The top 50 top execs in mobile content

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 The top 50 top execs in mobile content

 by Tim Green
 Thursday, January 6th 2011 at
 2:21pm




 Presenting ME's annual run-down of the people making the difference.

 It’s time for Mobile Entertainment to dish out its new year’s honours, revealing who we think are the 50 Most
 Important People In Mobile Content.

 Actually, not just who we think.

 We polled a few hundred of our contacts in the biz to get their suggestions too, then whittled the list down to the
 50 below.

 As ever, the roll-call reflects the ever changing direction of the mobile content space.

 This year there are is another strong showing for representatives of ad networks, social media, location-based
 and apps.

 But the list also includes more execs from mobile payments, augmented reality and other ‘hotspots’.

 Finally, controversially, there are no operators this year. While there are many fine individuals working for the
 carriers, it has to be remembered that this is a content-specific list.

 And the fact is, carrier portals just ain’t where it’s at any more.

 Next year, when operators build out some of their ambitious plans for NFC, in-app billing and even (who knows?)
 the Wholesale Application Community, we may well think again.

 So that’s the excuses over with. Here’s the list (in alphabetical order).

 Go ahead and leave comments, and try not to be too cross.

 Gianluca D'Agostino
 CEO, Neomobile

 Italy’s D2C and B2B giant ended the year with revenue up and an acquisition of Brazil’s Zero9 completed. It’s
 stealthily become a genuine worldwide content giant.

 Vishwanath Alluri
 CEO, IMImobile


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 The completion of a protracted purchase of UK-based WIN made IMImobile a real juggernaut in the mobile VAS
 space. With a European footprint to complement strength in Asia and Africa, IMI can compete with any rival for
 global contracts with operators and brands.

 Ray Anderson
 CEO, Bango

 Bango finally moved into profit as a public company in 2010. The investment is paying off, and the m-commerce
 space that Bango pioneered over ten years ago is coming of age.

 Marco Argenti
 Vice President of Media and Games, Nokia

 Many changes at Nokia this year, and the firm still has stern challenges to face. But Ovi is now doing over 3m
 downloads a day, and those mid-range touchscreens do massive volumes in global markets.

 Osama Bedier,
 VP of platform, mobile and new ventures, PayPal

 After a few false starts, PayPal found its feet in mobile in 2010. The firm projected $700m in mobile transactions
 in 2010, but it’s in the area of payment for digital goods that looks most intriguing. Will an official deal with
 Android Market be green-lighted in 2011?

 Claire Boonstra
 Head of content, Layar

 Augmented reality is still unproven as a commercial force, but as long as it fascinates the geeks and the VCs, it
 will command attention. Layar is arguably its top player, with paid layers that can be bought in 179 countries
 worldwide, using PayPal billing.

 Russell Buckley
 VP of Global Alliances, Admob

 Buckley is now the top man inside AdMob after founder Omar Hamoui departed. Should be interesting to see
 how the integration inside Google proceeds in 2011.

 Simon Buckingham
 CEO, Mobile Streams

 Mobile Streams sold its ringtones.com URL in 2010 – almost a symbolic act of breaking with the old-school
 past. The firm remains a power in B2B content, but its new focus is the socially-oriented, multi-platform app
 store, Appitalism.

 Andrew Bud
 Executive Chairman, mBlox

 With in-app payments and one-click billing all the rage, m-commerce is heating up again. mBlox, and one of the
 sector’s pioneers, is right in the middle of it, delivering 3.5 billion transactions in 2009. In Andrew Bud, it has one
 of the industry’s most authoritative figures at the helm.

 Andrea Casalini
 CEO, Buongiorno

 A D2C giant evolving from a world of ringtone revenues by diversifying into social media, marketing, loyalty
 programmes and even gambling. It’s paying off, with pre-tax profit of €15.5 million in Q3.

 Dennis Crowley
 CEO, Foursquare

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 Foursquare ended the year adding 25,000 users a day and registering 2m daily check-ins. Next year expect
 more action with merchants and lots of buy-out rumours.

 Mark Curtis
 MD, Flirtomatic

 Flirtomatic’s social media business model continues to impress. The UK firm bagged more VC funding this
 year, on the back of growth across Europe and via US partnerships with AT&T, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, T-
 Mobile and others.

 Ron Czerny
 CEO, PlayPhone

 After seeing the writing on the wall for its D2C services, PlayPhone re-engineered around social gaming and
 launched with one of the deals of 2011 – an exclusive on global Wii sensation Harvest Moon.

 Bart Decrem
 CEO, Tapulous

 Tapulous uses Apple's in-app payments system to let players buy new tracks from major label artists, and has
 sold more than five million songs this way via its Tap Tap Revenge games. Got bought by Disney in July.

