The World According to Mobile: Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress lowered its curtains on Thursday in Barcelona, Spain, with a hundred thousand attendees gracing the city in record-breaking numbers. This is no surprise seeing as mobile has become one if not most important growth engine for businesses. The notable findings at the Mobile World Congress mirror the prognosis on digital marketing trends published on this blog at the end of last year.
There was heated debate over mobile ad blockers in which Yahoo’s VP and GM of advertising in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, criticized mobile ad blockers for destroying the ad ecosystem, providing fodder for the week’s conversations. But on the other hand, only 0.3 percent of mobile owners used ad blockers, which suggested the somewhat exaggerated nature of the VP’s comment, as of now, that is.
Another topic of interest was virtual reality. In a surprise appearance during a Samsung smartphone presentation, Mark Zuckerberg said users have watched over 1 million hours of virtual reality content on Samsung devices.
There exists a seemingly obvious yet theoretically unexplained link between virtual reality and video ads. Buzzfeed chief Jonah Peretti launched the first-ever video-only app at Mobile World Congress, revealing that site boasted of 6 billion monthly views compared to the 100 million in 2012.
Wearables targeting women are being developed to make up for a previously overlooked demographic in wearable brands. For example, OmSignal came up with a biometric bra that records heart rate.
One of the most memorable tidbits coming from the Mobile World Congress has to do with not just the sheer number of attendees, but where they chose to lodge during their stay in the cosmopolitan city. Thirty percent of participants, or thirty thousand people, booked their travel through Airbnb, revealing the power and reach of this relatively new company.