World Telemedia Day 3, Dating and Mobile, Eythor Arnalds, Enpocket

Dating has been big online. Why not mobile?

Enpocket provide apps & services + marketing services to operators. Work with media owners to mobilize content.

This is tied into cameraphone usage:
- 680m handsets sold in 2004
- 80% of new handsets have a camera
- 400m cameraphones will sell this year
- That's 5x the number of cameras

This affects everybody (shows pic of Colin Powell photographing Bush's inauguration). People are staring at the screen of their phone, not the event itself.

Revenues from non-voice services are starting to kick off.

Dating and picture sharing are both high on the list of things people want to do on their phone.

3G adoption leads to more usage of WAP etc (apparently).

Mobile content is different in terms of cost of marketing and investment. Compare downloads (games and ringtones) to dating and communities. Downloads need a big push to promote, have novelty factor, die quickly. Information services tend to stay low; community services have an organic factor and may be slow in starting, but they grow and grow. It's network effects obviously.

Enpocket connect different platforms and operators to a single community.

Enpocket built a dating engine, deployed with 22 operators worldwide. It powers in the US. Built their own brands in Russia (Ya Rjadom, 400k customers in Moscow region), Spain, UK, India (TrackUrMate, 600k customers) around this engine. Working with an existing large brand is less of a risk for an operator. looks absolutely beautiful in terms of presentation, for a WAP/XHTML site. Lots of imagery. Matching criteria are different in different territories (in US: it's all about physical attributes, in UK: trends, movie choices, etc.; in Asia: it's about zodiac etc; in Russia: are you male or female ;))


Threaded discussions and chat-style messaging.

They use a lot of the profile for matching (location etc.)

Blocks, etc.

They've seen 10% organic growth per month from deployments.

"Proven ARPU" of $25

Average 6% takeup in Iceland and India as percentage of operator customers. Nearly 10% of folks who get the service on a SIM in India use it!

Over 50% of their US users are chatting to folks within 200 miles of each other. Location is important.

Preferred billing model is by subscriptions. They've seen >600SMS per person using the app via a SIM toolkit application, which is 10x as many as they get from folks going via shortcode.

They have security filters for swear words and phone numbers, to prevent transfer of them. They try to keep people within the community.

They've done off-portal (Pocketdater in the UK, direct B2C). 80% of their revenues come from operators.

Question: What did people prefer to do online vs cellphone.
Answer: Mobile users are typically 10 years younger. They thought most registrations would come via web - in fact 80% came via mobile. Mobile users pay less and get a scaled down version, but they send more messages.

Looking at video and TV in Q1 next year.

Question: Can you do this on regular SIM cards?
Answer: they have a menu-based SMS version. Takes about 3 messages to ask the right questions and get a match.

Question: When you use the SIM toolkit, do customers subscribe?
Answer: Subscription model is preferred for WAP. For SMS it's per-request billing.

Question: which is most successful market?
Answer: Iceland is very busy but small. US, Russia, India, Spain, UK are the biggest.