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...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2013 01:56 PM
Let’s hear it for the girls. Hearst Corp. is partnering with YouTube channel AwesomenessTV to relaunch its teen girl brand, Seventeen, on the video network.
Hearst announced the JV with Dreamworks Animations' AwesomenessTV to create a network of ‘like-minded user-generated channels’ in addition to Seventeen.
With more 18-34-year-olds watching YouTube than any channel on cable-TV, AwesomenessTV exemplifies the latest crop of companies producing content exclusively for the Google-owned video channel. AwesomenessTV has grown from a single channel to a network of 81,000 teen-focused channels with a loyal audience of 26 million subscribers and was a headliner at this year's Upfront presentation by YouTube.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 14, 2013 04:16 PM
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? While Netflix is working on the whole 'beating them' thing, the leading streaming service is reportedly looking to strike deals with Cable TV providers to stream Netflix content on their set-top boxes.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is pursuing pay-TV companies including Comcast and Suddenlink Communications to bring its online service to their customer base via an app.
It would be Netflix’s first deal with a US cable provider following a similar agreement recently forged with UK cable operator Virgin Media and Sweden's Com Hem, allowing their customers to access Netflix through Tivo set-top boxes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2013 01:42 PM
For decades, automakers have been trying to sidestep their dealers and sell directly to the American masses. But dealers' political clout in each state, and legal obstacles, have kept them firmly in the intermediary position—and not even the internet has been able to change that.
Now, General Motors is hoping that an expansion of its web-based application called Shop-Click-Drive to its entire dealer network will further disintermediate dealers to the benefit of making the purchase transaction more attractive to online-favoring American consumers who may like to avoid the new-car showroom altogether.
Set to become available to all of GM's 4,300 dealers, the app would let new-car buyers use their computer screen to lock in the price of a new car, get an estimate of the trade-in value of their old car, apply for financing and even arrange a test drive or delivery of their new vehicle, according to the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2013 01:52 PM
Twitter has thrown open its books after making its IPO filing public this week, and what potential investors are finding is pretty much what they expected: a snapshot of another icon of the digital age that is still struggling to make it in conventional financial terms—but which shows so much promise that it'll have no problem raising the up to $1 billion it is seeking from the pubic.
The filing revealed that it is increasing revenue from mobile advertising, as it must, but that Twitter hasn't yet turned a profit and, perhaps surprisingly, that its user growth has been slowing significantly since the end of last year, according to the New York Times.
And so while the most widely anticipated stock sale since Facebook went public last year will surely make many Twitter initial investors and employees very wealthy, it's no sure bet to make anybody else rich.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2013 06:08 PM
Every automaker wants to make it easier, cheaper and more fun for customers to visit dealer service departments. In this era of pretty much equalized quality levels for cars, such aspects of the "customer experience" are one way that brands can still stand out from one another.
Strike a blow for Volkswagen in that regard. Dealership employees now are moving closer to using "augmented reality" to service cars, with the introduction of a system that is set to be demonstrated at an augmented-reality conference in Munich next week, according to Advertising Age.
The initial MARTA app will be for the 2014 XL1 hybrid diesel that VW debuted earlier this year. It's a limited-production, technologically advanced car that is due out next year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2013 06:41 PM
The digital age is saving airline pilots from lugging around the pile of manuals and maps they used to, with American and United Airlines investing in iPads as the pilots' digital flight bag. But not everyone is privvy to the leading brand's tablets.
Delta pilots, too, are converting flight bags to digital, but the pilots aren't very happy with the airline's choice of provider. Delta struck a deal with Microsoft for 11,000 Surface 2 tablets rather than distributing iPads, the tablet of the world’s new # Best Global Brand, Apple.
But Delta's decisions don't take into account its pilot's favorite tech brands, and instead are focused on the $13 million in fuel and other costs that the airline will save annually now that the crew doesn't have to lug the heavy manuals on board.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2013 07:39 PM
It there’s one thing the world needs, it’s another tablet. At least that’s what some executives at Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer thought. The brand has turned out its own device, the seven-inch Hudl, which is supported by Google’s Android, Reuters reports. The hope is that it “will boost online shopping and drive sales of [Tesco’s] digital entertainment content."
Tesco is doing its best to bounce back from a tough year that saw it combat a global horse meat scandal and failed grocery ventures in the US and China. Unfortunately, the Hudl won't have a much easier road, with such major competitors as Apple, Samsung and Amazon to face. But the retail giant hopes to make inroads in the market with its low-priced offering.Continue reading...