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December 2008, Week 5 Marketing Archives

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blockbuster and Netflix Should Offer Cheaper Media Players

digital player comparison

Roku's Netflix player was Wired magazine's top gift of 2008, and for good reason. For $100, Netflix subscribers get an easy way to watch thousands of movies on their home TV.

The Netflix player uses RCA cords (The same cords you use for your DVD player) to sync your PC with the TV. That means you don't have to mess around with VGA adaptors and DVI cords.
Not to be outdone by its rival, Blockbuster also created a digital media player. Blockbuster's digital mediapoint has several appealing aspects:

  • Progressive playback, rather than streaming video,
  • Multiple outlets, including HDMI,two USB  ports, Ethernet port, WiFi and an SD slot.
  • New movies are available within 30 days of DVD release.

You get the player free if you spend $99 for 25 rentals, but unlike Netflix, you'll eventually pay for play. Rentals cost $1.75 after you view your first 25 titles, but Netflix's plans include unlimited views.

Everbody lovers a device that makes life a little easier, but for every average joe who doesn't know the difference between an AVG cord and a DVI cord, there are savvy consumers who realize they can save hundreds of dollars if they:

  1. Subscribe to Netflix's cheapest plan.
  2. Connect one cord from the PC to the TV
  3. Adjust the display settings in the computer's control panel.

X-Box 360 owners can save even more time by just subscribing to Netflix's service on X-Box Live. I just wonder howif and when the general public will learn about the cheaper option.

Blockbuster and Netflix Should Offer Cheaper Media Players By Matt O'Hern at 04:44 PM
Comments (2)

ESPN Mobile Forgets My Favorite Teams

I'm a sports junkie, so when if I'm too busy to watch the game, I want a quick and easy way to check the latest scores involving my favorite teams.

Naturally, when I discovered the favorite teams feature on ESPN mobile, I thought it was a great concept: Fans can customize an entire page to track the scores of all their college and pro teams. The entire process SHOULD only take three steps

  1. Sign in to your espn.com account. (I was already a registered user).
  2. Tap the Favorite Teams tab.
  3. Browse and add your favorite  teams.

espn mobile favorite teamsESPN sorts the teams by the sport and division. For example: I tapped NCAA Football-ACC- and FSU Seminoles.

Other teams in my group included the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Duke Blue Devils and my alma mater's football team- the Samford Bulldogs.

After I saved my favorites, I figured it would come in handy when FSU played Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl last Saturday.

I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. A few days later, when I tapped favorite teams, NONE of the teams were listed.

Initially, I thought itwas just a one-time glitch. Nope. Even after I went through the entire process and saved my teams a SECOND time, the teams still didn't appear. 

Afer a third attempt,Samford and Duke were the only teams it recalled, but  it recalled Duke football- not basketball. Honestly, does anybody really want to track Duke football? I bet the head coach avoids any reminders of their most recent game.

 

For a company that claims to be the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN has a long way to go before its the worldwide leader in sports apps.

ESPN Mobile Forgets My Favorite Teams By Matt O'Hern at 02:19 PM
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Top Internet Marketing Stories of 2008 - Vote Now

We've seen a remarkable amount of milestones, memorable stories and controversial issues throughout 2008. From an economic crisis, to state boycotts, 8-pack outrage and the first image from Google's new satellite, there was no shortage of topics to cover. We want to know which post was your favorite. 

Our list of top stories indicates that our readership is as diverse as the topics we cover, (with a marketing perspective).

We want you to vote for your favorite post out of the top-10 from 2008.

 

  1. HBO's unusual viral marketing campaign for Trueblood.
  2. Alabama / Michigan debate fueled by Senator Richard Shelby vs. Joe Babiasz and BoycottAlabamanow.com.
  3. 8-Pack outrage: Pepsi replaces 12-pack with unpopular 8-pack.
  4. State Lawmakers force Starbucks, and Krispy Kreme  to revise online ads for Election Day freebies.
  5. Google Earth gets an upgrade -the  Geo Eye 1 satellite.
  6. Apple releases first pics and specs of new macBook.
  7. Best Buy and eBay  lose traffic during holiday sales.
  8. XM's lifelong subscription offer.
  9. The lackluster 2.2 update for iPhone.
  10. Amazon sets holiday sales record in rough economy.