 Daniel Ek
 CEO, Spotify

 Jury’s still out on Spotify’s chance of long-term success, but you can’t deny its progress so far. Now firmly
 established as the streaming music app par excellence , and with more than 750,000 paying subs.

 Jay Emmet
 General Manager, OpenMarket

 The mobile billing arm of Amdocs has more than 400 customers in the US and currently handles around 400
 million messages every month. With the purchase of UK-based MX Telecom, it is set to expand beyond its US
 heartland and into EMEA.

 Shashi Fernando
 CEO, Saffron Digital

 Whenever a new streaming video service is announced by an operator or handset firm in Europe, there’s a good
 chance Saffron will be powering it. Clients include Sky, Sony Ericsson, Paramount and Nokia.

 Andrew Fisher
 CEO, Shazam

 The ID app has just passed the 100 million users mark and remains a darling of the download stores. It has
 astutely moved from music to general discovery, and rumours of a big Apple or Google buy-out persist.

 Ian Freed
 VP of Kindle, Amazon

 Amazon is cagey about sales figures, even though it did boast that Kindle is now its best selling product ever
 (bigger than Harry Potter). But, of course, Kindle is more than just a physical reader, it’s a platform for Android,
 iOS and others too. With ebooks at a tipping point Freed and his team are in

 Andrew Gilbert
 President, Qualcomm Internet Services

 Intriguingly Qualcomm used its summer Uplinq event to announce fresh drives into widgets, social media
 aggregation and even AR. But underneath it all, the firm’s fundamental role in chipsets and networks remains.

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 Michel Guillemot
 CEO, Gameloft

 Gameloft straddles the operator/app store axis with success that only EA can match. Its 3Q revenues were
 €34.7 million and iOS sales were up 80 per cent.

 Ron Hirson,
 Boku

 Like Zong, Boku is riding a wave on interest in billing inspired by in-app purchases and pain-free online
 transactions. Boku operator deals reach over 1.6 billion consumers around the world and merchant partners
 include EA, Playfish, Facebook and more.

 Barry Houlihan,
 CEO Mobile Interactive Group

 In 2010, MIG began its expected geographical expansion, taking its repertoire of payments, messaging, apps,
 ads, mobile web and ‘experiential’ into Africa, US and Australasia. Big year beckons.

 Steve Jobs
 CEO, Apple

 Tempting to choose someone closer to the detail, but no, it has to be Jobs. His vision pervades everything at
 Apple, and this year has seen more triumph (125m iOS devices, iPad launch, $4bn profit in one quarter). Even
 Antenna-gate couldn’t dim the glow.

 David Ko
 SVP of mobile, Zynga

 With 200m people playing its online games every month, Zynga is the big daddy of social play – particularly on
 Facebook. But the migration to wireless is well-established now, with 10m accessing games like Farmville on
 mobile.

 KF Lai
 CEO, BuzzCity

 BuzzCity delivered 15 billion ad impressions in Q3 2010 alone across 200 countries. It’s one of the major players
 in Asia – and increasing its influence in western markets too.

 Ilja Laurs
 CEO, GetJar

 What a year for GetJar, which is now firmly fixed as the browser-based alternative to handset app stores. Among
 many coups was a deal to offer free downloads of Angry Birds. Shifted 7m.

 Tyler Lessard
 VP of BlackBerry Global Alliances and Developer Relations, RIM

 RIM’s new OS, its touchscreen Torch device and its huge developer contest around ‘super apps’ indicated how
 determined the firm is to build out its content services.

 David Marcus
 CEO, Zong

 Zong proved it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Its ‘frictionless’ payment system for digital
 goods (type in number, get a PIN, you’re done) is not 100 per cent original. But everyone’s talking about it. The
 deal with Facebook may have helped. A US carrier agreement with the big three will make Zong an even bigger
 deal next year.

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 Henri Moissinac
 Director of mobile, Facebook

 Relentless. Last month, Facebook confirmed 200 million regular mobile users to round off a stunning year that
 had seen the introduction of Facebook Places and a zero data rated mobile site pitched at emerging markets.
 Moissinac

 Antoni Muntaner
 Chairman, Binbit

 Mexico’s D2C giant Binbit consolidated its footprint in Latin America, and the gains it made buying South
 Africa’s Atinco and Singapore-based Acme Mobile.

 Matt Murphy
 Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers/iFund

 The iFund investment vehicle has quickly emerged as a supporter of the most innovative iPhone app makers, and
 arguably helped to make California the centre of the biz right now. Those funded include Booyah and Shazam.

 Tomoko Namba
 CEO of DeNA Global

 2010 was the year DeNA looked beyond Japan with a stunning acquisition of ncmoco. That deal married two of
 the world’s best known virtual community specialists. Later DeNA confirmed Samsung would take its Mobage
 game global. Expect more like this next year.

