Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 07:20 PM
General Motors believes that OnStar finally may be ready to leapfrog other automotive "telematics" players who got ahead of the brand over the last several years even though OnStar was the industry's original infotainment platform.
The key? GM's deal wtih AT&T to provide 4G LTE connectivity—the fastest type of wireless Internet connection now available—through Onstar next year, according to Automotive News. OnStar already is a profit-margin powerhouse for GM, but CEO Dan Akerson told analysts recently that the 4G deal will open up "what I think are potentially lucrative lines of business that don't exist in OnStar today. So when we look at what we can do with a 4G pipe into a car," said Akerson, whose background is in telecom, "you can change the business model almost entirely."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 05:28 PM
Folks have plenty of options when it comes to streaming online movies and TV shows: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Apple's iTunes come to mind, but Target apparently thinks the space has room for one more.
The retailer is reportedly testing a beta version of Target Ticket, a TV and movie-streaming service with access to 15,000 titles.
It will also provide “new releases, classic movies, and next-day TV,” the beta site claims. Right now, it’s just being tested on Target’s own employees, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports. This joins another employee-only beta test currently underway that allows people to order products online and pick them up at the store.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 02:42 PM
YouTube may very well be the king of user-generated video, but the site has recently been making a push to create more original content as it takes TV head-on. This week, YouTube launched its first-ever Comedy Week, an exclusive collection of comedy's biggest talents doing their thing nightly on the video network.
Throughout the week, YouTube will air a series of live shows, new episodes from existing channels and curated playlists with the help of over 150 comedians and media channels including Sarah Silverman, The Onion and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. A third of YouTube’s top 100 sites are all comedy-related, according to YouTube marketing head Danielle Teidt, and the hope is that the series will show the viewing public that the site is a good place to find great content.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 17, 2013 06:40 PM
There can be a lot of stress associated with working at Walmart these days: Financial results aren't improving, and there are a lot of haters, such as critics of the chain's strategy for improving working conditions at factories in Bangladesh that supply Walmart garments.
Good thing that Walmart employees have a new way to engage themselves more productively in their work: "gamification." In a move that echoes what other major employers are doing, the nation's largest retailer is working with a Boston-based marketing and consulting organization to improve more of its internal processes by lending them a digital-gaming aspect. In turn, greater "employee engagement" is supposed to lead to improving the experiences of Walmart customers.
Walmart executive Kurt Templeton, director of workforce planning, and executives of Inward Strategic Consulting were presenting their findings on the effectiveness of gamification at a Conference Board gathering this week in Chicago.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2013 03:47 PM
Google confirmed speculation that it would launch a music service at its annual I/O developer conference Wednesday. The internet giant announced Google Play Music All Access, a subscription-based service that is a little bit of Spotify, Pandora and Twitter #Music all in one. Apparently, the internet behemoth's announcements went over well with Wall Street, as Google's shares closed at a record high of $900, putting the company's market cap over $300 billion.
Unlike Google Music, its cloud music service that lets users upload up to 20,000 purchased songs to listen to on Android devices or on the web, the Google Play Music All Access subscription service launches it into direct competition with music streaming services like Spotify—which has 24 million active monthly users, 6 million paying subscribers and more than 20 million licensed songs in 28 countries—as well as Pandora. Though unlike either of the other services, Google's All Access won't have a free option. The service, which will be available across the web, mobile and tablets will cost $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.
“It makes lots of sense for both YouTube and Play, which was built for Google’s Android devices, to sell music subscriptions,” notes AllThingsD. “YouTube is the world’s biggest free music service, which could make it a fantastic funnel for a Spotify-like paid offering, which can also help solve some problems with the music labels."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 14, 2013 05:40 PM
While Amazon, Hulu and grandfather HBO all crow about significant online growth, Netflix continues its lead, accounting for one third of all streaming into North American homes since 2010.
A new report from broadband tracker Sandvine finds that Netflix’s share of prime-time “downstream” traffic delivered over fixed networks is 32.3 percent, just a tad off its projected estimate of 33 percent last November. Amazon and HBO have held fairly steady, the former down from 1.75 percent to 1.31 percent, and the latter down from 0.5 percent to 0.34 percent, while Hulu actually gained, up from 1.1 percent to 2.41 percent.
These percentages include what Sandvine calls “home roaming,” data transmitted from personal networks via WiFi to tablets and iPhones, up 9 percent from one year ago and accounts for 20 percent of 2013 traffic.
“2013 will be the year long-form video will make its move onto mobile networks,” said Dave Caputo, CEO, Sandvine. “The 'home roaming' phenomenon… combined with increased consumption of real-time entertainment on mobile networks globally, and the doubling of Netflix traffic on mobile networks in North America, suggests that users are getting comfortable with watching longer form videos on their handheld devices.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 25, 2013 03:34 PM
Yahoo just scored the rights to nearly four decades of Saturday Night Live episodes in a deal with Broadway Video Entertainment. Starting in September, the best clips since 1975 will be available on the web portal, exclusively, for one year.
CEO Marissa Mayer’s move is a video content coup for Yahoo, securing a foothold and media buzz for the brand looking to capture cultural zeitgeist and marketer mindshare.
"As a fan, I couldn't be more excited," wrote Mayer in a blog post. "Blues Brothers, the Coneheads, Church Chat, Wayne’s World, Coffee Talk, Pat, the Hanukkah Song, the list of tremendous clips goes on and on. Saturday Night Live has pervaded and defined our culture for decades."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 08:02 PM
It was inevitable that, as infotainment has risen in importance as a consideration for auto purchase, the value of the "info" part of infotainment would rise as well.
Now, that evolution has reached a likely and logical next step: Infiniti is making the information core of its concierge "personal assistant" service available to you even if you choose not to buy or drive an Infiniti.
The Nissan-owned luxury make, newly under the global leadership of Johan de Nysschen, has been telling dealers to give out free access to the Infiniti Personal Assist service as a tool to stimulate floor traffic, according to Automotive News. Dealers have been authorized to sign up showroom visitors for free 60-day trial subscriptions to the feature even if they have no interest in buying an Infiniti.Continue reading...