WW-176 -- Mobile Content Search – Can Niche Players Play A Role ?

Japan Inc Magazine Presents:


The Latest News From The Wireless Industry In Japan
Issue No. 176 Thursday July 31, 2008
Subscribers: 9467


Mobile Content Search – Can Niche Players Play A Role ?

In our past issues, we mentioned the success of off-portal sites
that rely on advertising revenue. Paid mobile search,
advertising in which advertisers only pay when a visitor clicks
on their ad or link from a search engine page, is rapidly
gaining momentum. A small US startup company called MCN,
headquartered in the west of Tokyo, between Shibuya and Ebisu
along the Yamanote circular line, is one of the drivers behind
paid mobile search. MCN started in 2004 in Mountain View, CA.

Last year, the business headquarters was relocated to Tokyo to
be closer to the fast growing Asian markets. The research and
product development team is still in Mountain View. The company
already employs 50 people.

The challenge for mobile search is the quality of the search
results. It often takes more than five clicks to reach the
relevant content. Mobile users do not have the patience for
this. Long click distances kill content discovery. MCN is
changing this with allwords - its vertical paid search program.
If the provider’s database contains content relevant to the
query, it can be presented to the mobile users in a few clicks.
'We call this 'Search Merchandising' and we are driving the
industry’s highest clickthrough and conversion rates for mobile
content transactions. On music search, for example, our
clickthroughs are approaching 50% and growing and our content
partners tell us our conversion rates are easily double those of
competing systems' says Marc Brookman, CEO of MCN. Content
providers are charged on a pay-per-click basis, similar to
Google’s Adwords, except that with allwords they don’t have to
manage the complexity of bidding for keywords—they can buy all
of the keywords in a given category (Music, Images, Games,
Comics, Video, etc)..

In Japan, MCN has signed up with more than 30 content providers
and 6 distribution partners and portals. Yahoo! Mobile Japan
uses allwords. On the Yahoo! Mobile Japan top page, users can
click on vertical content channel links to browse to the music
or comics or games pages where the content search is powered by
MCN. After entering the key word, MCN connects the query in
real-time directly to multiple content provider databases, ranks
the most relevant results into a ‘Top 5’ and returns actual
content items, not just links, to the user to purchase the content.

MCN co-exists with the traditional search providers. Google and
Yahoo are targeting big traffic customers with mobile search.
Google provides its search engine to DoCoMo and KDDI. Their
search results are often not relevant for paid mobile content
discovery, the niche market MCN has been growing in with its
white label service. How long will it take before Google and
Yahoo adapt their search and business model for the mobile
Internet? Stay tuned.

By Arjen Van Blokland

-------NEW GADGET BLOG: TEKRONOMICON.COM------------------

In collaboration with Gadget Watch, Gadget blog Tekronomicon
offers a detailed look at select gadgets - shiny and strange,
from gizmo ground zero in Tokyo.
See the gadgets introduced in Gadget Watch,
with photos and more at: www.tekronomicon.com

J@pan Inc - Managing Editor/Entrepreneur

J@pan Inc magazine, the publication for foreign entrepreneurs
and businesspeople in Japan is seeking a Managing Editor with
strong entrepreneurial instincts. Not your run-of-the-mill
editing position, we require someone with strong editorial and
management experience to both manage an editorial and production
team to turn out Japan's largest English-language business
monthly. The successful candidate would also be expected to
shape the magazine to become a proactive player in the foreign
business community. Think content involving the world's largest
companies and business development involving some of Japan's
most enterprising businesses -- an unlikely combination but an
exciting opportunity to make your mark in Japan.

Remuneration will be industry competitive and prospects

To apply, please send your resume, covering letter and
any relevant clippings to: terrie@japaninc.com


---------- International Business Awards Japan ------------

**J@pan Inc is pleased to announce the opening of nominations
for the International Business Awards Japan 2008**

Is your CEO or company worthy of recognition? The J@pan Inc
International Business Awards 2008 gives you the opportunity
to nominate business people and corporations you feel deserve
to win an award

HAVE YOUR SAY, GO TO http://www.japaninc.com/




Marc Brookman should be Marc Bookman.