Posts Tagged Opera

Opera Software launches its music streaming and download service in Russia

Opera Software has announced a new subscription-based service called Unlimited Music for users in Russia, the company’s key market for its Opera Mini browser.

The all-you-can-eat subscription for the service costs about $5 per month, allowing users to download or stream music from the database containing more than 2 million tracks. The only download limits apply to iOS users: due to operating system’s restrictions, they won’t be able to download content to their devices.

Russia is the first country for the music service, but if the demand is sufficient, other countries will follow, said Zinovyev.


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Google extends Opera browser deal by 2 years

Google Inc has agreed with Norway’s Opera Software ASA to integrate Google as the default search partner for the Opera mobile and desktop browsers, the Norwegian firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The deal, which the sides have been extending on a short term basis recently, will expire on August 1, 2014, Opera said.

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Opera Software bets big on digitisation wave in India

NEW DELHI: Betting big on Indian government’s digitisation drive, Norway-based Opera Software today said it looks to partner with set top box (STB) manufactures, which will help DTH, IPTV and cable subscribers to access Internet from their television sets.

Browsers such as Opera, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome are used for accessing Internet.

“It is a good time to get into this (digital devices space)…We would look at partnering someone like say Huawei to built our browser onto their platform,” Opera Software Sales Director (India and SAARC) Sunil Kamath told reporters.

He, however, added that no such deals have been signed as of now but the company, which offers Opera Web browser, is exploring the option. The company offers browsers for computers, mobiles and tablets and other devices.

The government has declared that analogue cable service would be phased out and complete digitisation will usher in cable sector in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata by November 2012.

To implement this decision, STBs have to be installed in households subscribing to cable service. According to estimates, there are at over 103 lakh subscribers in the four metros alone.

IT peripherals maker Amkette had recently launched a new device ‘EvoTV’ priced at Rs 9,995, which allows users to surf Internet on their television sets. Globally, Apple and Google have also introduced similar offerings.

Opera has also partnered with telecom companies like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular to distribute a co-branded version of Opera Mini, its mobile phone browser. Many handsets, especially those from domestic handset makers, come embedded with Opera browser.

“Such tie-ups help us reach out to more consumers and gives us another distribution channel,” Kamath said, adding that Opera Mini has close to 179 million users globally.

Though he declined to comment on India-specific numbers, Kamath said its userbase in the country has grown 4-5 times over past two years.

“India is a strategic market for us. We support 14 Indian languages and we are confident that we will continue to see the strong growth that we have seen in the last few months,” he added.

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Facebook could pay over $1 billion for Opera

Opera Software shares soared over 20 percent on Tuesday on talk Facebook Inc. was in discussion to buy the firm, while analysts said competition from Google and others could push the price tag of any deal over $1 billion.

Shares of Oslo-listed Opera, coveted for its advanced mobile phone software technology, jumped as much as 26 percent, valuing the firm at over $800 million.

Opera’s mobile technology, along with 170 million Opera Mini users, give the firm extensive commercial relationships with mobile phone manufacturers and operators.

Facebook has struggled to convert its rapidly increasing traffic from mobile platforms to revenue, and purchasing Opera would be a faster solution than building its own platform or browser, analysts added.

“Opera would be sensible for Facebook on several levels as it would enhance the now limited mobile experience of Facebook, improve Facebook’s mobile monetization problem, help Facebook retain online game developers leaving the social network over a lacking mobile platform and further improve Facebook’s ability to target ads,” Arctic Securities said.

It would be such a perfect fit for Facebook, analysts said it would have to pay a hefty premium.

DNB, Norway’s top bank, said the price would have to be double Friday’s closing level, or 68.6 crowns, valuing the firm at $1.35 billion, while Danske Bank predicted a price between 50 and 60 crowns a share, or between $1 billion and $1.2 billion.

At 1021 GMT, the stock traded up 16.9 percent at 40.1 crowns a share, valuing the firm at around $800 million.

Opera officials have repeatedly declined to comment.


Still, several obstacles remain.

Opera founder and top shareholder Jon S. Von Tetzchner said the firm should focus on organic growth.

“I want Opera to focus on growth and delivering good results; there are big opportunities for Opera,” Tetzchner, who holds 10.9 percent of Opera told Reuters. “We have been promised 500 million users by 2013 and I think that’s a good goal and the firm should keep going for it.”

“I personally think that an ARPU (average revenue per user) goal of $1 is even modest,” he said. “I am not pushing for a takeover.”

Tetzchner said he was not aware of a bid and had not decided how he would react to one but added it would be “undemocratic” for him to try to block it if others supported it.

Another obstacle could be Google, which has extensive relationships with Opera.

“A takeover by Facebook will likely send cold water down Google’s spine,” Arctic Securities said.

Google is Opera’s default search partner for Opera Mini and Opera Mobile worldwide outside Russia/CIS, making the firm a key relationship for Google.

If the firm continued to grow organically, it would be able to maintain several parallel relationships with firms like Facebook and Google so if one of them wanted full control, the premium would have to be hefty, analysts added.

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