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Aug 27, 2014

The future of cinema

There are a million opinions about the future of cinema. Wether it will die or not, wether people love to watch with others or not - and no one really knows anything. Then why not ask film heavyweights - directors and producers? Here's ten opinions from George Lucas, David Lynch, Keanu Reeves and others.

Aug 26, 2014

Mobile E-Commerce grows fast

About three times faster than overall e-commerce, says Business Insider. Although mobile is still a small part of the overall market (US: 11,1%), its share is growing rapidly - the mobile shift, again and again. In the US, mobile commerce grew 48% year over year in the second quarter, now being an 8 bn USD market.

Our phones are full already - and our minds, too

Here's one reason why being early is sometimes a great thing: We hardly seem to install any apps on our smartphones anymore (and installation is just a prerequisite for usage). Some 65% of smartphone owners do not download and install any app in any given month. So when you think you'd have a 100 million people market on Android or iOS, it is actually 35 million.

On top of that, apps seem to become even more than ever before a short tail business. Unbelievable 42% of our whole app time (on average) is spent on the single most used app on every smartphone (in my case, Facebook). Not the most promising time to start an app business, one might think. But because of still growing smartphone penetration, the overall number of downloads is still far from declining. So it just gets harder, but remains promising to make business with apps.

Mobile Shift in advertising

Facebook and Google rule in mobile advertising, but the rest of the world, both advertisers and suppliers, are waking up. For Opera, best known for their browser, mobile now makes more than half of their ad revenue.

Mobile Shift in CRM

The mobile shift will change exactly this: The entire internet as we know it. And of course CRM. And CRM software. The article linked below does not look at the mobile consumer, but at the mobile employee, who brings his own device / BYOD and is steadily on the go.

No more clickbaiting on Facebook

That's at least the promise from Facebook's latest changes to the newsfeed it announced today. Personally I see it as a way to ensure relevant and quality posts in your newsfeed - and throw the traditional publishers a bone. And everyone else who tries to reach an audience with "better" journalism and content.

Twitch sold for a billion

"Amazon, not Google" buys Twitch (that's how The Verge puts it). Anyone remembers the fish playing Street Fighter from a few days ago? That was Twitch. It is roughly 3 years old. Today, its roughly 55 million unique visitors (per month) view more than 15 billion (!) minutes of content. The great thing about Twitch is that both me and you, professional gamers as well as huge game tournaments can stream their content and find a game-loving audience. And Amazon wants to get deeper into gaming, as it is just another way to win "the war for the living room".

Why it makes sense for Amazon to buy Twitch:

Amazon press release 

Aug 21, 2014

Meet DERP, the data API

Here's something I'd like to read from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest - access to their data for universities through a public API to help understand dynamics of social networking better. In this case, Reddit, Imgur and Twitch team up to do exactly this (twitch drew some attention in the past days with fish playing Street Fighter, just look a few posts below). And the nature of these platforms also explains the derp-name .-)


What has 684% YoY growth? Wearable bands

Impressive numbers for wearables. 'Connected' bands like Fitbit and Jawbone grew over 600% from 2013 to 2014. These have all the 'intelligence' and computing power in accompanying smartphone apps and are more or less pure data collectors. The 'smart bands' that come with own displays and computing power also grew strongly, but not nearly as much as the 'dumb ones'. Maybe its the price - or people prefer to take control of connected products via their smart phones.

Twitters Video ads seem to work

That's according to the few agencies testing them. Although in Germany Twitter does not have too many users, the 'golden years' for online TV might be over soon. A few years ago, they delivered a remarkable share of the overall inventory for online video (of a certain quality), so advertisers were drawn to them naturally. With Twitter, Facebook and others who do not capitalize on video inventory necessarily, but simply on their reach and session durations by playing video ads in their newsfeed, prices (CPM) will get under pressure and 'new' (CPC like in Twitter's case) models will have to be introduced.

