choosing a monetisation strategy.

Categories: Je Alipio, mobile gaming, report Tags:

Ringback Tones

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment
By Delynn Ho, VP Sales

Ever find yourself snapping your fingers, bouncing your head or even singing along as you listen to a friend’s mobile ring a familiar tune? Or perhaps you find your colleague’s ringback tone to be especially annoying? (No offense, Hisham!)

What’s a ringback tone, you ask?

Well, if you need to ask . . . . alright, actually, it’s OK. Ringback tones – the tunes you hear when you dial someone else’s number – haven’t quite taken off the way telcos had hoped when they were first launched globally about seven years ago.

But the melodies still comprise a market segment where telecom companies have a unique advantage.

Unlike ringtones, which can be downloaded and played from your phone, ringback tones rest on the carrier servers, so only a telco or licensed partner can sell the product.

In the US, Verizon Wireless is promoting a ringback tone “jukebox,” that holds up to 100 melodies and can be easily customised by consumers. Each ringback costs about US$2 for a one-year license. Users can specify different ringback tones for each day of the week, hour of the day and for specific callers or groups of callers. For example, if your boss calls at night, you can programme the jukebox to play “Workin’ 9 to 5” but if your boyfriend rings, he’ll hear “Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not” (by Thompson Square).

Pop tunes and movie anthems are among the most popular ringback tones. According to RealNetworks, “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihana topped the US ringback charts in 2010; in China, the most popular ringbacks were the theme song to the drama “My Queen” — “No If” by Fish Leong – and “Sorry Sorry” by Korea’s boy band Super Junior.

“Sorry Sorry” by Super Junior

A different genre of ringbacks – advertisements – is also striking a chord with consumers chasing free airtime. A Pepsi campaign in Turkey generated more than 25 million calls from five million users, according to Juniper Research, which expects brands to spend upwards of US$780 million a year on ringback campaigns by 2015.

Telecom companies see proprietary content like ringbacks as one way to draw people back to the carrier portals. But to do this, they now realise the need to advertise off-portal, placing banner ads that target their competitors’ user base as well as their own.

Several companies — including Vodacom in South Africa, Idea (India) and Telkomsel (Indonesia)– have started to just that, by leveraging on the BuzzCity Ad Network.

(Check out this link on the IDEA website, by the way, to listen to top ringback tones in 16 Indian languages.)

In “Telecoms Go Off-Portal,” I take a closer look at how carriers are now shifting strategies and engaging in mainstream mobile marketing campaigns to promote services and attract new customers.

Categories: Delynn Ho

BuzzCity Tours: April 2011

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

April is set to be a busy month for our team who will be attending and speaking at events in The Philippines, US, Vietnam, India, France and Singapore. 

Here’s an update of the various events our team members will be attending:

  • Michael de Souza will be speaking at Connected Creativity at MIPTV in Cannes (5-7 April), France on ‘Beyond Ad Campaigns: How to Create a Powerful Brand Presence on the Mobile Web’ and networking with leading innovators in entertainment, mobile media and technology.
  • We are a sponsor at “The Mobile Marketing Conference 2011 – The Market is Mobile: Can Your Brand Keep Up?” in Manila (7-8 April).  Delynn Ho will be speaking on “Mobile Web Advertising: How can Brands be discovered in the small screen?”
  • Cindy will be attending Ad:Tech San Francisco (11-13 April) where she will be on hand to assist with your enquiries and share the latest updates.
  • In Singapore (13 – 15 April), Alban Villani will be at The Internet Show where he will be networking with digital marketing experts and sharing the latest developments at BuzzCity.
  • Michael deSouza will be speaking again at the 5th Annual Mobile VAS Summit 2011 in Singapore (27 Apr) on the topic ‘Promotion Strategies to Maximise the Revenue of Your Location Based Services’.
  •  Manish will be attending Ad:Tech New Delhi in India (27-28 April) to meet up and network with global digital marketing experts.
Feel free to email feedback[at] to arrange a meeting with any of our colleagues at these events.
Categories: Tours

Telecoms Go Off-Portal

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment
By Delynn Ho, VP Sales

A shift has taken place in the world of telecom companies.

Not long ago, carriers saw themselves as gateways, creating walled gardens making it difficult and more expensive for mobile users to surf beyond the telco portals. Mobile users wouldn’t have it, though. And as data charges in most markets have become increasingly affordable, telcos have had to adjust.

Nowhere has this shift been more pronounced than in the carriers’ sales and marketing departments. Under the old plans, telcos were content to market to their consumer base, particularly via SMS blasts. Today, though, carriers are moving beyond their own properties. They’re taking out mobile ads and running mobile campaigns, just like brands in other industries, to engage surfers and promote unique services like ringback tones.

The new campaigns are paying off.

Agencies tell us that mobile internet usage during the period of the campaigns has increased by more than 40%.

Let’s take a look at examples from three countries . . .

