Feeds

Pet Shop Boy finally finds success with actual (virtual) shop

Vodafone shops around, spunks cash on muso's Vouchercloud

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Vodafone has splurged on a controlling interest in Groupon-tribute-act Vouchercloud, the spawn of the Pet Shop Boys' keyboardist Scott Davidson. Voda is now mulling over spunking a load more cash on Telstra's New Zealand operation.

Vodafone already owned 21 per cent of Vouchercloud's owner, Innovation Digital Limited, but has now upped that to 57 per cent. The telco has retained first option rights on any future shares, ensuring that it can maintain a controlling interest.

IDL was set up in 2010 by Davidson, formerly of the popular musical combo, and claims almost two million downloads of its smartphone client despite being UK only. Vodafone's intention is to immediately push Vouchercloud internationally, starting with Ireland and extending to other Vodafone territories shortly.

Vouchercloud offers discount codes displayed in its phone app, as well as printable vouchers, much in the same mould as Groupon although the emphasis is on mobile.

The app uses GPS to pinpoint your location and deliver offers specific to wherever you happen to be standing - but it is limited to smartphones (BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Android and iOS) unlike operator-specific competitors including O2 More and Orange Shots, which deliver similar offers via SMS/MMS, and track location based on the whereabouts of the nearest phone mast.

O2 More and Orange Shots are both opt-in services: customers voluntarily hand over demographic details in exchange for vouchers, and both have proved popular. Vouchercloud has been an operator-independent alternative, and it will be interesting to see if Vodafone keeps it that way.

Advertisers rarely want to deal with separate operators, which is why the UK networks launched Project Oscar - a cooperative cross-operator advertising platform based on, but not limited to, wireless NFC technology.

If the EU gives the go ahead to Project Oscar, against the objections of Google and PayPal, then Oscar will be able to sell advertising in text and picture messages, push offers via NFC, and embed adverts and vouchers into apps across network operators. However, if Europe's competition watchdog blocks the project then Vouchercloud's smartphone-only approach could be the only cross-network deal in town.

Even if Project Oscar goes ahead Vodafone will want similar power in all its territories, so will be pushing Vouchercloud into international expansion.

Those territories could well include New Zealand as over the weekend Vodafone was pushed into putting out a statement confirming rumoured talks with Aussie operator Telstra to buy up its Kiwi arm, TelstraClear, though it's saying nothing more about that deal right now. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.