Jun 15th 2012
Leading the charge to make sure all of these products are effectively monetized with our brand advertisers is Head of Monetization for AOL Mobile, Mandar Shinde. AOL is the 4th largest mobile property in the US*, and the work of Mandar and the AOL Mobile team is responsible for that reach, and ensuring AOL capitalizes on the Mobile marketplace.
Why does AOL put such a focus on mobile? Mandar thinks the opportunity and the timing is finally right, which can be seen in its increasing popularity: "There are more than 100 million smartphones in the US already creating more broadband connections on these smartphones than home broadband connections. There are probably 40 to 50 million tablets that are continuously replacing home desktop usage."
Mandar is aware that as users move to these screens, its imperative advertising will move to these screens – at end of the day it's a reach and frequency game, and that will never change. Mobile also provides a new set of tools that will cause both branders and performance buyers to reach this audience and goal themselves differently. Tools that desktop never had like calling, calendaring, and mapping. For example, Mandar knows that Mapquest on desktop is a planning tool while on Mobile it's a navigational utility – each attracting a different set of advertisers (desktop being more CPG/Brand centric before the purchase cycle and Mobile being more local driven to find a local food chain or a local hotel chain).
In his role focused on monetization, it's imperative that products meet the needs of advertisers and marketers as well. "With a personal device that goes with the consumer everywhere, it's just a matter of time before advertisers will find the right mix to reach their audience on the go. Mobile users tend to have a specific purpose (directions, food, etc.) or snacky behaviors (airport, subway, etc.) along with their ability to know their location. Contextual , and emotionally driven advertising becomes a logical fit sooner than later."
What trends should we expect in 2012? Mandar is putting his money on the continued growth of the tablet as a dominant home device. "We can expect close to 125 to 140 million smartphones in the US alone by the end of 2012, and around 75 to 100 million tablets to go with them. I think the release of Windows 8 will make an impact with the amount of developer base they will bring to Mobile and finally put some pressure on iOS and Android."
Along with being intimately involved in the development of AOL's Mobile products, Mandar is an active user of them as well (along with his young son): "I love our Distro and Moviefone Apps for iPad. Distro is awesome. Being a geek and a follower of 'show me the new hottest thing', Distro is awesome for me to download every Friday, and then consume in mass quantities when I am flying up/down the coast. Moviefone on the iPad on the other hand is just a natural tablet design that makes one think if all products could be designed so.... simply! My 3 yea- old has even figured how to get movie trailers to play! We are in the middle of an industrial design change and Apple is really driving it but there will be more players"
As you can see, Mandar's family is extremely important to him. Ask him, and he'll tell you how they inspire him to be better: "I love spending time with my son - observing him learn and grow makes me wiser every day. He just started his pre-K and swimming classes, so there is plenty to keep me very happily busy."
"My wife taught me that one can follow their hobbies keenly while keeping their career path intact (she is an engineer manager by profession but managed to follow her hobby and made it a second career as a stock photography model before our first child). She really put the ball out of the park when she did her first half marathon after our child was born (for someone who hated running). She has taught me that there is always time for personal achievements and work/life balance remains key."
Learn more about the products and services Mandar and the rest of the AOL Mobile team work on at http://mobile.aol.com/.
*comScore Media Metrix - Mobilens, March 2012; based on custom category built by AOL
May 25th 2012
We're happy to announce that Moviefone will be the presenting sponsor of Street Food Cinema, the ultimate movie, music and food summer event series in Los Angeles. The Street Food Cinema summer event series features outdoor movies, gourmet food trucks and music from emerging Los Angeles musicians every Saturday this summer from Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day weekend. Movies will be presented with cinema quality sound and projection on a screen that is 40 feet wide by 22 feet high!
Learn more about the event and view the complete summer schedule here. We've also recently partnered with Fandango to offer even more ticketing options to help you get to your favorite summer movies. Learn about this partnership here.
May 23rd 2012
We're proud to announce today that Fandango will be the exclusive ticketing partner for Moviefone. Moviefone users will now be able to buy tickets from twice as many theaters. They will also be able to make purchases online, on mobile devices, and on tablets for Fandango's vast network of 20,000 screens representing the wide majority of theaters across the country. Moviefone will also be able to offer users mobile barcoded ticketing, so consumers can get their movie tickets sent to their cell phones and have them scanned by the ticket-taker.
The new partnership enriches the Moviefone experience which already includes web and mobile offerings, including our Webby-nominated Moviefone iPad App. To learn more about this partnership, read the release here and buy tickets now. To download the Moviefone iPad app click here.
Apr 24th 2012
Today, we bring together
We've seen – from our consumer and advertiser insights – that premium content powers the differentiation that brands are looking for to reach and engage with consumers. AOL powers content and brands through its well-known media properties, including Autoblog, TechCrunch, Moviefone, Engadget, The Huffington Post, Stylelist, MapQuest and Patch. As a part of this, we are deeply committed to original programming and understand the importance of creating a meaningful marketplace for brands with digital content. Given our range of branded, premium, social and video-centric programming, we continue to deliver interesting and valuable experiences to users -which is what advertisers want and need.
This afternoon at the Highline Stages in NYC,
I'll be keynoting the event, and program speakers and panels will include:
- Brand Solutions with AOL's Jim Norton, Head of Sales & Janet Balis, Head of Sales Strategy, Marketing and Partnerships
- Mega-Trends with AOL's Ned Brody, Chief Revenue Officer
Behind Our Content with Jim Stengel, CEO of Jim Stengel Co. and former Global Marketing Officer for P&G (moderator):
- Michael Hogan, Moviefone
- Christina Norman, HuffPost BlackVoices
- David Kiley, AOL Autos
- Tim Stevens, AOL Tech
- Susan Kaplow, HuffPost Women
- Main Stage with Ran Harnevo, Head of AOL Video
We'll also have on stage with us incredibly talented fashion & style influencers like Nina Garcia, Rachel Roy and Erin Fetherston; Michael Eisner, an icon in the American entertainment industry, and Larry Tanz,
We are thrilled to be a part of this inaugural event and look forward to many Digital Content NewFronts to come.
Feb 22nd 2012
In her first post, Ellen shares her love of independent films and recommends Beginners:
Ellen also blogs about the Oscars unfair treatment of comedic films and explains why she hopes Bridesmaids will take home an award this year:
"One of my favorite movies of the year was Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. The truth is I almost didn't see it. By the time someone recommended it, it was already on DVD. Thankfully, I'm a huge celebrity, so I was able to have them perform it live in my living room.
If you haven't seen it, I hope you will. Ewan McGregor gives a beautiful and heartfelt performance you don't want to miss, even if he did knock over one of my floor lamps."
In today's post, Ellen discusses the most talked about film of the year, The Artist:
"The moment I saw Bridesmaids I knew it would be a hit. It's so relatable. I don't care who you are -- male or female, young or old, Democrat or Republican -- we've all gotten kicked off a plane for being drunk.
They said a comedy with an all-female lead cast couldn't be successful, but they were wrong. The movie just broke the record as the most downloaded movie-on-demand ever. See? People aren't just renting it -- they're demanding it."
Make sure to keep reading Ellen's blog posts this week for the rest of her predictions, and catch up on all of the latest Oscar news and coverage on Moviefone.
"It's so original, and that's hard to find in Hollywood these days. Now everything's either a sequel, or based on a book or inspired by actual events. And if it's not, it's probably a sexy vampire movie.
Who would've thought that a black and white movie with no dialogue would be so popular? It's simple and entertaining. We should've been doing this years ago."