Ixigo.com Launches Mixigo – An Offline Community Initiative for Travelers

ixigoTravel search engine ixigo.com has launched a unique community initiative “mixigo” – an offline mixer for travelers to network and share their travel experiences. The first mixigo was held in Gurgaon at the ixigo office on 26th July 2013, where travel enthusiasts from all walks of life came together to attend the session on ‘How to travel abroad on a shoestring budget’ by Ansoo Gupta, a renowned travel expert and media professional.

mixigo is an initiative by ixigo to get like-minded travel enthusiasts together to discuss and benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge in a conducive environment. “ixigo’s vision is to simplify the lives of travelers. We believe that the most trustworthy travel information comes from the experience of other travelers,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and Co-founder at ixigo. “mixigo is an effort in this direction and will serve as a platform for travelers to mix, connect and inspire each other to discover great places, explore new destinations and travel smart.”

The first session of mixigo focused on ‘how to plan international holidays on a shoestring budget’ and saw active participation from more than 30 participants who attended the session and a few others who joined the conversation over video hangouts. The discussion was followed by an interactive session where people shared their desires to travel to different places and talked about the challenges, learnings and enrichment travel has brought to their lives.

After witnessing an overwhelming response to first mixigo, ixigo plans to take mixigo to travellers across India through mixigo sessions in more cities and plans to get more travel experts onboard its fast growing community initiative. In addition to this, thousands of travelers have already contributed photos, comments, answers and tips to ixigo’s trip planner platform.

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Panasonic Partners With WeChat – Application To Be Preloaded On All Upcoming Panasonic smartphones

wechatIn a bid to provide enhanced user experience to its smartphone customers, Panasonic has partnered with WeChat for its upcoming smartphone products.  As a result of this initiative, all the upcoming Panasonic smartphones will have the WeChat application preloaded.

Panasonic has also opened an “Official Account” on WeChat called “Panasonic Smart”. “Official Accounts” is a special feature of WeChat, that can be utilized by companies and merchants alike to build interactivity with their fans in a new and innovative way – through which Panasonic Smartphone users can stay connected on WeChat and stay tuned to latest Panasonic updates. Consumers can share their views & queries related to their Panasonic smartphones through text, voice or video messages; consequently enhancing the overall customer experience.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Manish Sharma – Managing Director, Panasonic India said, “Indian mobile phone market and we are committed to continually enhance the user experience on all Panasonic phones. Social networking and messaging apps, which continue to grow in popularity, are the best ways to provide our customers with an enhanced user experience. We are excited about our collaboration with WeChat and look forward to working closely with WeChat to bring even more innovative features to our customers across all our phones.”

 

[Source: Business Wire India]

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The Indian Digital Advertising Landscape – An Infographic by SVG Media

svg-mediaIn an attempt to demystify the complex structure of the digital advertising industry in India, SVG Media has created and released the Indian digital advertising landscape. The landscape maps the digital advertising industry in India, its layers of operations, players in each category, the flow of funds and services.

Inspired by LUMAscape (developed by the LUMA Partners globally), the Indian landscape pictorially represents the digital advertising eco-system and gives a bird’s eye view of the leading players and the service providers.  It carefully maps a few players in each segment of the digital advertising industry such as:  agencies (360 degree solutions provider, creative, SEO, search, social and mobile), Demand-Side Platforms, Retargeting networks, measurement and analytics firms, search/social and email marketing platforms, ad-exchanges, Data Management Platforms, Data suppliers and aggregators, ad- networks (horizontal, rich media, mobile, performance, vertical representation), Publishers (vertical, social and horizontal), Supply Side Platforms, publisher tools, ad-servers etc.

The Indian digital advertising landscape is intended to serve as a reference point for those trying to comprehend the jargon associated with the digital advertising world and ad technology. Every category in the Indian digital advertising landscape has been mapped as per its relevance to India in order to give an indicative overview of the industry.
svg media

 

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Nearly 230 Million Smartphones Shipped in Q2 2013 – Juniper Research

smartphoneAccording to a recent research by Juniper Research, the number of smartphone shipments reached 230 million in Q2 2013, representing a y-o-y growth of almost 50% from Q2 2012 and q-o-q growth of nearly 13%. Samsung increased its smartphone market share by shipping an estimated 72 million smartphones and accounting for approximately 31% of all smartphone shipments in the quarter.

