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Report: Mobile operators must embrace ad market

Mobile operators should be doing more to leverage subscriber data in mobile advertising, particularly in the face of stalling service revenue. A Strategy Analytics report concludes that the majority of operators are failing to take advantage of strong demand for transparent, precise and verifiable audience data from media buyers despite being perceived as providing “gold standard” audience data by digital marketers.

Nitesh Patel, Director, Wireless Media Strategies, commented “We have categorised operators’ approaches to mobile advertising according to the extent of participation in advertising and media. SingTel and Verizon are “Transformers,” aggressively spanning network, ad-tech and media domains, while “Ad-Tech Players” such as Telefonica, Sprint and Telenor, have chosen to focus on advertising technology. Ericsson and Smartpipe are enabling operators to take a passive approach as “Data Providers” while we categorise Digicel and Three as “Cry Babies” given their anti-advertising positions.”

This report., entitled “Where Can Mobile Operators Succeed in Mobile Advertising?”, defines the market size for mobile operators in leveraging subscriber data, outlines the major challenges ahead, and provides recommendations on how operators should proceed in this sector.

David Kerr, Senior Vice President of Strategy Analytics added “Most operators are yet to participate in mobile advertising despite being uniquely placed to provide media buyers with verified subscriber data tied to valuable demographic and behavioral attributes at scale. With global mobile operator revenue expected to decline from 2019 onwards, mobile advertising should not be overlooked. Operator subscriber data has potential to provide a shot-to-the arm for the programmatic mobile advertising ecosystem beyond Facebook and Google. However, operators must also tread carefully and ensure strict compliance with privacy and data protection regulations, particularly across the European Union with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018.

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