digital moves

Food & Wine Goes After Trendy, Hungry Millennials with New FWx Online Hub

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2014 01:58 PM

Foodies and Millennials—could there be two more trendy consumer groups? Time Inc. doesn't think so, so its Food & Wine magazine has launched a new digital brand, FWx, geared toward the generation that loves to eat, drink and be merry.

The mobile-first consumers now have a didicated website that will play host to the usual fare of cocktail recipes and trending canapés, but also brief posts and 15-second FWx videos on topics like a quick rebound from a late night out, how to assess your date’s sexual persona from his eating habits and "cheat sheets" before your next cocktail party to appear au courant. 

"We feel like it’s a totally untapped market for lifestyle content," Alex Vallis, editor of FWx, told Adweek. "This demo, they’re omni-saturated,” Vallis added. “They want to read about food in these other contexts. You want to go to this party and have a really good time, but you want to look informed."Continue reading...

digital moves

Starbucks Shuffles Management to Turn Focus to Digital

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 30, 2014 06:47 PM

Get ready for some digital experimentation from Starbucks. CEO Howard Schultz has shaken up the upper ranks of his company and also announced that he’ll be working more closely with Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman and Chief Strategy Officer Matt Ryan on "next generation retailing and payments initiatives," according to the Wall Street Journal.

"They will partner with me as I focus on Starbucks mission, growth initiatives and the convergence and integration of our retail and e-commerce, digital, card and mobile assets around the world," Schultz said in a statement Wednesday.

Schultz handed over some of the day-to-day responsibilities to other executives so he could focus more on digital. After all, Starbucks, an investor in mobile payments provider Square, is processing five million mobile payments each week and that number is expected to grow, the Journal notes. The chain currently allows consumers to pay with a mobile app and loyalty cards.Continue reading...

digital moves

Pizza Hut Has Digital Down Pat as it Looks to Reinvent Retail

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 13, 2014 03:57 PM

With Super Bowl Sunday around the corner, Pizza Hut is preparing to deliver more than two million pies on their busiest day of the year. You can bet a large percentage will be headed to multi-tasking, third-screen gamers.

The Yum Brands-owned company recently announced that its sold $1 million worth of Pizza Hut products via its Xbox Live ordering app in its first four months of availability. But that's not the only surprising statistic coming out of the fast-food staple. The first two Fridays of 2014 saw the biggest days in company history for sales received by a means other than the traditional phone order, and nearly 40 percent of all transactions were digital the first 10 days of 2014. 

"Technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in the lives of our consumers and we want to meet them where they are, and where they are right now is online and on mobile devices." said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. 

The success of the Xbox 360 app portends the addition of other consoles including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U.Continue reading...

digital moves

A New Digital Strategy in Hand, the Golden Globes Look to Create a Second-Screen Experience

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2014 09:07 PM

The 2014 Golden Globe Awards are upon us, airing this Sunday, Jan. 13 on NBC. After making a memorable splash last year, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return to the stage, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has decided to put some of its eggs in another basket: digital content. 

In a partnership with Bluefin Media, the HFPA launched a new site in December, just in time to live-stream the 71st annual award show nominations. And since then, Bluefin and the HFPA have been hard at work creating original, engaging content to broaden the show's audience ahead of this weekend's broadcast. 

“Digital content offers the opportunity to engage a wider audience and to make a stronger impact with advertising dollars. It also enables us to engage with our viewers in real-time,” Lorenzo Soria, vice president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, told brandchannel.

The new site has already averaged 200,000 viewers per day, up from roughly 1,000 viewers per day last year on the old Golden Globe's website. The redesigned site garnered over 1 million unique visitors in the first month of launch. But the goal of the Globes this year is to capture the second-screen phenomenon that other awards shows, like The Oscars, have mastered. To do so, the Globes will utilize a newly-formed social media presence, especially on Facebook and Instagram.Continue reading...

digital moves

DreamWorks Teams Up with Fuhu for Kid-Friendly Tablet Debut at CES

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2014 06:51 PM

What do you get when you pair Fuhu’s Nabi with DreamWorks? DreamTab, a tablet for kids for under $300, available this spring chock-full of original content. The new tablet, which will feature animated characters from studio hits including Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-fu Panda, will debut at next week's CES 2014 conference in Las Vegas.

