We’re at Advertising Week 2014!

Opera Mediaworks  will be at multiple events this week in New York City to partake in Advertising Week.  Kicking it off, Hannah Magee, SVP, Sales, Opera Mediaworks will host a fireside chat with Ritu Trivedi, EVP, MediaVest USA at the Mobile Media Summit at 12:20 pm on Monday, September 29.

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Hannah Magee, SVP, Sales, Opera Mediaworks

Scott Swanson, President, Global Advertising Sales, will take the stage at the IAB Mixx conference down the street, to talk in a Rich Media Creative Showcase along with Florian Gmeiner, Head of Marketing US for Lufthansa at 4:45 pm on September 29.

Scott and Florian will address how marketers need to do more to deliver meaningful, highly-captivating brand messages to their audiences in the most effective and measurable manner on mobile devices. They will walk the audience through a case study of a recent Lufthansa rich media campaign.

Later in the week, CEO Mahi de Silva will speak along side representatives from Hearst Digital Media, CrossBeam Media and the New York Times at the AdMonsters Meetup on Wednesday, October 1. They will address the topic of The Multichannel Endeavor: Balancing Product Innovation and Workflow Efficiencies for publishers.

Opera Mediaworks has been nominated for three awards this week at Advertising Week for the creative JetBlue voice-activated ad campaign – the Mobile Mafia Awards, the IAB Mixx Awards and the MMA Smarties. Wish us luck and hope to see you at Advertising Week in NYC this week!

1 in 4 Video Views is now on Mobile

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The fact that mobile video is becoming a more important part of the online video ecosystem certainly doesn’t come as a surprise, but the fact that it is doing so at such a fast pace is, well, impressive at the very least.

One of the big players in the online video world, Ooyala, just released its Q2 2014 Global Video Index Report, with insight into the rapid growth of mobile video consumption.

The findings indicate that in the past year, mobile video viewing has more than doubled, from 11% of all online viewing to more than 25%, a 127% increase. And the pace of growth appears to be accelerating. By the beginning of 2016, the viewing of online video on mobile devices is on track to make up more than half of all online video views.

One of the main factors contributing to such rapid growth is the shift toward smarter technology and bigger screens that make the viewing experience not just bigger, but richer.

“Bigger, higher resolution screens are a great philosophical validation of what we stand for in mobile: the highest quality video and highest impact user experience, writes Will Kassoy on the AdColony blog.

“We think bigger screens with even better resolution will translation to more content consumption and more immersive mobile experiences. As trends indicate, this uptick in content consumption will be primarily video based. Better videos with more pixels and stunning HD picture will allow for even deeper messages and experiences from brands.”

Other factors helping spur such rapid growth include:

  • An increase in the amount of video content available for mobile devices
  • Increasing deployments of TV Everywhere by operators and direct-to-customer deployments by content owners, focusing on mobile devices
  • An increasing understanding that younger users are looking to their mobile devices for much of their video entertainment
  • Faster, more robust networks available across the world

The report also provides some noteworthy insight on consumer behavior. Research shows that viewers look to big screens for big chunks of entertainment. Consumers with connected TVs spent 81% of their time watching videos longer than 10 minutes. On tablets, viewers spent 23% of their time watching videos between 30 and 60 minutes in length, more than on any other device.

The study also underscores the smartphone’s use as a “snacking tool.” While the increasing size of mobile phone screens — and the quality of image they deliver — is helping those devices make significant headway in the realm of consuming content longer than 60 minutes, the shorter videos are still its sweet spot. Viewers spent 45% of their time watching videos of six minutes or less in length on their mobile devices. And videos from 1-3 minutes long get the most play regardless of devices.

In a special section of the report, Ooyala takes a playful look at the potential impact of weather on multiscreen viewing habits. Using Boston as the representative city, the report compares how consumption during a week of cold, rainy weather compared to usage on a warm, sunny week across the same set of video providers.

The results showed, perhaps not surprisingly, that during the week of warm weather, traffic as measured in the number of plays across all devices was up about 8%, with a boost of 23% on smartphones and a 10% bump in tablet plays.

In regards to the more inclement weather, there may have been fewer video plays on all devices, but overall video engagement still surged. In the case of desktops, viewing time climbed nearly 40%, while time watching video on tablets increased 5%. Only mobile saw a decline in viewing time, about 3%, leading to the assumption that smartphones are more commonly used for short video “snacking” in any type of weather.