Aug 20, 2014

78% of mobile searches for local business info result in purchases - PC only 61%

Very interesting study by the "Local Search Association". The research is based on 8,000 US adults, so maybe we cannot transfer just every number to Europe and Germany, but interestingly enough the mobile shift takes over here, too: More searches for local business information from mobile devices lead to purchases than from tablet or desktop/PC. The study is all about "the last mile" before a purchase, and here we have results that show the mobile is not the preferred device - but obviously the most effective. And that, differently from general smartphone behaviour, searches for information are rather conducted in the browser than in the app (but a reason could be that the Google search on you mobile phone might seem like a browser search to most people). 

Google made 890 changes on search last year

Question to these many companies who relaunch their websites and then let them rot for 2-3 years, just to plan another big relaunch... can you remember a Google relaunch? Or an Amazon relaunch? No? Probably that's because there was none.

They keep working on the product continously - and with frightening speed. 890 changes is close to three a day. Including Saturdays and Sundays. And holidays.
Constant improvement is critical. And to honour Google's 10 year anniversary of their IPO: Here's their 10 biggest changes since going public:

Content is king, and content dustribution is his Queen

The article itself is not that sensational, I just wanted to save the headline.

For the record:

Our phones will be, among other things, desease detectors

I don't know about the success chances of this particular startup, but I strongly believe that "eHealth" will mainly happen on wearables and smartphones for the foreseeable future.

Is Snapchat planning a news network?

Websites and blogs are persistent, but news are not. So why organize them there? Not the 15page analysis of how America's police force got militarized and what that could mean to democracy and society, but simply news: They come in tweet-lengths, so why not as "snaps"?
I am keen to see this thing launching.

is GoogleNow a killer app?

Many people may underestimate GoogleNow, and I agree it is sometimes creepy. How does that god**mn phone know all that? On the other hand, it may be overestimated - I have not made up my mind yet. This guy here sees it as a threat to media companies, and it's worth a read.

How effective is content marketing? Uberflip launches "Content Score"

There's a megaton of data that could, maybe, somehow, eventually tell you how your content performs with regard to marketing objectives. Software company "Uberflip" tries to make that megaton manageable with a "magic formula", as they call it. Check out the video, it may not only be relevant to content marketing, but also to publishers.

Fanta creates own "vine show"

Now that Vine finally allows you to upload videos from your phone, we will see a lot more businesses using it. Live uploads are just not feasible for companies with approval processes. Fanta created an own sho. Just another sign that it gets harder and harder for brands to connect with teens, who have their own media world.

Uber becomes your... delivery boy, too

Checking Uber's blog with regards to their API launch, I stumbled upon this thing: As others struggle with same day delivery (check ebay now), Uber has an entire workforce on the streets that, if waiting for assignments, just costs money. Ideally, Uber's cars would be driving 24/7 on some customer request. So why not fill in the gaps with delivery? The only flaw I see (if this takes off) could be a car shortage for people who want to actually get a ride. You can get anything from condoms to diapers and envelopes. No cash required, everything is accounted via Uber.

A 24" tablet is a great idea

I don't get why my TV is dumb. And why I can't have a Samsung Galaxy XL-S5 with 47" in my living room. If it had some HDMI ports and would be able to switch between TV and megha-smartphone on my wall, I wouldn't ask for much more.
Maybe we're getting there: Here's a 24" tablet that makes a TV obsolete.
(If you can live with such a "tiny" screen)

Uber's API, again brilliant

I have said it on various occasions that I firmly believe in APIs - thinking of your services and products as platforms that allow partners to integrate and leverage your and their business - is a misunderstood, underestimated, huge business opportunity for many companies out there. But most lack both the strategic and first and foremost the technical skill to tap into this business. So it's again innovator time. In this case: Uber. Launching with 11 partners and allowing them to integrate Uber's services into their apps. Win-win-win (the third win being the customer), "lose" for taxi businesses and Uber's competitors.