Promoting a Service
Telkomsel holds a 22% market share in Indonesia, but the carrier is reaching outside its own customer base to promote a free roaming service for Blackberry users. The Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) includes emails, chat (BBM) and surfing on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Telkomsel’s ad campaign is straight-forward. A banner ad


 links to a landing site created by the company:


The campaign is running in Indonesia as well as overseas to target Indonesians who are traveling. Indonesian Blackberry users who subscribe to Telkomsel’s service receive free roaming in five markets – Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

What’s particularly interesting is that Telkomsel targets all smartphones, regardless of make or carrier, in several markets. Telkomsel wants its own Blackberry users to know about BIS, but it also aims to expand its market by targeting non-Blackberry users (so they’ll consider switching phones) and its competitors clients.

Consumer Education

Like Telkomsel, Vodacom is working to grow its market, but rather than promoting a specific service, South Africa’s largest carrier is raising consumer awareness of how mobile phones can be used.

This simple direct banner links to Vodacom’s DIY mobile site, which contains information about data charges and the types of services available, such as chat, content downloads, surfing and search.

Promoting Apps and Proprietary Content

Idea Cellular is partnering with Djuzz — BuzzCity’s free ad-supported mobile games and apps portal — to distribute a proprietary application, a translation app that promises to ‘break the language barrier’.

The language app features vocabulary in nine Indian languages from a variety of concepts and situations. It also offers audio so users can hear the correct pronunciation. This campaign complements Idea Cellular’s language helpline, which also offers on-the-spot translation services.

Previously, a carrier app like this would have only been available on the telco’s portal, not on an open distribution platform. But India Cellular realises that if it wants to grow the market, it needs a broader approach.

Of course, carriers have not altogether given up on drawing consumers back to their portals. But to do this they need to offer cool content . . . and they need to market their services outside their own gardens.

For a look at one area where telcos have a unique advantage, check out my piece on ringbacks!

Categories: case study, Delynn Ho

BuzzCity Roadshows 2011

We regularly share information that helps our partners plan their marketing campaigns and we have recently streamlined our reports into a publication called The BuzzCity Report.
This is a quarterly report derived from analyses of data from BuzzCitys Ad Network and user behavior on BuzzCitys media properties. The report is aimed at marketers and agencies that are planning campaigns on the mobile internet.
We will also share more insights from our network during our road shows which start in March in Indonesia and Vietnam at the following locations.
Date      : 24th March 2011 (Thursday)
Time      : 1100hrs 1700hrs
Venue  : Akmani Hotel, Jalan Kyai Haji Wahid Hasyim No. 91, Jakarta

Please click here to view the afternoon’s schedule and confirm your attendance.

Ho Chi Minh City
Date      : 30th March 2011 (Thursday)
Time      : 1100hrs 1700hrs
Venue  : Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue Blvd, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Please register here to visit us in Ho Chi Minh City.

In India we begin our Coffee Chat workshops with The Digital Club in Mumbai (Wednesday, 30th March) and New Delhi (in the final week of the month). We expect to organize several throughout the year in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore.
We are planning more roadshows in the coming months and hope to cover more cities as there is always a lot to share. 
Categories: Tours

Djuzz Gaming Charts : February 2011

More than 8.9  million games were downloaded from Djuzz in February; an increase of 5% from January.  

Social networking application, Rocketalk, continued to lead the charts and saw an increase of more than 100% in downloads as their promotional campaigns renewed in February. As the F1 racing season starts, racing games also received renewed interest; up 8 places is GTS World Racing with 154% increase in downloads. Underground Racer climbed a notch to gain their place in the charts to overtake 3D Street Racing.

The start of the Cricket World Cup also renewed interest in cricket themed games and Cricket T20 World Championship climbed two places to seventh place.

In 9th place is new entry to the charts TNA Wrestling by Nazara.
Here’s a look at the Top 10 Games downloaded in February :

# Title Developer Downloads
1 Rocketalk Rocketalk 1,426,009 Unchanged
2 GTS World Racing Panda App 199,643 Up 8 places
3 Underground Racer HOVR 140,670 Up 1 place
4 3D Street Racing Moffy Games 137,362 Down 1 place
5 Tom Jerry – Mouse Maze Playfon 105,446 Unchanged
6 Combat Club Herocraft 102,009 Unchanged
7 Cricket T20 World Championship IGFun 92,457 Up 2 places
8 Speed Moto HOVR 91,267 Unchanged
9 TNA Wrestling Nazara 85,764 New Entry
10 Ben 10 Power of The Omnitrix Playfon 80,472 Down 3 places

Top Categories.

Action & Adventure games made up 25% of games downloaded. Rocketalk’s popularity boosted Social & Messaging apps into second place (16%) while Racing (14%) and Arcade (14%) themed games shared third place. The Top 10 Categories as measured by downloads are :

Category Downloads
Action & Adventure 2,183,741
Social  & Messaging 1,462,344
Racing 1,282,511
Arcade 1,240,556
Instant Fun 1,039,014
3D Games    922,513
Sports    791,395
Movies &  TV    656,104
Puzzle &  Strategy   385,759
Casual   360,387
Categories: mobile gaming, report