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Snapchat Hits Three: Here’s an Infographic Timeline

28 Sep

It has certainly been an interesting ride for Snapchat since its September 2011 founding: “Enjoy fast and fun mobile conversation! Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend. They’ll view it, laugh, and then the Snap disappears.”

Here is a detailed infographic timeline of Snapchat by DPFOC Online Marketing.
 

 

Are Microsoft and Minecraft a Good Fit?

17 Sep

Mojang, the maker of the highly popular Minecraft video game, has reached an agreement to be acquired by Microsoft. The purchase price is $2.5 billion. The deal is important to both Mojang and Microsoft, the maker of Xbox.

As Mojang posted at its Web site:

“Yes, we’re being bought by Microsoft. Yes, the deal is real. Mojang is being bought by Microsoft. It was reassuring to see how many of your opinions mirrored those of the Mojangstas when we heard the news. Change is scary, and this is a big change for all of us. It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK. Please remember that the future of Minecraft and you – the community – are extremely important to everyone involved. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be that. We can only share so much information right now, but we’ve decided that being as honest as possible is the best approach. We’re still working a lot of this stuff out. Mega-deals are serious business.”

And in this YouTube video, head of Xbox Phil Spencer discusses Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft and Microsoft’s respect and admiration for the Minecraft community.
 

 
But, when the acquisition  is completed, the hard part starts — blending the Mojang culture with that of Microsoft. As Evelyn M. Rusli and Shira Ovide write for the Wall Street Journal: 

News that Microsoft is acquir[ing] Swedish company Mojang AB up a clash of cultures between the corporate giant and Minecraft loyalists — spanning from middle-school children to video-game diehards. To many of its fans, Mojang’s antiestablishment swagger has always been part of Minecraft’s mystique. Mojang, which has only about 40 employees, is run by programmer Markus Persson, who has gained a cult following by publicly blasting big tech companies, including Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Facebook.  Microsoft, pushing 40 and worth about $387 billion, is seen as the software industry’s Goliath.”

“Already, there are signs that a Minecraft game under Microsoft will be different. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Mr. Persson is expected to leave Mojang if Microsoft completes a deal. The company’s game-development office in Stockholm isn’t expected to move or close, a person familiar with the deal negotiations said. On online forums such as Reddit and Twitter, many players questioned whether a sale would destroy the game’s indie spirits. ‘Why pay $2.5 billion for something just to alienate all the fans?’ wrote a Reddit user who goes by the handle Joebovi.”

 
 What do YOU think?
 

Tumblr Acquisition Seems to be Working for Yahoo — If It Could Only Sell Ads

30 Aug

Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer, who joined Yahoo from Google in July 2012, have had a difficult time making the firm more dynamic in today’s marketplace. However, 2013 acquisition Tumblr may be turning out to be wise strategic move. But its impact on Yahoo’s ad revenues is still in question.

What is Tumblr? According to its Web site: “Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML.” As of now, there have been 833 billion posts across 200 million blogs at Tumblr.

New research from eMarketer sheds light on how rapidly Tumblr is growing and is expected to grow:

“Tumblr continues to gain popularity in the U.S., with the number of users increasing 46.2% in 2013, totaling 13.7 million internet users, according to new figures from eMarketer – our first-ever forecast of Tumblr usage. Usage of the Yahoo-owned social blogging platform will increase by nearly another 25% in 2014, according to our estimates, totaling more than 17.1 million internet users this year. Growth in the number of users who access their Tumblr accounts each month will taper off into the single digits by 2017, when the user base totals 22.8 million users, or 12.0% of all social networkers in the U.S.”

Nonetheless, “questions have hovered around the site’s value to the internet giant, and whether its youthful user base can inject life into Yahoo’s declining display advertising business.”

 Click on the image to read more.
 

 

Want to Perform at the Super Bowl? Pay for Play May Be Coming

21 Aug

Most of us already know that the National Football League is the most popular and profitable sports entity in the United States — by a wide margin. NFL prime-time TV games are regularly the highest-rated shows of the week. Advertising, sponsorship, and licensing contracts with the NFL amount to billions of dollars a year. Super Bowl ads cost well over $4 million per 30 seconds. The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers  attracted more than 115 million viewers.

The author of this blog has frequently gotten into debates with friends who cannot believe that artists such as Beyoncé, the Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney have not been paid for performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. But it’s always been true. In the past, the NFL has contributed to the expenses associated with putting on the halftime show.

Now, according to the Wall Street, the ever-audacious NFL may be going even further in its revenue quest. As Rachel Feintzeig and Joann S. Lublin report:

“The National Football League doesn’t usually pay the act that performs at halftime during the Super Bowl. But in a twist this year, the league has asked artists under consideration for the high-profile gig to pay to play, according to people familiar with the matter. The NFL has narrowed down the list of potential performers for the 2015 Super Bowl to three candidates: Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay, these people said. While notifying the artists’ camps of their candidacy, league representatives also asked at least some of the acts if they would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution, in exchange for the halftime gig.”