The report revealed that even though Samsung posted another record quarter in terms of device shipments, the South Korean company admitted slowing sales of their high-end smartphones including the Galaxy S4, with quarterly growth driven by mid-low end smartphones. Samsung is estimated to have shipped 20 million Galaxy S4 in the first two months after its April 2013 launch, but subsequent sales are believed to have tailed off.

Likewise, Apple boasted iPhone sales showing strong y-o-y growth – up by 20% to more than 31 million – but saw y-o-y profits fall for the second successive quarter. Apple was also the only leading vendor to experience a q-o-q decline in smartphone sales, down 17% from the previous quarter: as a result its share of smartphones slipped from 18% in Q1 2013 to 14% in Q2.

Juniper Research believes that Apple will soon enter the smart wearables segment and that they are one of the players best placed to deliver convergence between the two segments – mobile devices and wearable devices. It is what they provide within the wearable market that will be the ‘game changer’.

As per the data, LG posted its highest ever smartphones sales quarter, shipping 12 million in Q2 2013, representing a y-o-y growth of an impressive 114% from Q2 2012. Meanwhile, Chinese demand for low and mid end smartphones led to increased sales for vendors including Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo, with each exceeding an estimated 10 million shipments in Q2 2013.

Nokia shipped 11.7 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and posted Lumia sales of 7.4 million compared to 5.6 million in the previous quarter. The company also shipped 4.3 million Asha smartphones in the second quarter.

BlackBerry’s (previously RIM) recent results – which run to a different financial schedule – are expected to see them ship around 6.9 million smartphones in Q2 2013. The Canadian company is believed to have sold nearly 2.8 million BlackBerry 10 devices over the past three months.

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Burrp! Announces the Launch Of Burrp! Club

burrpYesterday burrp! announced the launch of its exclusive, members-only burrp! Club. The members of the club will get a special burrp! Card which grants them access to special privileges at the city’s finest restaurants, spas and salons. These include highly sought-after experiences like a seat at a celebrity chef’s table; special 5 course menus created at top restaurants, exclusively for burrpers; food workshops and offers at top restaurants; and the best deals at salons and spas across the city.

Entry to the burrp! Club is by invitation only, and will be extended to the most valued burrpers. A membership that’s valued at Rs. 3000 will be theirs absolutely free. They’ll have access to the biggest and best food and entertainment events – everything they need to enhance their lifestyle.

Commenting on the launch, burrp’s! COO Sandeep Das said, “burrp! has always looked at ways to increase visibility and drive footfalls to our partner establishments and also bring value to customers who have engaged with us for many years. The burrp! Club is a solution that benefits everyone, the consumer, as well as the city’s top food & nightlife, shopping and wellness destinations. It’s a win-win. And it’s all accessed with a burrp! The club is currently being launched in Mumbai and will come soon to all 30 cities where burrp! is present.”

A sneak peek at the offerings to come from the burrp! Club:

burrp! experiences:

  • Table for Two: A 5 course set menu with a complimentary drink for two at select restaurants and restobars
  • Platters & Pitchers: An experience for groups of 6 and more with platters of food and pitchers of drinks at a special value price
  • Date Night: A Wednesday night date crafted for couples that includes a 3 course meal, a bottle of wine and a choice of table
  • Mystery Menu: Aimed at burrpers who love to experiment with food and have no dietary restrictions. A set mystery menu created exclusively by the chef
  • burrp! occasions: offers and experiences on special occasions like your anniversary or birthday at leading restaurants, spas and salons

burrp! events:

  • burrp! Chef’s table – exclusive menu prepared by the chef only for burrpers
  • High – Tea tables: The perfect afternoon break at he city’s top restaurants
  • Food making workshops: learn to make Japanese, Burmese, Brazilian and other exotic cuisines with renowned chefs
  • Special session by renowned international chefs: like Chef Suriyawan of Khon Kean, North East Thailand, and celebrity chef and TV presenter David Rocco
  • Tasting sessions: of international cuisines that are new to India held at new restaurant

 

[Source: Business Wire India]

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Worldwide Mobile Phone Market Grew 6.0% YoY In Q2 2013

mobile-devicesAccording to a recent report by IDC, the worldwide mobile phone market grew 6.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13). The report found that vendors shipped a total of 432.1 million mobile phones in 2Q13 compared to 407.7 million units in the second quarter of 2012. The 2Q13 total was also slightly higher than the 428.8 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2013.

