BT mobile services to become available in Japan

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Revenue Science Inc., in conjunction with mediba, a mobile Web portal operator in Japan, will offer behavioral targeting services to advertisers on mobile phones in Japan.

This new service will be available in the fall through a partnership between mediba, Revenue Science, and Digital Advertising Consortium. This move takes behavioral targeting technology beyond the personal computer.

"We're probably a year away from the level of the Japanese market here in the US - but it's definitely coming," said Bill Gossman, CEO of Revenue Science. "Addressable behavior is addressable behavior - whether it's podcasting, watching video on your cell phone, TV or clicking on a loan calculator - regardless of the device that it takes place on. Behavioral Targeting is the platform for absorbing all of this rich, IP-addressable information across devices, making it searchable and then aggregating audiences based on that. Advertisers will desperately need this to be effective."

Mediba will create audience segments using the content categories on KDDI's "au one" Portal and will distribute behaviorally targeted ads to news and search results pages .

Advertisers will be able to deliver a highly relevant ad to members of that audience segment, defined by consumers' online activity, at the right time, regardless of where they are surfing the Web on their mobile device.

"In a business sense, this endeavor is meant to capture and leverage all of the behavior that is taking place over mobile devices," Grossman said. "Up until now, there has not been a great way to do that. There are also a number of technological challenges for this to work properly. For example, there are no cookies with the mobile web, so we had to create a proprietary technology to get around that issue."

This has enormous potential for advertisers because the number of mobile phone subscriptions in Japan exceeded 100 million in January and, with a total population of roughly 127 million, mobile phones have 78 percent penetration in the Japanese market.

The Japanese use mobile phones for a wide variety of purposes, such as banking, purchasing items from vending machines and watching video. The most frequently used function is browsing the Internet, and this has opened the door for behavioral targeting.

"Mobile in Japan has long been the dominant form of Internet access, so it is an important piece of our overall Japan strategy," Grossman commented. "We want to continue to provide the most widely adopted, powerful, and flexible targeting platform for digital media, worldwide. We're now doing this in the most active, most sophisticated mobile market in the world - Japan. If we can do it there, bringing behavioral targeting to the United States will be a relatively simple task."

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