“The show has always been among the most valuable promotional opportunities for the music industry, and in recent years, some performers have put tickets for their tours on sale immediately following their appearance on the field, to capitalize on the exposure. Beyoncé announced her ‘Mrs. Carter Show’ tour immediately following her halftime performance in 2013, for example, and the world tour grossed more than any other that year besides Bon Jovi’s, according to trade publication Pollstar. Bruno Mars also put tickets to his ‘Moonshine Jungle’ tour on sale the Monday after the game this year.”

The Wall Street Journal image below has some interesting data.

 

Source: Nielsen. Image by Wall Street Journal

 

Amazon Versus Hachette, Amazon Versus Disney, Etc.

18 Aug

As the world’s largest book seller and online retailer, Amazon is never afraid to flex its muscles with regard to suppliers. So, these questions come into play: Is Amazon acting as an advocate for lower consumer prices (as the retailer claims)? OR is Amazon an unrestrained bully trying to increase its margins at the expense of its content providers (as critics claim)? WHAT IS YOUR CONCLUSION?

For several months, Amazon has been  battling with publisher Hachette. Consider this observation in Catey Hill’s report for MarketWatch:

“Amazon and book behemoth Hachette — along with some publishers’ groups and writers — are at one another’s throats, in a fight that’s escalated just within the past week. Amazon, which accounts for about 60% of the digital-book market, wants to use its market power to get Hachette to lower E-book prices, while Hachette says that this is ‘punitive,’ hurts authors and bookstores, and doesn’t take into account the costs — like royalties, marketing and expenses — that go into creating books. Hachette also notes that 80% of its books are already selling online for $9.99 or less, which is the price at which Amazon hopes to sell many of its E-books. For its part, Amazon has used its leverage against Hachette by delaying shipping and stopping pre-orders on some Hachette books.”

Now, Amazon has also decided to do battle with the Walt Disney Co., another behemoth content provider. Consider this observation in Greg Bensinger’s report for the Wall Street Journal:

“When Amazon.com Inc. wants to fight, it turns to a familiar playbook. The latest to feel the Seattle retailer’s sting is Walt Disney Co. Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders of forthcoming Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles including Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent. As Amazon continues its well-publicized battle with Hachette over E-book costs, it has now engaged in a battle with Disney. It is the same tactic Amazon has employed in a bitter four-month spat with Hachette Book Group over E-book pricing. To press its point, Amazon suspended pre-orders for physical copies of many Hachette titles and lengthened shipping times or pared discounts for others. The tactics underscore Amazon’s unusual sway in E-commerce, where it is by far the dominant player, particularly for books and media.”

Click the image to see a Wall Street Journal video on this battle.

Photo by Associated Press

 

What Binge Viewers Want

14 Aug

In recent years, due to the widespread availability of DVRs and on-demand programs, more people have been engaging in “binge” viewing — whereby they watch multiple episodes of a program (typically, a series) at one time.

Marketers need to understand this new segment of binge viewer and respond to the desires of this segment.

Consider these observations from eMarketer:

“Ever sat down to watch an episode of a TV show and gotten sucked in for hours on end? That’s called binge-viewing, and a May 2014 study by Annalect — which defined binge-viewing as watching three or more episodes of the same television show in one setting — found that 63% of U.S. TV watchers ages 18 and older fell into this category (though just 30% actually said so).”

“Those who did binge-view voiced a strong aversion to advertisements during their TV time, with 58% saying they liked binge-viewing because they didn’t have to watch ads. A close 57% said ads prevented them from fully enjoying their TV shows, and 53% didn’t think that commercials even had a place in the binge-viewing world.”

 

Click the chart to read more.

 

 

Tips for Using Microcontent in Social Media Marketing

10 Aug

The latest new term for our bulging marketing dictionary is “microcontent.” According to Danyl Bosomworth (co-founder of Smart Insights and Managing Director of First 10 Digital):

“Essentially, microcontent is as it sounds – short form content. Typically low-cost, high-value content appropriate to social channels. To all intents and purpose it’s social media content. It’s not that detailed articles or long form, rich content are any less important, it’s simply a case of being relevant to the social media platform in question, and accessible to an ever detached consumer who’s on the move with a low attention span for your brand. “

And as Stephanie Castillo, in a multimedia format, writes for Visual.ly:

“There are many ways that brands are leveraging Vine as a piece of their marketing strategy. But despite this, most brands have not yet figured out how to include Vines within their overall strategic vision. To do that you’ll need to take a step back and consider why you are producing this type of content in the first place. What purpose does it serve? Can you use it as collateral? Will it strengthen your brand’s story and identity? Will it resonate with your audience enough to compel them to share with their networks?”

Castillo offers several suggestions (with examples of each):

  1. Entertain
  2. Educate
  3. Provide tutorials
  4. Make announcements
  5. Build hype

Take a look at the video to learn more.
 

 

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