The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 29 October 2015

In this week’s roundup of internationally-minded digital marketing news: Alibaba financials are up thanks to mobile; New partnership brings Google results to Yahoo; UK YouTubers a significant cultural export; Indonesian ecommerce challenges; and iTunes payment via phone bills in Germany.

Alibaba “winning on mobile”

Alibaba recently published their second quarter results, beating analyst estimates and achieving 32 percent year on year growth – successful financials attributed to growing interest from the mobile market. Chief executive Daniel Zhang was quoted in the Drum saying “we are winning in mobile”, specifically mentioning efforts to expand from China’s cities to its villages and the strength of its cloud-computing business.

Mobile revenue has increased 183 percent, a positive sign considering the competitive mobile market and the fact that China is currently in its slowest full-year of growth for a quarter of a century. As mentioned in the Drum article, Alibaba has previously expressed regret for “its failure to adapt to mobile fast enough”.


Implications of Google-Yahoo AdSense partnership

Just over a week ago, details of a Google-Yahoo partnership emerged wherein Google would provide web search results and ads for Yahoo user queries. The number of queries is unspecified, and it’s already the case that a portion are served (and will continue to be served) by Bing, though the existing deal could be terminated by either party at any time. The deal means a market reach boost for AdWords customers, and potentially $200 to $400 million USD revenue a year for Yahoo. has a writeup analysing some the implications for marketers, including the crucial detail that the partnership is limited to the US and 20 other countries – and none of these are in the European Union. The root of this omission appears to be the EU’s anti-trust proceedings against Google – interestingly, a similar deal was derailed in 2008 in the US on an anti-trust basis.


Two thirds of top-10 UK YouTuber audience from outside of UK

With a combined social reach of 117.3 million users, the UK’s top 10 most influential YouTubers are currently among the country’s most prominent ambassadors. On the list are KSI (Olajide Olatunji, a “comedy” and video games vlogger) and Zoella (Zoe Sugg, who vlogs about fashion and beauty). Interestingly, the list is dominated by people associated with both – such as “ComedyShortsGamer”, Olatunji’s brother, and Zoella’s brother (Joe Sugg), boyfriend (Alfie Deyes) and brother’s flatmate (Caspar Lee).

In a study featured by The Drum, it was found that just 34 percent of the list’s audience comes the UK – the rest come from hundreds of countries around the world, though a quarter originate in the US. Naturally, the English language nature of the content makes UK Youtube content especially exportable, but the research argues that the fanbase has been conditioned to prefer British content by exposure to none other than international boyband sensation One Direction.

And yes, everyone in the Oban office feels a lot older too.


Five unique challenges in Indonesian ecommerce

With exciting new startups entering the fray, along with big investors, analysts have been forecasting big things for Indonesian ecommerce. Nevertheless, online shopping is still under five percent of the nation’s total spend, and TechInAsia has some hints on what to expect in terms of unique cultural challenges in the market.

Key issues include price-sensitive shoppers, risk aversion, deep-pocketed competitors, the risk of the “bubble” bursting and entrenched attitudes favouring brick and mortar stores. The article names Lazada Indonesia as the biggest force in the marketplace – launched as a Samwer brothers venture via their Rocket Internet “startup accelerator.”


Apple tries “purchase via phone bill” option in Germany

Apple is piloting a new payment scheme in Germany, taking advantage of the market’s affinity for payment choice and low enthusiasm for credit cards. Users who make a purchase via apple’s various marketplaces can, if subscribed to mobile carrier O2, have the charge added to their monthly phone bill. Platforms supported include Apple Music, iTunes, the App Store and the iBooks Store, and purchases can be one-off or subscription based. Google already offers a similar feature for Android users in multiple countries.

To keep up-to-date with the latest international digital marketing news, sign up to Oban’s newsletter, Trendspotter. Alternatively contact Oban on +44(0)1273 613 400 or email [email protected] for advice on how we can help leverage your global online presence.

Image credits

Chengdu 2012 photo by Flickr user DvYang

Google Yahoo! Bing photo by Flickr user Elliott Brown

VidCon photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore

Indonesia 7 photo by Flickr user Víctor Vélez

Yellow photo by Flickr user Nicolas Nova