How Are Automakers Using Location-Based Mobile Ads?


The auto industry was one of the first to embrace content and advertising on smartphone screens, and it continues to be one of the top-spending mobile ad categories. But while the investment has undoubtedly been substantial, auto brands are still navigating how to intercept prospective car-buyers at various points of the research process and turn them into customers.

A recent consumer tracking study by digital think tank L2 sheds light on the industry’s efforts to adapt to the evolving mobile landscape and car shoppers’ mobile behavior. The study suggests that auto shoppers spend about a quarter of their time accessing online resources from mobile devices. It also indicates that nearly 1-in-10 auto shoppers are already at a dealership when they access information from their device, with 16% of mobile auto shoppers reporting their prospective purchase as “imminent.” These findings underscore the need for auto brands to optimize features that prove particularly relevant on the dealer lot.

While the vast majority (90%) of auto sites are mobile-optimized, they continue to tweak and develop new features to cater to on-site shoppers. Based on the 42 auto brands surveyed by L2 this past June, 84% are location-aware, 74% show current offers, 53% offer a finance calculator, and about 24% feature live chat.

The Opera Mediaworks team, working with Saatchi & Saatchi in LA, recently created a custom Dynamic Sales Event digital ad unit for Toyota, which allowed the automaker to serve real-time offers to in-market consumers based on their exact location.

The highly-localized ad leverages the back-end technology of the automaker’s website, which provides the most recent annual percentage rate (APR) for each dealership, by region.  Specifically, it uses the Application Programming Interface (API) to update banner creative and display the relevant APR to customer’s in the dealer’s vicinity.

To provide a real-time list of consumers who are physically near the dealership, the location targeting utilizes latitude and longitude data, not IP addresses. The banner is also only served to customers who are in the market to make a purchase. These consumers are identified through a combination of anonymous data from Opera’s proprietary Audience Management Platform (AMP).

As of this point, the results have been really positive. In comparison to the non-dynamic ads, there is a substantial difference of +101% in intender response. For more information on the campaign, see the editorial coverage from Automotive News and MediaPost.

This customized ad is just one example of what’s cooking in our newly launched Innovation Lab. There is lots more to come in the rest of Q3 and Q4.

Apple’s Fall announcement and what it means for marketers?

As the dust settles from the big Apple announcement from Tuesday, the big question on the minds of brands, advertisers, developers and publishers is: how does this effect my business?

There is no doubt that Apple has set the precedent on many things during its Tuesday announcement: form factor, mobile payments, wearables and operating systems. Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva has some thoughts on what Apple’s announcement means for marketers.


Mahi divided up his conclusions under the following buckets:

1. Form Factor: Screen Sizes and Camera

With Apple announcing larger screen sizes for its phones, there is an affirmation of the tablet market that we and other third-party firms have already predicted. While just 20 million of the 980 million smartphones shipped globally in 2013 were phablets, that number is predicted by Juniper Research to lift 600% to reach 120 million by 2018.

Apple’s newer devices, which will ship later this fall, will add to that number significantly. This will give brands and marketers bigger and better screens to deliver high-quality, full-screen images and videos. Studies have shown that high-resolution, HD-quality videos have much higher engagement and conversation rates. Opera Mediaworks acquisition of AdColony (that specializes in HD-quality video advertising) early this summer will help us stay ahead of this trend.

Another big upgrade to iPhones will be the much superior camera. Lately we have seen immense interest from advertisers to be able to incorporate the camera into their mobile ad campaigns, and a better camera will result in better campaigns. A faster processor and better graphics will also be very helpful – this means less friction in putting together more compelling campaigns that offer virtual-reality like experiences and become more successful.

2. Apple Pay

Apple has made a very strong move from payment for content and apps to, now, retail with the Apple Pay announcement. Apple with more than 500M iTunes accounts will make NFC payments a reality.  This is a great step in being able to have end-to-end conversation with the consumer — from gathering data to targeting them with an ad, which finally ends in a trackable transaction. Mobile advertising will now be relevant in a huge part of the global economy – retail commerce (an area that desktop digital doesn’t serve).

