Category Archives: Branding

Pre-Teens Get Immersive

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Sramana Mitra has penned an insightful post on the pre-teen market: what their activities are online, which sites they find popular etc. You can read it here, or view Read/WriteWeb’s take on it here.

Given that pre-teens are Yoick’s sweetspot, we particularly like these excerpts from Sramana’s report:

Websites targeted at pre-teens earn majority of their revenue from subscription, e-commerce and content provided by the websites. Other sources of revenue for these websites are advertisements placed either on their websites or in the games, downloading of music and games, licensing of content, syndication and partnerships for developing content and gaming…

and this:

Immersive gaming model used by NeoPets and other gaming websites could well be the business model of tomorrow as it allows advertisers to place creative advertisements in games without disrupting the flow of the game and thus generating interest in the product, which creates brand awareness.

Apple iPhone – this lawsuit’s no hoax, says Cisco

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Yesterday we asked, tongue in cheek, if Apple was serious — launching iPhone, when this is a Cisco brand.

Cisco has responded by slapping an injunctive lawsuit on Apple seeking to revent Apple from copying their iPhone trademark.

“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” said Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel, Cisco. “There is no doubt that Apple’s new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission.

“Today’s iPhone is not tomorrow’s iPhone. The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us to protect our brand,” Chandler concluded.

To be continued… 

The Future of Content: The Power Lies With Aggregators And Brands

bearstearnslogo.jpgBear Stearns Media Research discussed their thesis on the future of content via conference call on Monday. You can view the slide pack and presentation here.

The talk was titled The Long Tail: Why Aggregation and Context and Not (Necessarily) Content are King in Entertainment.

In their view, digital technologies are “democratizing” content creation, which has historically been held in the hands of Hollywood and TV networks. OK, so nothing new there.

Now, they say, barriers to content creation are falling, giving rise to “user generated content.” Yip, we kinda got UGC courtesy of YouTube.

As this happens, they believe value in the entertainment supply chain will shift from the creators of content to the aggregators/packagers of content.  Ah ha – now that is a useful point. In the presentation Spencer Wang posits the view that the importance of aggregators and brands will increase with the exponential increase in content choices.

He also rightly argues that we are on the cusp of an explosion in content choice. From a user point of view this means that not only is aggregation and brand recognition going to be key to getting their attention, but also context will play a key role.  Long live the Attention Economy.

How Digital Media is Evolving: It’s a Matter of Science Fiction

PodTech recently interviewed Kevin Townsend, Managing Partner at Science+Fiction, about the evolution of digital media. Here are some snippets…

For most of us this is trite, but worth highlighting – the advertising world changed a few years ago dramatically, in that advertisers realized that the traditional medias; print, radio and broadcast commercials, weren’t nearly as appropriate for reaching their audiences anymore, especially because their audiences weren’t what they thought they were.
 As a result Kevin, who has worked with George Lucas, says that advertisers need to go multi-platform. I totally agree – anyone not multiplatforming is crazy, lazy and/or about to be sideswiped by competitors. 

Multiplatforming means that it is not only about seeing a television show or a movie, it’s about seeing something online, it’s about seeing something in a game, it’s about hearing something in a podcast, it’s about being able to talk to people across multiple platforms, sometimes simultaneously. And each of those platforms has its own pluses and minuses, and the content needs to be able to reflect that, so the consumer gets the best possible experience. The reason why that’s important is because the advertisers are starting to use those individual platforms, to create content as a means of reaching their consumer.

Kevin talks about advertisers being in the best position to create content, because they inherently understand best what their customers are looking for. He calls this a self-publishing model…what’s going on with advertisers is they know their audience well; so they know what their audience likes and dislikes. And one of our clients is Red Bull, the energy drink; and they know that their target audience really enjoys the action sports world. So we created programming that revolved around athletes and events within the action sports world that we knew that the Red Bull consumer would really gravitate towards. And then, in order to make it as strategically appropriate as possible, we also created it so it could be distributed across multiple platforms simultaneously. So not only can you get it in one format or on one platform, but you can get on multiple platforms at the same time. So that gives the choice back to the consumer; do I want to watch television, do I want to be online, do I want to watch a DVD? Whatever choice is, that allows Red Bull to having more quality contact with their consumer, it allows the consumer to have a better experience via the brand. And then going back to Red Bull again, it allows that brand to open up more of a dialog with its customers.

The gist of the discussion is that we have both consumer behavior and advertiser behavior changing to create a perfect storm of user-focused content that drives loyalty. The rainbow will appear when more and more brands recognise that they are not only a distribution channel, but also a mechanism for driving user generated content. 

Digg Experiment Took Off: Killer Apps Produce Hyper-Growth

In a recent interview, Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, described how the business was an experiment that took off…

We just thought it was an interesting project to see if this concept would work…we were lucky to be the the first ones out of the gate to have this type of content and approach…people started ‘Digging”, and then shared it with their friends, and it just took off.

I don’t believe Kevin simply got lucky. He built a ‘killer application’  in Digg and that’s why he went from an experiment to hyper-growth so quickly. Let me explain.

Giving a talk at his alma mater (University of Illinois), Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of YouTube spoke about how they went from concept to hyper-growth (idea to 100 million videos a day in 19 months). He glommed onto a term from the 90s’ – ‘killer application’ which he defined as:

A computer program that is so useful or desirable that it proves the value of some underlying technology.

He also made the premise that killer applications build on top of each other…so YouTube was built on a base of other killer apps in the social context space, namely:

  • LiveJournal (1999)
  • HotorNot (2000)
  • Wikipedia (2001)
  • Friendster (2002)
  • del.icio.us (2003)
  • Flickr (2004)

Together, these killer apps formed the base for YouTube to become possible.

In the same vein, Digg was built on a base of similar killer applications.

The big question is what will be the next big thing to burst forth from basic idea to hyper-growth and become a killer application.

I wholeheartedly agree with Jawed when he says:

The next big thing –

  •  will exploit newly emerging secondary technologies; and
  • these technologies will make something that was previously difficult easy.

Can Open Internet Ratings Service Solve Net Traffic Management Issues?

I recently posted about the web traffic analysis and management as being a major issue.

In response to this problem, Konrad Feldman and  Paul Sutter have set up Quantcast, an open internet ratings service. Their aim is to create a common language for publishers and advertisers to discuss audiences and advertising opportunities.

This open approach is what’s needed, particularly as the world of publishing grows its long tail.

Community Controls Web 2.0

Back in the 90’s I had a saying in relation to web community building: “the Internet giveth, the Internet taketh away” and it can do either with absolute blinding speed. One can build a community a la MySpace or Facebook extremely fast, but make the wrong choices, mess with your community and they will be harsh and unforgiving and move on…just as fast.

Talking about Facebook opening itself up to the masses, Bambi Francisco wisely refers to this phenomenon as a loss of control and states that this is the true cost of building community and a web brand in the Web 2.0 world.

One needs to empower the community and, in doing so, they will allow you to keep growing. Try to take away too much control and you’re toast!

A delicate balance… but essentially, community controls Web 2.0.