 Luca Pagano
 VP of publishing, EA Mobile Europe

 Pagano oversees the market’s biggest games publisher, with an operation that spans app stores, D2C and
 portals. But watch out in 2011 for the integration of new ideas from Chillingo and Playfish – and some other
 interesting stuff…

 Paul Palmieri
 CEO, Millennial

 Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Millennial is that it’s still Millennial and not the advertising unit of
 Microsoft or Yahoo or some such. Shouldn’t Millennial have been snapped up by now? There’s still time.
 Meanwhile the firm marches on, with 2,500 sites and apps and an expanding European operation.

 Jorge Partidas
 CEO of Wau

 Want to get access to the LatAM content consumer? Chances are you’ll need Wau, which has connections to
 50-plus carriers in the region.

 Javier Pérez Dolset
 CEO, Zed

 Quiet year for Zed, really. There were lay-offs in some locations, but also expansion in others, and Zed surprised
 people with that Monty Python deal. Probably the most interesting aspect of the vast Zed biz is the TV
 operation, which is huge in Spain and Argentina.

 Ralf Priemer
 MD, Arvato Mobile

 Arvato is a content aggregator with deep and longstanding links to brands and operators. It has a heritage in
 music thanks to ownership by BMG, but is now in the hands of the Abu Dhabi Group.

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 Neeraj Roy
 CEO, Hungama

 The winner of the 2009 ‘outstanding contribution’ ME Award is the godfather of the Indian content scene. His firm
 is its leading player, with close links to Bollywood and the Indian music labels.

 Johan Rosendahl
 MD, Ericsson IPX

 Ericsson IPX is one of the original giants in a mobile payments space that is expected to get a second fillip
 thanks to single click payments, e-wallets and more. Watch out for lots of activity around NFC from IPX in 2011.

 Andy Rubin
 VP of Mobile Platforms, Google

 You can argue about the detail of those 200,000 a day activation stats. But you can’t ignore the evidence of your
 eyes. Android has been a massively successful Google gamble. No wonder the firm thinks it can make
 (indirectly) $10bn a year from the OS.

 Diogo Salvi
 CEO, TIM w.e

 Easy for the Anglo Saxon media outlets to overlook a company like TIM w.e. We won’t. The firm is big in D2C,
 B20 and mobile marketing, and has 22 offices across 60 countries.

 Mihir Shat
 VP of mobile, Groupon

 Mobile guy at the fastest growing company in the world, a firm that apparently turned down $6bn from Google.
 Watch Groupon explode across mobile shopping in 2011, if its army of copycats don’t get there first.

 Ralph Simon
 Chairman Emeritus, MEF Americas

 Still moving and shaking all over the world, when he has every right to take it easy. Simon simply loves mobile
 content and loves to make things happen. Alo has the ear of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and even Capitol Hill,
 which helps.

 Jon von Tetzchner
 Founder, Opera Software

 Opera’s mobile browser Opera Mini brings speedy but rich browsing to 150 million users. In 2010, it succeeded
 in getting availability on iOS and also closed important pre-loads with Vodafone and others. Will be a key player
 in the whole apps/browser argument.

 Naveen Tewari
 CEO, InMobi

 A series of astute moves by Tewari have transformed InMobi from India’s AdMob to a genuine world force in
 mobile advertising. Changing the name from Mkhoj and hiring former Googler Rob Jonas were critical. Now,
 InMobi handles 24bn impressions a month.

 Kevin Thau
 VP of business and corporate development, Twitter

 For all the fuss around Twitter, it wouldn’t have had a representative in the 50 before, because it had a vaguely
 laissez faire attitude to mobile. That changed in 2010 with the purchase of Atebits, which eventually became the
 firm’s mobile presence.

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 Peter Vesterbacka
 CEO, Rovio

 OK, so Rovio is basically a one-product company. But what a product. Angry Birds topped the iTunes chart in
 2010 and gathered famous fans including the UK’s own premier. It’s become the first mainstream mobile content
 property since Shazam and Crazy Frog, and leaves Vesterbacka in position of commercial power and influence.

 Simon Wilkinson
 CEO, Myriad Group

 Myriad is one of those giant companies you may not have heard of. Formerly Esmertec, it puts software in
 millions of feature phones – and increasingly this software is based around content/services. Myriad’s portfolio of
 browsers, messaging, Java, social networking, user interfaces and middleware is in over 2bn devices.

 Ryan Wuerch
 CEO, Motricity

 You’d think that the sunset of the operator portal would depress an infrastructure giant like Motricity. But no.
 Wuerch is taking his firm into emerging markets while establishing the ‘network as a service’ idea in mature
 regions ¬– utilising those operator analytics to maximise ARPU among individual subscribers.




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mobile-ent.biz/…/the-top-50-top-exec…                                                                               7/7

				
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