Thursday, January 29, 2009

GeoMe and IRL announce Partnership

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS and BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - January 27, 2009) - In Real Life (IRL), the only presence-based social networking company that adds presence to social networks and social media, and GeoMe, a mobile phone service that allows users to explore, share and connect via messages on a map, announced today the creation of a central platform for location-based social networking services on both mobile phones and the Web. This is the first time a Web-based social network has partnered with a mobile, location-based social network, providing full access privileges across the two communities of users.

The partnership extends the services of the IRL Connect Web-based social networking platform ( to the mobile, as well as brings GeoMe's ( expertise in delivering location-based solutions on mobile to the Web. The combined platform features a social network toggle that allows members to seamlessly cross between communities. Both services bring the best of the mobile and Web worlds to users for an optimal social networking experience where they can access and exchange information and find friends online with the least effort, rather than a walled garden format of many of today's mobile social networking services.

"Many competitors focus on mobile and then try to extend their service to the Web by themselves, creating a half-baked Web solution," said Frank Schuil, founder and CEO of IRL. "By allowing aggregation with external parties, such as GeoMe, it is easier to grow our user base and give IRL Connect users the opportunity to explore mobile social networking using the GeoMe platform."

"Both IRL and GeoMe are focused on developing fresh concepts within the context of social networks. By partnering together, we combine resources to reach out to a wider public than would have otherwise been possible," said Ric Ferraro, managing director, GeoMe. "Instead of just aggregating different networks, GeoMe and IRL are sharing our communities openly in order to provide a richer experience for members."

GeoMe is launching its public beta in February 2009. IRL Connect members will be able to access the GeoMe service on mobile and on the Web in Q2 2009.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vringo Update-Announces Global Partnership with Sony Ericsson

NEW YORK–Jan. 22, 2009VringoTM, the next-generation ringtone pioneer, announced today that its free video ringtone application is being pre-linked on global shipments of Sony Ericsson’s Walkman™ phones and promoted via the manufacturer’s Fun & Downloads portal, introducing Vringo to millions of new users. New Sony Ericsson owners join a thriving community of Symbian, Java and Windows Mobile users who are already experiencing Vringo’s high-quality video ringtones and VringForward™ technology, which lets users send ringtones to friends just by calling.
This partnership with Sony Ericsson, which was established when Vringo took home a prize at last year’s Sony Ericsson Content Awards, is the latest step in Vringo’s continuing push toward global availability and monetization of video ringtones. Recently, Vringo announced partnership deals with mobile carriers in Turkey and France that enable users to download the Vringo application and access content, in some cases on a paid-subscription basis.
“Our partnership with Sony Ericsson is unprecedented,” said Vringo CEO Jon Medved. “In addition to being the first social video ringtone application to be downloadable directly from Sony Ericsson phones, we’re reaching millions of Walkman users—one of the most innovative, media-hungry audiences in the world.”
Vringo’s application, which is also available for a wide variety of Symbian, Java and Windows Mobile devices via, lets users create or take video, images and slideshows from virtually anywhere, including Vringo’s 4,000-clips-and-counting video ringtone library or the Web, and make them into their personal call signatures.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GeoMe in the Press-Mobile LBS Feature Article

BARCELONA- GeoMe was featured in the Economic Section of Sunday 11th January's edition of Avui newspaper, with an article by Jordi Garriga.

The article gives a quick tour of the GeoMe story up to today, from the first prototype developed for the Mobile World Congress in 2008, to the imminent release of the public beta version.

An important differentiating factor of GeoMe from the multitude of me-too applications out there, is the fact that GeoMe does not display people on the map but displays messages instead. That way, privacy of the user is safeguarded.

While GPS on high end phones is set to become a ubiquitous technology, incoporating alternative technologies like CellID will extend the reach of GeoMe to the wider public, especially in the target group of 15-24 year olds.

The full article (in Catalan) is available by clicking here

Friday, January 9, 2009

Vringo-can video ringtones crack the subscription model?

I met Haim Cohen-Mintz from Vringo at the Mobile Web Europe conference in London in September and he exuded a quiet confidence about both the prospects of the Vringo content proposition and its (nicely executed) business model.

True to form, the company has been progressively announcing a number of recent deals in both France and Turkey to provide their video content on deck with various operators.

What is interesting about their deal with Avea in Turkey is that Vringo will break new ground by launching a carrier led video ringtone subscription model. It is interesting because in many ways we are at an inflection point in the traditional models of mobile revenue generation, particularly when it comes to mobile content.

Pure advertising-supported business models are beginning to creak as the need for a balanced revenue mix imposes itself on content providers to both smooth revenues and cashflow as well as to increase the sustainability of revenue generation.

What we also see is increased divergence between the 'mature' mobile markets and the nascent or 'emerging' ones that are characterised by heavy mobile internet penetration. The consumers of the latter market have not 'evolved' from PC web to mobile web, thus do not suffer from the same degree of eyeball saturation.

Traditional revenue models (such as those entirely dependent on advertising) may well work in the emerging markets (at least for a while) but there is little doubting that a new market imperative is beginning to emerge in mature markets. Mass mobile consumers here will develop greater resistance to mobile advertising and since most large players will be slow to adapt, my belief is that nimble startups focused on niche content or niche market segments will have at their grasp interesting revenue opportunities.

Where does this leave Vringo? Vringo innovates in a mature (premium ringtone) market, so should be able to do well for a while. However, the market in mature countries appears to be shrinking, so the focus on emerging markets will be critical in sustaining future revenue growth ceteris paribus.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

GeoMe at Living Labs Global Summit in Hamburg

HAMBURG-Organised by Living Labs Global and the Barcelona City Council, this initiative to create a Global Market for Mobility and the growing market opportunities in the Mediterranean Market of 485m citizens, with Barcelona as its prime gateway for innovative business.

GeoMe will be showcasing its application at the event on the 16th of January 2009 and extends a warm invitation to all to come along and take part in the event. This will cover amongst other things:

  • The summit's plenary session will provide a compact overview of Living Labs Global and highlight the Mediterranean market and growth opportunities.
  • Parallel thematic matchmaking panels will be held to connect international partners, customers and peers in the fields of Design, Media & ICT and Healthcare.
  • Matchmaking sessions will start with a panel discussion of respected experts, and lead into a well-structured matchmaking process over lunch and coffee. To understand your offerings, needs and interests, we will follow a structured procedure upon registration and build your personal event experience.
  • mWatch: Showcase your innovations and win the Living Labs Global Award.
  • An exhibition area will be mounted in the summit, offering you the opportunity to showcase your products, services and solutions.
  • Upon registration you can choose to take part in this exposition, from which the participants in the Summit will vote for the most innovative solution. An Award will be presented to the winners, in the form of a one-year Associate Membership in Living Labs Global.

More information can be obtained by clicking here