Two fish play street fighter

"In case you were wondering, this is precisely what the internet is for". Funny line from this TC-article, but there's more to it that meets the eye. Two fish swin in their aquarium, all the time, and some technology translates their position into street fighter activity, so both fish can "play" against each other. That would already qualify as art, I could bullshit like 5 hours and sell the installation for a million, but unfortunately it isn't mine. It's on, and that's something any digital-video-person should have in mind. It's like a "huge niche long tail Youtube" with a live element. And high relevance for advertising.


Puma hashtag campaign went wrong

The idea was not that bad - get a 'personal' autograph by a Puma player by sending a certain hashtag. But as always when user generated content is incorporated into campaigns, and be it just a username, it can lead to rather strange results. As you can see in this typical buzzfeed collection of bizarre 'autographs'.

Aug 18, 2014

Sharing sports video online

The Premier League just announced they are developing GIF crawlers and Vine crawlers etc. to end "illegal video sharing". I agree with the article linked below that it is a rather stupid idea - although I understand the reasons. One major source of income for sports leagues and governing bodies like FIFA, UEFA, NBA etc. comes from TV - sports events are most of the few contents that still work as "TV by appointment". In Germany, the whole top10 of the TV shows with best all-time ratings are football (soccer) games. In France, it's 9 of the top10 and so on. So what the Premier League tries to do here is to protect the value of their TV live and replay products. Already two years ago I wrote a piece about the NBA and why I think that yesterday's highlights will boost today's live ratings. But I understand that when social sharing of LIVE TV gets too accessible, this might hurt the TV stations which are over-paying for their rights. Still, a fan who wants to share his passion about something that just happened in a sports match should be considered a chance and not a threat. So instead of dedicating resources to Vine crawlers, maybe one should thnik of developing sharing tools that give the rights holder some control - and motivate others to want to see the full live picture, too.

The future of payments - Slide deck

The Business Insider slide decks are always full of useful stats and insights. 15 years ago, I would have bet everything I had that by 2014, at least 75% of my payments would be digital and non-cash. We're getting there, but slower than expected.

Will no one win the messaging war?

When Facebook invests 16+bn USD, one should take the field they are investing in very seriously. So latest with the acquisition of Whatsapp, it should have become obvious that messaging would be one of the next big things. Look at the growth rates: User sessions increased 203% during 2013, and the services are growing at around 15% - per quarter. RWW sets up a 4-part series about "the future of messaging", and the first part is already worth reading - claiming that no one will win the messaging war.  

Charging a phone with ambient sound?

I recently read a post that said "remember your first computer?" (in my case the Commodore 64, but maybe we shoulkd count my Atarai 2600 and Intellivision game consoles, too). "Think about how archaic it feels now. That's how a kid today will remember the iPad in 20 years."
I cant wait for the next 20 years to happen .-)
Maybe we will charge our devices via sound - so we won't be thinking about charging anythnig anymore:

Study about push notifications

Contrary to popular belief, you have not achieved much when you get a user to download your app. Usage is the only thing that counts, and yes, download and install are preconditions, but not much more than that. So to many app providers, push notifications are vital to ensure an ongoing app usage. Considering the importance of the field, there are suprisingly few studies. Maybe that's because the results are all too obvious, like in this case:

Users only want to receive push notifications that are relevant, time-sensitive and valuable.

Turn any YouTube video into a GIF

The web is full of GIFs. In the business and advertising part of the web, it isn't. Which I don't get. But anyway - here's a handy tool if you want to play around with GIFs.

Aug 15, 2014

Gartner Hype Cycle 2014

Always interesting to see an opinion on where which technology stands currently. We are hearing about innovations a lot earlier than a few years ago, so estimating when a technology may become relevant is a skill that gains in importance. My main focus is always the 0-2 and 2-5 year bracket (until reaching 'productivity plateau'), here including gesture control, speech recognition, 3D scanners, enterprise 3D printing, cloud computing and NFC. 

Celebs on Twitter should talk more to each other

says Twitter. Builds a tool for it. And they are right.

YouTube's stats are insane

Here's what they published lately.

