Leveraging its position as owner of the fourth-most-visited smartphone properties, Amazon might become a formidable rival to Apple in the mobile-ad market. Amazon has hired Microsoft's Jamie Wells to build a mobile-ad sales team and is rumored to be talking to mobile-ad network partners such as Jumptap. More important, Amazon builds and sells its own mobile platform: It has sold 5.5 million tablets since the holiday debut of the Kindle Fire, according to IDC.
Microsoft Corp. moved into the mobile-phone-ad business today when it started selling ads for three U.S. companies. The software giant, which has expressed intentions to add features to its MSN Mobile page, wants to give advertisers the chance to reach consumers across a wide range of platforms, including the Internet and its Xbox Live gaming service.
HSBC this week wraps up testing of a mobile-ad program in which marketing messages are beamed to the cellular phones of passersby of two of its London branches. The program, which uses Bluetooth technology, so far has generated positive feedback from users and no complaints, an HSBC spokeswoman said.