3. Apple Watch

Although there is much debate about the potential success of the Apple Watch, we expect the many consumers will buy them. Apple will likely become the no. 1 player in digital watches — because of the cool factor and elegant integration with iPhones and HealthKit..

The Apple Watch with all the data gathering capabilities will be a catalyst in helping health and fitness app developers profile their users into granular categories like “running maniac”, “diet-conscious”, or “trail rider”.  Given the sensitivity of this data, users will have to consent to sharing this data in an appropriate value exchange.  This anonymized and aggregated data will enable marketers to pin-point their target audience — significantly boosting the relevancy of the advertising in the health and fitness category.

This does not necessarily mean that consumers will start seeing ads on the Apple Watch. Instead we expect that Health & Fitness applications will start to get more usage and within that context, marketers will find a rich audience to promote their products and services, most likely on a device that’s connected to the wearable.


Tuesday’s event shows how Apple is still capable of leading the innovation curve on smartphones and the wearables market.

Even if they are not the first to deliver the smartwatch – the capabilities of the Apple Watch are much better thought-out on how consumer can actually use them, as opposed to just a wearable device that promises a lot and does not deliver.

iOS 8 coupled with the iPhone 6, leads the innovation curve in capabilities, and many parts of the Android world will struggle to catch up. Apple has out-innovated other handset manufacturers with its operating system. Even though manufactures like Samsung and LG made the early bet on phablets – it’s more than just the size of the screen — it’s what you can do with your phone and how does it help your digital life — and that’s where Apple continues to push the envelope.

Opera Mediaworks in Singapore: CDX Forum 2014


Opera Mediaworks was in Singapore on September 4 and 5 for the Chief Digital Officer Global Forum.

 On September 4 Scott Swanson, President, Global Advertising Sales spoke on “The Future of Television in a Multi-Screened World” panel alongside industry leaders from Media Business Asia, Rewind Networks and BallBall. He also contributed to the “Mobile Platform Wars: Native Apps vs. The Mobile Web” panel September 5 alongside representatives from Tigerspike and Starhub.


In terms of overall market share growth in mobile advertising in 2013, the Asia-Pacific (38.9%)  region is second only to North America (41.9%), according to an estimate by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.  Asia is also a fast-growing region for the Opera Mediaworks business as we expand rapidly into big economies like India and Indonesia, and we took this opportunity to meet with some of the leaders in mobile advertising in that market.

The Chief Digital Officer forum is an exclusive thought leadership and networking forum that brings together top industry executives and industry leaders from around the globe to debate and discuss the rapidly transforming digital ecosystem.

 Over two days, attendees participated in one-on-one fireside chats, intimate roundtable discussions and high caliber keynotes all designed to promote creativity and innovation.

Opera Mediaworks will also participate in the Chief Digital Officer Forum in Half Moon Bay, California from November 18 to 20 to connect with global leaders in the digital ad business.  Read here for more details on the Singapore event and remember to check our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn page for upcoming events and information.

comScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report Sheds Insight on Digital Behavior


According to a new study released by comScore, U.S. users are spending the majority of all digital media time on mobile apps. Accounting for 52% of the time spent using digital media, mobile app usage consumes more of our time than either desktop usage or mobile web browsing.

The report shows that total mobile activity including mobile browser usage accounts for 60% of time spent, while desktop-based digital media consumption accounts for the remaining 40%.

Apps are the driving force behind the vast majority of media consumption activity, accounting for 7 out of every 8 minutes. Smartphones have a slightly higher rate of app activity compared to browser at 88% usage versus 82% on tablets.

The comScore report also detailed several interesting figures related to app user behavior, noting that more than one-third of all smartphone owners download at least one app per month. The average smartphone user within this demographic downloads three apps per month. And the total number of app downloads appears to be highly concentrated within a small segment of the smartphone population — the top 7% of owners account for nearly half of all download activity in a given month.

Consumers also routinely use the apps that they download. More than 57% of smartphone users accessed their apps every single day, while 26% of tablet users did so. And 79% of smartphone users accessed apps at least 26 days per month, versus 52% for tablet users.

The report also shed light on app specific usage. An impressive 42% of all app time spent on smartphones occurs on the individual’s most used app. And almost three out of every four minutes is spent on the individual’s top four apps.

