Nokia Acquires Enpocket to Build Out Mobile Ad Platform

  |  September 18, 2007   |  Comments

Nokia hopes its Enpocket acquisition will boost the handset provider's plans to create a mobile content and advertising platform.

In the emerging mobile content and advertising market, Nokia hopes to expand its footprint beyond hardware. To achieve its goal the handset manufacturer agreed to acquire Enpocket to build its advertising platform.

Enpocket will lend its experience and technology in deploying mobile advertising across multiple formats such as SMS, MMS, mobile Internet advertising, and video. Examples of Enpocket-developed campaigns include one for the Ford Edge and another for McDonalds.

Though Nokia has a content and advertising presence in Europe, its wanted to expand there and elsewhere, including the U.S., through internal development and acquisition. The Enpocket acquisition follows Nokia's buy of social media sharing service Twango, as well as internal moves toward content publishing. Nokia also earlier laid out plans to make N-Gage a mobile gaming platform rather than a device-specific hybrid of a handheld game system and mobile phone.

"When we entered the ad business, we knew that the initial moves we were making from our own side wouldn't be enough," said Tom Henriksson, Nokia's director of ad services. "From the beginning of this year [we set out to] identify the players in the market. Enpocket was singled out as the first one." Nokia sees mobile advertising as a fast and growing market, said Henriksson.

Enpocket is expected to closely integrate with Nokia and "on day one be a truly global advertising business," said Enpocket president and CEO Mike Baker. While Enpocket maintains worldwide operations in Asia and Europe, Baker said, "Nokia is really the only company that could actually put out a global footprint in terms of the way advertising is bought and measured."

Nokia's content and advertising plans have potential to reach a worldwide audience of mobile consumers. "Nokia has literally every [wireless] operator as a customer in some form," said Baker. While the N-Gage and other Nokia content plays are specific to Nokia handset users, this acquisition signals a look beyond Nokia's footprint in the mobile world. "This merger is around open market for mobile advertising, not about market share," said Baker. "It's about a big player opening up and standardizing to get the advertising market to grow faster."

The sale of Enpocket to Nokia is one of several strategic acquisitions in the mobile sector, according to Roger Wood, SVP and GM at Amobee, a competing mobile services company. The most recent was the Publicis purchase of Phonevalley. Earlier this year Microsoft acquired ScreenTonic, and AOL acquired Third Screen Media.

Acquisitions in the mobile advertising arena will likely lead to the four categories of ad inventory, according to Wood. Inventory managed by the carriers, media and entertainment, device or branded inventory, and Internet companies like Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL creating advertising platforms. "These four categories of ad inventory will have different propositions for brands, publishers, and interactive agencies will likely create mobile specific media plans which will segment media buying by class of mobile advertising inventory.

Whether Nokia restricts content to Nokia-branded handsets as Wood predicts, or expands beyond its installed base to all mobile customers worldwide, its merging with established mobile service company Enpocket is attractive to both companies. Baker said the company had been frequently approached by large agency groups, Internet companies and other industry companies. "This deal is one that really made sense for us, and we were a little bit choosey with not doing a deal earlier," he said.

Baker is expected to lead the advertising unit once the deal closes. The acquisition of the Boston, MA-based company is slated to be completed in Q4, though optimistically Nokia's Henricsson said Nokia plans to close in October, pending customary closing conditions including the transfer of employees and customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!


Enid Burns

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.


    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...