Every person on Earth watches nearly one hour of YouTube a month - on average (6 billion hours watched per month). Since it's just over one billion unique users, the average (!) time seems to be around 6 hours / month.

100 hours (4 days+) uploaded to YouTube every minute.

YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network (Nielsen).

And mobile makes up close to 40% of the entire viewing time. Factor in that YouTube is available on game consoles, Smart TVs etc.

YouTube stars are a new class of celebrities

I have mentioned before how impressive it was to observe a 13 year-old's media world during our vacation ever since she became a savvy smartphone user over the past months. I understood that their media world is entirely different from mine, and that YouTube stars are considered huge celebrities: just like I see LeBron James or Johnny Depp, they see people you may have never heard of as the biggest stars. A Variety survey among 13-18 year-olds saw 6 YouTube stars in the Top 10 entertainment celebrities.

Snowden exclusive in WIRED

Great piece of Journalism in both content and format: Snowden exclusive in Wired.

Uber banned in Berlin, but still operating

This will be an interesting to see: How will the local laws of "person transportations" and Uber fit together? They just have been banned in Berlin (and a few weeks before, in Hamburg) but are still operating. When your evaluation is >18 billion (!!), you can afford a lawsuit or two.

Facebook announces cross-device ad reporting

When it comes to omni-channel (thinking and acting mainly device-agnostic, in comparison to multi-channel, that sees certain scenarios for each device and usage situation) Facebook is so far ahead of the rest... it might even educate advertisers and companies to thnk in that direction. For example with their ad products that will simply reach users where they are. On whichever device.

[German] Netflix und TV in Deutschland

Interessanter Artikel zu Netfilx' bevorstehendem Start in Deutschland, dessen Einschätzung ich weitestgehend teile. Bei Netflix haben sie mal gesagt "Netflix muss schneller zu HBO werden, als HBO zu Netflix werden kann". Damit meinten sie natürlich eine Art "HBO 2.0". Analog könnte man sagen: Die deutschen privaten TV-Sender müssen schneller zum deutschen Netflix werden, als Netflix es kann."

YouTube on the big screen

YouTube is one of the best-distributed services - on any device, Smart TVs for example, game consoles etc., you will find a YouTube app. These get a facelift and I still have the feeling Google is not going "full force" with those. Once they figure it out, the impact on TV and OTT-video companies will be massive.

Yahoo! Labs vision of content consumption

Interesting post on how Yahoo! sees the future of content (consumption, distribution)... and clearly, the "omnichannel" perspective is of high importance. Be able to live any experience on any device. Many companies do not really pick up on this, so... recommended read.

The shrinking significance of LIVE TV

A simple chart by Business Insoder shows how "TV by appointment" slowly dies. Except for live events like sports, it is simply not convenient enough for us who get everything at their fingertips to mark a certain time in our daily calendars for a TV show that, as we all know, should be available anytime on any device. And that's how people behave on a large scale.

Aug 11, 2014

[German] Zum Ende der Zeitung

Im täglichen Meedia Newsletter ist ganz unten immer ein Zitat des Tages. Nicht selten von Print-Managern, die von goldener Zukunft reden. Blühende Landschaften und so. Wird andere Hintergründe haben als fundierte Analyse und rationale Schlüsse daraus. 
Aber aus der Branche selbst kommen manchmal auch Texte wie dieser, die zwar hier und da sagen, die Tageszeitung sei 'in der größten Krise ihrer Geschichte', aber letztlich doch erkennen, dass es sich um das Ende der Geschichte handelt. Guter Text:

Aug 10, 2014

Kids love video. But TV?

After a vaction with a 13year old that would have to be forced to put away the smartphone and come with us to the beach instead, that would consider watching TV boring because "nothing is on, can i have my WiFi back?" and that would consider LeFloid "the biggest star in Germany, maybe together with some football player" - a guy who (in German!) has over 200 mn YouTube views, close to 2 million subscribers, but hardly anyone over 30 would know him - so after that vacation, I can totally relate to an article with the following headline:

Me: What kind of shows do you like to watch on TV?
Daughter: What's a TV?