Social Networking, Games and Radio make up for nearly half of the total time spent on mobile apps, showing that mobile usage is heavily concentrated around entertainment and communication. iPhone users prefer spending time consuming media, with general news, radio, photos, social networking and weather as the highest-ranking categories. Android users prefer spending more time in search browsers and email.

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The highest-ranking apps is dominated by some of the largest digital media brands, including Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay. Facebook is the top app, in both audience size and share of time spent among each demographic segment.

The report also details more information about users. iPhone users have 40% higher median incomes, and engage with more applications than Android users. But Android ranks as the top smartphone operating system with 83.8 million U.S. smartphone subscribers, compared to iPhone’s estimated 67.4 million.

Opera Mediaworks continues strong growth in Q2

  • Drives record revenue and profits for Opera Software ASA
  • Mobile advertising platform now comprises over 50% of overall Opera revenues

Opera Software reported its second quarter earnings this week, showing strong revenue growth from its mobile advertising subsidiary Opera Mediaworks.

Some of the revenue highlights from Opera Software are:

·  Revenue of $ 100.6 million, up 38% versus Q213

·  Adjusted EBITDA* (excluding one-time extraordinary costs) of $ 27 million, up 24% versus 2Q13

From the total Opera revenues, Opera Mediaworks, the world’s leading mobile ad platform, reported revenues of $51.1 million in Q2 2014, up 83% compared to Q2 2013.

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In this quarter, for the first time, the Opera Mediaworks business became the largest source of revenue for Opera (51% of total Opera Software revenues).

Together in Q2, total advertising impressions managed by the Opera Mediaworks (including Opera Owned and Operated properties) was 187 billion.

This past quarter, Opera announced the acquisition of AdColony, a global leading mobile video ad platform – now part of the Opera Mediaworks business. On a combined basis, this clearly establishes Opera Mediaworks as a global leader in mobile advertising, with a total monthly reach north of 800 million unique consumers.

The global advertising industry continues to experience a macro shift in advertising spend from traditional offline channels, such as print, television and radio to online channels, with mobile taking an increasing share of the online/Internet medium.

This shift from offline to online has been fueled by several factors, namely, the increasing amount of time consumers spend online and on mobile devices, and the fact that digital advertising compared to traditional offline advertising enables much better targeting, provides opportunities for more user interaction, and provides better measurement capabilities.

“Opera Mediaworks’ goal is to power the mobile advertising economy through innovation, transparency and trust. Our end-to-end platform is the only service portfolio that serves the needs of brands, agencies, publishers and developers,” says Mahi de Silva, CEO, Opera Mediaworks.

“The shift in digital advertising towards mobile, combined with our expertise of being a mobile-first ad platform, has fueled tremendous growth at Opera Mediaworks. In a time, where most ad-tech companies are struggling to make a profit, we are very proud to deliver record revenue and profit in the second quarter,” he added.

You can read more about Opera’s Q2 results here.

Opera Mediaworks Launches Innovation Lab



Opera Mediaworks announced today the exciting launch of Innovation Lab.

Innovation Lab is brought to you by a team of industry experts and innovators assembled to help advertisers deliver next generation mobile ad campaigns. Unlike a traditional product team, whose primary role is to provide solutions to the problems that mobile marketers face today, the Opera Mediaworks Innovation Lab will focus solely on the needs of tomorrow. The Innovation Lab’s goal is to create new products and solutions, leveraging technical innovation available at scale – that will help marketers reach the next generation of mobile consumers in the most effective and engaging way.

The team is led by Orr Orenstein, Head of Innovation for Opera Mediaworks and is supported by team members Deep Katyal, Andrew Dubatowka, Matthew Kesack, Kyle Beeco, Jeremy Siegel, Salah Shami, Chris Damski, Ben Dimond, Gonzalo Borras and Matt Tice.

Have questions for the brainpower behind the Innovation Labs team? From August 26 to September 2  you can submit your questions about the mobile ecosystem to Opera Mediaworks on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with the hashtag #stumpthelab. We’ll gather your questions and have two Innovation Lab team members answer them in a video “stumping session” to be filmed September 9, 2014. The first question to stump our Innovation team will award the asker with a iPhone 6 – so submit those questions today!

