Welcome to this week’s edition of the global digital marketing weekly, Oban’s look at the biggest international stories that matter to you and your business. In this week’s update: the European Union has called for Google to be broken up, Konga.com’s Yakata sales event goes big in Nigeria, Econsultancy discovers Korean webtoons, quarterly third party payment spend reaches two trillion RMB in China and the Indian internet audience will shortly become the world’s second biggest.
The ongoing tale of EU resistance against Google’s dominance took another turn in late November when the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for “[the] unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services”. Omitting Google’s name and lacking any binding power, the vote of 384 to 174 (56 abstentions) is nonetheless the strongest signal yet that European politicians aren’t about to relax their attempts to undermine Google’s dominance any time soon.
Of course, politics being politics, Search Engine Land points out that Andreas Schwab, the German MEP who brought the resolution, actually has ties to a German law firm that represents publishers engaged in anti-Google action.
Hyped as a Nigerian equivalent for Black Friday, Konga.com’s ‘Yakata’ sales event reportedly drove five times their average daily traffic. With a 670% increase in new buyers and sales of over 600 million naira ($3.5m USD), the majority of traffic (53%) came from mobile devices. The Konga.com blog has a handy infographic summarising the facts surrounding this lesser known event (archived as the original now 404s). This will be one to watch in future years, especially as Nigeria is a growing internet market: the number of internet users reportedly overtook the UK in March of this year.
Search engine Naver has 80% of the search market in South Korea – this presents a number of challenges to international marketers working in what is a unique but potentially lucrative and untapped market. Econsultancy has highlighted one of the engine’s most interesting paid advertising opportunities – webtoons.
Exploiting a demographically broad appreciation of comics (sometimes “manwha” – similarly Japanese “manga” and Chinese “manhua”), Naver Webtoons is a popular web portal for various comic series. The service is in part sustained by advertising activity, so Naver allows brands to hire well-known South Korean cartoonists to produce a branded webtoon, a product placement in the run of an existing comic or a simple display ad in the final panel of a comic. FT.com claims that the webtoons market may be worth as much as $290 million by 2015.
Analysing quarter three data, China Internet Watch reports that China’s third party payment market has exceeded 2,015.43 billion RMB ($328.1 billion USD). This is a 41.9% increase year on year.
Talking of the relative sizes of world internet audiences, we find that as of the end of 2014, India’s online population is the third-biggest internet audience and set to exceed the United States within the next two years. Emarketer finds that despite four-fifths of the country’s population being disconnected, the sheer numbers involved mean that 216 million people are going online at least once a month. You can read more on why India is so important in our recent piece, “India – a land of e-commerce opportunities for retailers”
Another major growth market is Indonesia – currently the sixth largest internet market, it will outpace Japan by 2017. Fourth placed Brazil will remain out of reach, however, due to its own growth trends.
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‘A Christmas mandala’ by Flickr user spacejulien
Webtoon panel from ‘We Broke Up’ on Naver