10 good social media presentations on Slide Share

Nothing to add.

Connected toothbrush

I still don't get why all these insurance companies are not the greatest investors of all these connected products.

Software is eating the world, why not also your CEO?

I have noticed more and more activity towards "Digital Transformation" from HR in the recent years. Not only with regards to BYOD strategies and digital employer branding, but really aiming to transform formerly analog companies into digital companies. I have also participated in a few projects where top-level-management was introduced to the digital world - one needs more, another needs less help, but what all appreciated was not the next 20 min speech about how many users Facebook has, but a hands-on experience, for example using Facebooks ad planner. Or printing something - in 3D. Or seeing a Fitbit in full effect. Or playing around with a Kinect camera. It is one thing to send your guys to the Silicon Valley for a few months, like some German companies did, and another thing to get your management out of a meeting room in front of a computer and - maybe - learn some programming. Because, like this article from RWW states: If your CEO does not understand technology, you need a new CEO. This might become true sooner than many think.

Content for social media

Digital media will ultimately kill the known formats for storytelling. The one page newspaper article, the 90 min movie, the 23 min TV episode, everything we learned during years and years of media usage will eventually go away. These formats were created because of the technical and business environment they were placed in; the same happens on social media. We are seeing a high diversity of formats in covering one and the same story. And editors will need to learn to adapt to platforms and their technical and business environment - and still deliver valuable storytelling. Here are a few thoughts on that in a very hands-on fashion:

How Humans respond to robots

My friend Maks wrote a rave post about his encounter with a humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics at Kinnernet Italy. He basically wrote that you forgot you're dealing with a robot. While many people think that is somewhat ridiculous, science suggests otherwise: Read this lengthy piece from PhD candidate Heather Knight.

Or a summary in the Business Insider:

Facebook is so powerful, it can make you install stuff you hate

This must be the first time in history: An app is number one in download charts with a 1 star rating.

Man kills himself while taking selfie with loaded gun

The headline says it all. Needed to post this to preserve that milesstone in human development.

Mercedes goes Mario Kart

I cannot emphasize enough how much I think In-game-advertising is underrated in its effect. Most gamers like it because it makes the respective game richer: in most times more realistic, sometimes just more fun (psychologically). Since I still remember a lot of details of games from 20 years ago, I believe that kids who play a game over and over, for hours and hours, every day, can be brainwashed with a positive attitude towards your brand. I don't think Mercedes expects 100k more units sold by this deal. But from a branding perspective, with an eye on the future: Yes, that's cool. 

Disruptive Innovation: The discussion continues

I linked to both articles mentioned in the quotes intro top this article below, so it is just logical to add this link as it contributes to the discussion:
"On the one side is Havard Prof. Clay Christensen ("The Innovators's Dilemma") and his long-prevailing theory about how disruptive innovation drives incumbents out of the market. On the other side is Jil Lepore and her attack on Christensens theory".
Interesting viewpoint in TechCrunch:

Chartbeat III: Mobile - the end of the landing page

Finally, today's last post on Chartbeat. In the much discussed NYT Innovation Report, one graph stated how homepage visitors go down due to mobile and social referrals. CHartbeat dug a bit deeper into their data:

Chartbeat II: The Quartely Magazine

I hate it when companies make me sign up for a pdf download. They aim to build a database and get clients, but it is pretty unklikely that I will end up buying Cisco, Adobe or Nielsen stuff. However, sometimes the signup is a pain worth enduring, for example for the quartely magazine from Chartbeat.

Chartbeat I: Social traffic during Facebook outage

Nearly every publisher I know uses ChartBeat as a real-time analytics tool. So these guys sit on an enormous amount of data, and from time to time, it makes sense to check their resources. For example this one: When Facebook had an outage recently, they can tell you what that means to publisher traffic. Immediately.