Thanks to programming and content from DreamWorks, the 8-inch by 12-inch device will allow kids to stream movies, TV shows and play games with various innovative parental controls and educational tools, according to Fuhu's press release.

The Google Android-powered tablet computer (using the new 4.4 Kit Kat Android based operating system) will be programmed like a cable channel. “We could push out a new character moment every day of the year,” Jim Mainard, the studio's head of digital strategy and new business development, told the New York Times.

“The moments will include stuff like drawing lessons from DreamWorks animators and more, SlashGear notes. “The tablet is also tipped to get tech allowing it to work with DreamWorks toys... and will also have the ability to send instant messages and email.”Continue reading...

digital moves

Flickr Takes a Step Back to Offer Users a More Tangible Photo Experience

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 02:52 PM

Flickr, a pioneer in photo sharing, is taking a step backwards from its digital-only existence and introducing physical Flickr photo books, which consumers can create on the site. 

Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, the service languished as competition to be the repository of users’ online photos heated up with Facebook, Google+ and Dropbox entering the fray. “Flickr was once awesome,... now we want it to be awesome again," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said after assuming the role last year. 

Earlier this year, Mayer instituted a visual overhaul of the site, and now the addition of photo books will allow Flickr, which reaches 89 million people that have contributed over 8 billion photos, to better compete with multi-faceted platforms like Shutterfly. “We’re working hard to make Flickr great again,” Flickr VP Tom Hughes assured.Continue reading...

digital moves

Brides Serves Up Authentic Experience with Digital Scanner

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 10:41 AM

A major downside of the Internet is the escalation of selling and buying counterfeit goods, with $250 billion lost annually in the US to sales of faux items, according to Accessories Magazine

The design and fashion industries have been hardest hit, with the bridal industry alone losing hundreds of millions of dollars with close to 600,000 fake wedding gowns bought online each year, the New York Times notes, but one brand, Brides Magazine, hopes to change that. The 79-year-old publication is doing its best to combat slowing print sales by full-on embracing digital, and with that, some industry-saving upgrades to its Wedding Genius app. 

The 'Brides Against Counterfeiting' feature allows users to scan a website of a retailer or manufacturer to view an AuthentiGuard Prism—an embedded code that verifies an authorized retailer. 

"This initiative will also protect our advertisers by pinpointing and reporting counterfeiters who are illegally marketing brand names online," Brides vice president and publisher Michelle Myers told Ad Age.Continue reading...

digital moves

Publishing Head Larry Kirshbaum's Exit from Amazon May Be a Good Sign for Paperbacks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 1, 2013 12:43 PM

Amazon has been making headlines a lot lately, mostly for new, exciting ventures like charitable e-commerce site AmazonSmile, new, original programming for Amazon Instant Video and it's futuristic new headquarters. But this week the company hit an uncharacteristic speed bump. 

Larry Kirshbaum, previously the head of Time Warner Book Group and head of Amazon’s New York and Seattle adult and children's publishing imprints, announced his exit from the e-publishing giant—a move that also signifies Amazon's efforts to scale-back its publishing operations, according to a report from Shelf Awareness. Amazon’s publishing performance, at first perceived as a full-scale assault on the industry, has not panned out as planned, despite initially signing top authors like Timothy Ferriss (“The Four-Hour Chef”), Penny Marshall (“My Mother Was Nuts”) and Billy Ray Cyrus (“Hillbilly Heart”).

“There’s a lot of fallout to parse here, but it’s worth noting the beating that even a company like Amazon can suffer when engaging in disruptive entrepreneurship," Slate notes. “In 2012, Barnes & Noble announced it wouldn’t sell books published by Amazon. After that announcement, indie booksellers followed suit.” Even more traditional retailers like Walmart and Target chose to not stock Amazon-published books.Continue reading...

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