These days, mobile telcos absolutely love HTML5 as it gives them a chance to be app publishers whilst flipping a middle finger at Apple and Google and their 30 percent commissions on app revenue. That’s partly why Singapore’s SingTel acquired the mobile ad company Amobee last year, and Japan’s NTT Docomo picked up the Italian mobile content company Buongiorno. Today, both Amobee and Buongiorno’s HTML5 app store, called AppsFuel, are coming together in a deal to help developers and content creators monetize their HTML5 web apps across any mobile OS.
The partnership means that Amobee’s ad product PULSE for Publishers is now one of several monetization options for developers on the AppsFuel platform. Amobee promises to maximize mobile revenue by showing the most relevant, contextual ads to users within the HTML5 web apps. In addition, Amobee is now the exclusive mobile advertising agency for AppsFuel, allowing developers to use over eighty ad networks globally as part of this co-operation.
In today’s announcement, the head of AppsFuel, Fernando González Mesones, emphasized: “AppsFuel’s mission is to create a profitable ecosystem for mobile HTML5 developers, and we are ensuring this with carrier billing and now with the possibility of additional revenues via mobile advertising.”
HTML5 won’t magically succeed
HTML5 apps are back in the public eye this week after the full unveiling of the open source Firefox OS and its hardware and telco partners – yes, telcos are especially excited about Firefox OS – at the ongoing MWC event in Barcelona. Big web names like Twitter have committed to full-featured HTML5 apps for Firefox OS – just as Twitter can be found in the AppsFuel store – but that doesn’t mean that consumers will be convinced. As the always entertaining Guardian tech writer Charles Arthur pointed out yesterday, “Firefox OS won’t magically succeed just because it’s open source.” The same is true of HTML5 apps, as people still seem enormously keen on native apps, and so developers need to keep making them and keep losing 30 percent of app sales revenues to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon et al.
Speaking of SingTel, it buddied up with Japanese social gaming giant GREE for HTML5 mobile game distribution and billing in Singapore. That was part of the launch of GREE’s new HTML5-compatible social gaming platform in November of last year.
While AppsFuel is keen to become the global and unwalled app store of the future, it’s not clear how consumers can benefit right now. Tokyo-based gaming expert Serkan Toto reckons that GREE’s strategy with HTML5 can work for certain types of games in Japan, but it doesn’t look promising or convincing on a worldwide scale.
Let us know in the comments if you’re ready to embrace HTML5 apps on your smartphone.
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