U.S. Mobile payment company Obopay has secured $7 million in funding in a second round led by Qualcomm and joined by Redpoint Ventures, Onset Ventures and Richmond Management, which all contributed to the first round of $10 million last February. The funding will be used by Obopay to expand its marketing and operations. As for Qualcomm: "We look forward to working with Obopay and driving mass consumer adoption of their innovative peer-to-peer mobile payments solution on the BREW platform."
The company also added three new VPs: Christian Delay, VP of business development for mobile; Ramy Mora, VP of consumer marketing; and Sam Shawki, VP of customer operations. Christian joins Obopay from Yahoo, where he led development initiatives at Yahoo Go Mobile with Cingular, Yahoo SMS Search, and the "Pepsi Cool Tones and Motorola Phones" promotion.
There's a lot of interest in the 2006 Digital Music Survey (PDF) by Entertainment Media Research, most of it negative. We posted on it yesterday, but other reporters have pulled out some different stats. Ciara O-Brian notes: "The survey also revealed consumers opinions on mobile music devices. Some 46 percent of respondents said they would prefer a mobile phone that could play music files, with 21 percent saying they would prefer a music player that integrated a mobile phone. Tellingly, a third of British consumers would prefer to keep their mobile phone and digital music player separate." (So those article saying that iPod is finished because there is a "slight, but firm preference" for converged devices are wrong).
The Register picks out some gender differences: "Women are more inclined to impulse buy than men...Men would also rather, weirdly, prefer to turn their iPod into a phone, than vice versa by a small margin. Women think their phones are their most important gadgets".
In the pre-CTIA season I don't have time to give the 106 page document a thorough going over, but here are some more stats:
–Downloaded a music video to a phone for fr*ee: 9% (14% 13-17yr)
–Purchased music videos downloaded to a phone: 9% (11% 13-17yr)
–Only 4% of respondents indicated they were likely to start mobile downloading, indicating the market may have stalled after successfully attracting early adopters.
–Key reasons people download music to mobiles include being able to listen to the song immediately (41%) and download from anywhere, anytime (29%).