Click here for more information on Innovation Labs and the team behind it, and don’t forget to follow the contest and Innovation Lab updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Do you think you can #stumpthelab?

The #stumpthelab giveaway (“Giveaway”) is open to legal residents of the United States, except for residents of Florida, New Jersey and Rhode Island, 18 years or older only.
Entry Period shall be from 12:00 PST, August 27, 2014 t0 11:59 PM PST on September 3, 2014.
To enter the Giveaway, you must successfully submit a question concerning mobile advertising to @Omediaworks on Twitter or at melissa@operamediaworks.com. Incomplete submissions or subsequent entries utilizing the same email address will be ineligible.
Opera shall select three (3) submissions as finalists.  Among those, one finalist will be chosen by random drawing on September 9 2014 to be eligible to receive an unlocked Apple iPhone 6 (16GB)(ERV $649) once released in the US. Opera is not responsible to honor any manufacturer warranties or provide customer service.
Winners will be notified by email and must respond within three (3) days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Prizes are purely for promotional purposes. The full list of official rules are located at http://www.opera.com/portal/contestrulesBy submitting an entry as described above, you agree to be bound by these rules.
The winner’s name will be available online at https://twitter.com/OMediaworks after September 9 2014.


Driven by display, mobile ad revenue nearly 2X from last year

 Mobile advertising revenue jumped to $19.3 billion in 2013, almost doubling its total from 2012, according to a new estimate by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, IAB Europe and research firm IHS Technology.

One of the big findings was that while search represented nearly half (48.9%) of total global mobile ad revenue, pulling in $9.5 billion last year, it was display (41.5% share) that showed the most growth, surging 123.4% to $8 billion.IAB report mobile ad revenue 2013

[Source: Interactive Advertising Bureau, August 2014]


Both categories were stimulated by smartphone penetration as more affordable data plans drove location-based search-on-the-go, said the IAB.

Interestingly, it was about a year ago (June 2013) that Opera Mediaworks’ CEO Mahi de Silva wrote in the Harvard Business Review:

“Over the past couple of years [mobile] has evolved so quickly that Gartner has even predicted mobile display ad spending will grow and take over from mobile search by 2016. We think it will be much sooner than that, perhaps as early as 2014.

Looks like he might be right — display is really creeping up on search, and certainly has more momentum.

Messaging had a 9.6% share ($1.9 billion) and grew 19.4%, slowing down as users are shifting from operator-owned messaging services to alternative platforms like WeChat, Line and WhatsApp.

The regional breakdown was not much of a surprise. North America constituted the largest share of the mobile advertising at 41.9%, while Asia-Pacific was not far behind at 38.9%. Europe weighed in at 17.3%, the Middle East and Africa at 1.2%, and Latin America at 0.7%.

Growth year-over-year was solid across the board, led by Latin America, which soared 215% (to $144 million) from 2012 figures.

Major increases also came from North America and Europe. In 2013, North America saw growth of 122%, followed by Europe with 90%, Asia-Pacific with 69%, and the Middle East and Africa with 45%.

Much of the growth has been attested to the rapid adoption of Android devices globally, and how they are helping consumers shift from “dumb phones” to smartphones and other mobile devices where rich media ads can not only be served but are far more effective. (For more mobile ad trends from 2013, see our end of year report.)

Overall, these numbers really reflect mobile’s rapidly growing importance in the media world. And as mobile ad campaigns become easier to develop, purchase and measure, the mobile ad market is going to keep growing.



Opera Mediaworks Makes A Splash In The Summer


On August 7th, Opera Mediaworks took over Manhattan with our summer “212″ Party in New York City!


Our 2,000 guests mingled against the brilliant background of the Manhattan skyline while sipping our signature “O” cocktail: “The Operative.” Guests mingled with celebrities and danced the night away at GOV’NORs Beach Club on Governors Island.  It was a fun celebration of summer and a great way of bringing everyone together.

Other offices participated in the summer fun with picnics and team-building field days.

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In San Mateo, employees and their families gathered together for a carnival-style picnic including face painting, games, and BBQ while in London the Opera Mediaworks team got out in the sun for a field day with tug of wars, sack races, and friendly competition.

We’re excited for the rest of the summer, and look forward to all of the events coming in the fall. Keep following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more details.

Happy August!