Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 11:01 AM
It’s a busy day for Starcom, Yahoo and Google as they shake up the status quo in ‘terms of service’ (TOS) and personalization.
A change in Google’s TOS, which went into effect on Monday, enables the online giant to post users’ images and recommendations in some advertisements, while Starcom and Yahoo are partnering to improve the digital video experience in general with greater ‘personalization and relevance.’
As the digital landscape wobbles under an escalating tonnage of content, the Publicis-owned Starcom media agency and Yahoo are joining forces to better leverage audience data to create and target video content across the web.Continue reading...
the revolution will be televised
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2013 06:37 PM
It’s getting easier and easier for the American public to unplug from the tyranny of cable television: Hulu, Aereo, Netflix, Amazon, and a slew of others are offering up digital-video content to the public that doesn’t require the restrictive packages that pay-TV touts.
Streaming movies and re-runs is one thing, but creating original content that rivals some of the best cable TV shows is one sure way to ensure customer converts. Netflix has led the way with its Emmy-winning House of Cards and critically-adored Orange is the New Black. But Amazon is now making its move, launching Alpha House on Nov. 15 and Betas one week later.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, the two services have some significant differences. Netflix releases entire seasons of its shows at one time so consumers can binge-watch, while Amazon will release the first three episodes of each show together and then release one episode per week after that. Also, Netflix gets its new shows the old-school way while Amazon has given the go-ahead to two pilots from scripts it received via an online portal it has set up.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 6, 2013 03:46 PM
When Blockbuster was sold to TV satellite provider Dish Network in April 2011, it was likely just a matter of time before Dish realized it was in over its head.
"Dish has zero retail capability at present, and therefore lacks the scale or synergies to benefit from the operation of Blockbuster retail stores. ...[Dish] decided that rather than buying the streaming capability and the Blockbuster brand name from another party, it could bid for the entire company and offer the store inventory to another bidder at a later date," Wedbush analyst Michael Pachtner observed at the time.
Sure enough, an announcement by Dish today indicated that Blockbuster would terminate its retail and by-mail DVD distribution operations in January, closing about 300 remaining US-based stores along with its distribution centers. The Blockbuster by Mail service will be discontinued in mid-December. Dish will, however, continue to support its domestic and international franchisees.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2013 05:51 PM
Twitter is going full steam ahead this week as it puts final touches on its IPO, now priced between $23 and $25, pushing its potential market value to $13.9 billion.
With its Thursday market debut looming, Twitter is showing no signs of weakness, continuing an aggressive push to boost the value of the microblogger. Careful to not have a 'Facebook moment,' Twitter still intends to sell 70 million shares in its debut, but with strong demand for its stock after its road show, the company even plans to close its books on Tuesday, a day ahead of schedule. The move is on point with bullish reports from Wall Street, most indicating a strong support and outlook for the company.
“If you’ve got a social strategy, Twitter is one of the most effective ways to activate that,” Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research, said in an interview, according to the New York Times. “What they’ve got is unique and not replicable in any sense.”
And analysts are only looking up. Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, indicated that he sees Twitter's revenue growing from $636 million this year to $1.1 billion in 2014, and $2.7 billion in 2016. “We expect a lot of growth ahead in advertising and Twitter ad products," he told the Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2013 12:43 PM
Facebook’s Q3 results brought mixed reviews for the world’s No. 1 social network. Its ad business is delivering above expectation with mobile revenues up 14 percent from last year, however, teen users continue to jump ship for competitors like Twitter, Snapchat and other messaging apps.
Facebook shares soared 15 percent yesterday after news of its positive ad outlook spread, but dropped significantly after executives were upfront about a turn-down in teen usage. "We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens," said Facebook CFO David Ebersman on a call with analysts, but added that usage among overall US teens remained "stable."
Overall revenue rose to $2.02 billion, up 60 percent from last year's $1.26 billion, with advertising delivering more than 89 percent of the total. Integrating news feed ads combined with better metrics from partnerships with Nielsen and Datalogix are “certainly peaking marketers' interest and making them more willing to spend," Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of 360i, told Ad Age.
Facebook is also bound to benefit from the monetization of Instagram, with ads debuting on US user's feeds soon.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2013 08:02 PM
Prepping for its IPO, and staying abreast of competitors Facebook and Google+, Twitter debuted a new feed chock-full of media with click-less previews of photos and video, broadening the appeal of the microblogger—especially for advertisers.
It’s the biggest change to Twitter since its 2011 overhaul. Tweets still show up chronologically, most recent first, but those containing photos or Vine videos will be automatically previewed.
“Starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in tweets,” blogged Michael Sippey, Twitter’s VP product. “To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.”
If this change goes over well with users, automatic previews of other links including articles, web pages or images and videos from outside sites (Google’s YouTube) could follow soon.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 30, 2013 01:52 PM
Virgin head Richard Branson has never been afraid to spice things up a bit. His companies, like Virgin America, also have a bit of a flair for the dramatic. Throwing inhibitions to the wind, the airline had debuted its new safety video—a humorous song-and-dance number that runs through the air travel rules that most passengers snooze through.
An update to its current animated video, the new version features everything from sultry flight attendants to dancing nuns—and is admittedly hard to take your eyes off of, and certainly pushes the in-flight safety dance trend further than, say, Cebu Pacific Air's dancing safety demonstrations.
But as Ad Age notes, Virgin's video may wear out its welcome a whole lot faster: It “initially charms but then quickly becomes kind of exhausting," it comments. That probably isn’t the reaction Virgin was going for, though those that fly Virgin often are likely to feel that way after having to sit through the Glee-like performace a few times.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2013 11:31 AM
After two years of a less-than-impressive existence, Google is shining some much needed light on Google+, announcing 18 new features including updates to Hangouts and new tools for photo-buffs. Most impressive though, was the fact that the site now claims over 540 million active users who upload 1.5 billion photos per week.
It’s the search giant’s latest move to compete with and differentiate its social network from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and others.
"We want to be more than just a lightweight sharing service. We want to be the archive of your life," said Bradley Horowitz, Google+ VP Product Management.
To that end, Video Hangouts now include SMS so users can share via text, supports animated GIFs, and offers a one-click geo-location feature that adds a user's location to a message using Google Maps. Video Hangouts now appear in full-screen HD and a new suite of creative tools lets users change and focus the view while chatting in black and white, or use "Spotlight" to make the speaker the primary focus.Continue reading...