As per the report, the growth in the mobile phone market was partly driven by vendors from outside the Top 5 who experienced torrid shipment growth that outpaced the overall market. Several vendors, including Alcatel and Huawei, had high double- and triple-digit growth rates in the second quarter for their Android-based offerings shipped to high-growth countries such as China and India. In 2Q13, these vendors from outside the Top 5 accounted for 44.8% of the overall shipment volume, up from 42.2% in the same quarter one year ago.

The report  found that vendors shipped 237.9 million units in 2Q13 compared to the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. This represents 52.3% year-over-year-growth, the highest annual growth rate in five quarters. Second quarter shipments were up 10.0% when compared to the 216.3 million units shipped in 1Q13.

Commenting on the insights, Kevin Restivo, Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker said,”The smartphone market is still a rising tide that’s lifting many ships. Though Samsung and Apple are the dominant players, the market is as fragmented as ever. There is ample opportunity for smartphone vendors with differentiated offerings.”

“Market opportunities exist at all levels, including the high end,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “While Samsung and Apple accounted for significant share of the overall market, they were not the only vendors active in the high end of the market, and recent device introductions and upcoming launches signal more vendors targeting this space. Comparisons will certainly be made to the flagship Galaxy and iPhone models, but clearly the competition refuses to be shut out altogether.

“The opposite end of the spectrum is just as, if not more, interesting,” added Llamas. “Lower-priced smartphones continue to gain traction, but the key for vendors will be to keep prices low while still offering premium devices and services. We fully expect to see large-screen smartphones and other flagship devices establish a presence within the lower-priced smartphone segment as well.”

 

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Komli Media Appoints Rakesh Malani As Chief Financial Officer

komliMedia technology platform Komli Media has announced the appointment of Rakesh Malani as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as part of the company’s strategic objective to achieve rapid growth. In this role, Rakesh will be responsible for all of Komli Media’s financial operations including corporate governance, legal affairs and mergers and acquisitions.  Additionally, he will lead and expand the Company’s engagement with the investor community.

Speaking on this development, Prashant Mehta, Chief Executive Officer of Komli Media said,”Bringing Rakesh onboard demonstrates Komli Media’s focus on building and scaling a leading people organization to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity in the marketplace. We have grown our operations by more than 150% CAGR over the last three years and expect to see significant future expansion. With Rakesh’s successful track record of driving growth by exceeding business objectives at leading companies, I am confident the company will be able to leverage his experience.”

Rakesh brings to Komli Media over two decades of strong financial leadership experience with technology companies, including nine years with Kanbay. At Kanbay, he was involved in positioning the company for a successful NASDAQ listing, managing several acquisitions and in eventually selling the company for $1.25 billion to Capgemini. At Capgemini, Rakesh was the CFO for the APAC region and for the Financial Services global business unit where he was the key architect in driving the business multifold to over a billion dollars. Prior to CapGemini and Kanbay, Rakesh held roles at AT&T, Oracle and Reliance Industries and co-founded two start-ups.

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DGM India Announces the Launch of dgStream – The first-of-its kind video and content ad network

dgm-indiaDGM India today announced the launch of first-of-its kind video and content ad network, dgStream. dgStream will operate as a Video Supply Side Platform (SSP) that reaches and monetizes relevant audiences across 10,000+ websites. dgStream would run on DGM’s proprietary technology to deliver high impact video ads along with relevant video content.

Speaking on the launch, Anurag Gupta, MD, DGM India said, “Video is undoubtedly the next frontier in digital advertising. Users are consuming more and more video content on the internet. As per Comscore, March 2013 data users in India are consuming 431 minutes of Video every month and this is only slated to grow exponentially in times to come. dgStream is planning to leverage this opportunity by supplying content along with video ads to a large number of websites affiliated with dgm. We have collaborated with online content providers to source relevant video content across genres such as Bollywood, Music, Travel, News & Regional, Devotional etc. and provide it to our publisher partners along with relevant video ads in order to enhance viewer engagement.”

The benefits from dgStream are three-fold: the viewers benefit from topical/relevant video content served to them even when they are not actively seeking it, the advertisers benefit from an expanded video ad universe, as ad placement will be content driven and not website driven, the publishers benefit from availability of relevant video content across genres and deriving revenues from the same.

dgStream would enable an advertiser to reach audiences across websites and across platforms such as web, mobile, tablets, smartphones etc. and measure the impact/ROI by assessing the video ad views, clicks and interaction with their ads. DGM would also offer creative optimization and solutions to its clients to maximize deliveries. DGM’s cutting-edge technology enables clients to add additional ad specs such as location maps, product video and product feature display etc.

DGM’s proprietary technology is hosted on the cloud to generate faster response time. The ad server resides on Amazon and the delivery system works from Amazon CloudFront which allows to automatically route end users to the closest available location, thus ensuring the fastest delivery of content without any drop outs.

 

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Apple's iOS Leads Rival Mobile OS On Global Ad Impressions and Revenue

mobile-adsThe latest Opera Mediaworks’ Q2 State of Mobile Advertising report has revealed that Apple’s iPhone generates 36.4% of revenue compared to Android’s 27.8%, and overall iOS is the clear leader, with 43.8% of impressions served on Apple devices. However, Samsung’s dominance of the Android market (58.5%) makes it a strong contender.

Some other key findings of the report are:

  • Baseball season kickoff makes Sports the No. 1 revenue generator for the quarter. Though Sports is relatively small with only a 6.5% share of the revenue generated across all categories, this quarter publishers in this category (e.g. MLB, ESPN) received a disproportionate 22.2% of revenue from their mobile apps and sites. Music, Video & Media again received the highest volume of impressions at 22.4%.
  • 3 out of every 4 dollars of all mobile transactions occur in the United States. Just fewer than 50% of all ad requests are in the American mobile ad market, but it accounts for nearly 75% of revenue.
  • Cyclical variation in impression volume demonstrates seasonal trends in mobile content consumption. Based on data on the Opera Mediaworks platform from the past year, advertiser budgets may taper off in January, as the holiday retail season dissipates, but mobile use continues well into the month as users play with their new devices. Other observations include a mini-surge in August and a notable spring break season (March/April), with traffic comparable to the more commonly known pre-holiday jump in November.
  • Rich media, in-app campaigns outperform banner, mobile web. Brand advertisers shifting their mobile ad dollars to rich media creative campaigns running within applications are getting deeper return on their investment, with an average click-through rate of 1.53%. The data also revealed that while banner ads still comprise the majority of ad types, advertisers are starting to work more with new and effective types such as tap-to-expand and VAST interstitial (mobile video) units.

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OLX.in Partners Appoints Lowe Lintas As Its Creative Partner

olxOnline classified portal OLX.in has partnered with Lowe Lintas to further expand its brand presence in India. Being a multi-agency pitch, Lowe Lintas won the OLX account amidst fierce competition from other top agencies of the country.

Commenting on this development, Mr. Amarjit Singh Batra, CEO, OLX India, said, “The initial TV ads and messaging of ‘Sab Kuch Bikta Hai’ and ‘OLX pe bech de’ has witnessed positive mass appeal resulting in immense brand recall and a clear user preference for the brand. Building up from here, we want to take this notion a step further to fortify OLX’s brand equity and humanize the brand. We were overwhelmed to see interest and response from the top most agencies in the country and we are thankful to all of them who participated in the pitch process and showed an eagerness to work with us. Having weighed all the proposals and looking at the best fit, we chose Lowe Lintas for their ‘Populist’ creativity, their focus on business results and their understanding of our brand. We are confident that Lowe Lintas will be able to help us fulfill our objectives.”

OLX has created a paradigm shift in the Indian mindset by giving the Indian populace the opportunity to sell freely and easily, and this has become increasingly popular among the Indian audience as evident from the traffic on the OLX site. Currently ranked 18th on Alexa, and having grown almost 50 times since the last two years, OLX has become more of a verb where people often refer to ‘OLX pe bech de’ or ‘OLX kar do’ among their friends and family in their daily lives. By helping individuals sell directly to other individuals and eliminating the middlemen, OLX has removed a big pain point for consumers on how to efficiently sell their unused stuff at a great price. And of course, there are millions of people who are looking for deals on second hand products that they couldn’t buy new, and these people frequent OLX regularly and are patronizing the site in a big way.

Naveen Gaur, President, Lowe Lintas, said, “We are exceptionally excited to partner with OLX.in. OLX is at the forefront of a genuine consumer revolution in the Indian online space by creating a new selling culture that sees value in almost everything. OLX was seeking creative excellence based on strong strategic thinking and I think we as Lowe Lintas delivered to that. We look forward to partnering them in creating bigger, better and bolder creative work based on a distinctive brand promise.”

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