 

Top Internet Marketing Stories of 2008 - Vote Now By Matt O'Hern at 11:13 AM
Comments (3)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clear Channel and CBS Radio Expand Web Presence

cbs radio yahoo

Music fans rejoice- you now have more sources and outlets to find your favorite music. In early 2009, CBS Radiois combining its 150 stations with Yahoo LAUNCHcast’s 150 stations. Listeners can browse the station via a new tuner that will be integrated into yahoo's music site. Firefox,Mac and Safari users will have access to Launchcast for the first time.

After a bitter ending with XM, AOL  partnered with CBS  to launch one of the top radio apps for iPhone. In early 2009, a new CBS Radio player will be integrated into the Yahoo! Music site and for the first time, LAUNCHcast will be available to Firefox, Mac and Safari users.
iheartradio shake
There's also good news for the thousands of FM fans out there who wish they could listen to their local station on their iPhone. Clear Channel Communications' 2.0 version of the iheartradio app has expanded and now includes over 100 stations  from coast-to-coast. That's great news for sports fans who want to hear a radio broadcast of their favorite team,because if Clear Channel's sports affiliate covers the respective city's pro team, fans can follow their team all season,without paying for Sirius satellite radio.

I downloaded the iheartradio app,and I wasn't a big fan of the commercials and DJs, but it includes a few nice features. If you're looking for a new rock station, but don't know where to look, you can tap the "shake" button to discover a new source for your favorite genre.

I searched around to see if any other major conglomerates,such as Cox or Citadel had developed an app, but I couldn't find any.

Clear Channel and CBS Radio Expand Web Presence By Matt O'Hern at 05:17 PM
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Traffic Drops at Worst Time for Best Buy and eBay

For those of you who read my post last Friday about Tweebay, you may think I'm on an anti-eBay campaign, but that's not the case. I just can't help myself, because eBay's recent blunders have just begged for commentary.

The latest reports from Wall Street support my claim that eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) could be in serious trouble. Somehow, eBay and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) managed to LOSE traffic during the Christmas s.

Comscore
reported a 16% drop for eBay from mid-November to mid-December and a 17% drop for Best Buy in that same time span. Now, I will admit, I boasted about Best Buy's partnership with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to sell the iPhone. Prior to the deal, Apple's phone was only available at AT&T stores, so I'm pretty surprised that Best Buy didn't receive a major boost in the late fall to early winter.

best buy stockI don't know how often you've received emails from eBay, but they're constantly bugging me to check out the latest items from my favorite sellers. Meanwhile, one of its top rivals, Amazon,(NASDAQ:AMZN) boasted record numbers, including  5.6 million items shipped on its busiest day of the period and 99 percent of orders shipped in time for holiday deadlines, with packages going to 210 different countries around the world.

Amazon still puts the customer first.I think eBay is beginning to feel the pain and frustration from an unhappy customer base that has grown weary of changes within the transaction system,including Paypal's holds on payments.

Traffic Drops at Worst Time for Best Buy and eBay By Matt O'Hern at 12:28 PM
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Independentamerica.net & the Power of Local / Social Networks

independent americaRecently, I've developed an appetite for documentaries about American economics and culture. The next movie on my list is: Independent America: the two-lane search for mom & pop.

The documentary was produced by Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes. In the last few years, Hanson has shot and edited groundbreaking films for the American government in southern Africa, for TurnHere.com and Discovery Channel Mobile in Latin America, and for aid organizations such as PATH and Mercy Corps. Both worked as international news reporters for NBC. Following their focus on international conflicts they decided to take a look at the economic tensions in rural America. This morning, I listened to Hosein's interview on SmallBiz America Radio, where he talked about the flim's recent growth.

We originally started off going to grassroots organizations and it's slowly penetrated the Internet then Sundance picked it up after yahoo picked it up.There's this growing awareness environmentalism and sustainability,it's becoming ingrained in peoples minds in a mainstream way.

Independent America has also been broadcast by NHK Japan, SuperChannel Canada SBS Australia, Qantas Airlines. It was named the Audience Favorite Port Townsend Film Festival. You can read the official blog to learn more about Independent America

One corporation Hosein mentioned in the interview was Wal-Mart, which has been attacked from countless organizations and media during the past five years. Talking directly to Wal-Mart made Independent America a much more "even-handed" film, according to Hosein.

Hosein and Hughes put feelers to Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Borders. Hosein claimed that Wal-Mart was "great" when it came to arranging interviews and providing access to executives and employees. His impression was that you could write a book about everything good they do, along with a book about everything bad that they do.

After hearing Hosein's assesment, I was a little surprised by the prolonged attack on Wal-Mart in the official trailer, but it also targets  government subsidies that lure the larger corporations into small towns.


Hosein's observations regarding small biz reminded of some of the lessons I've learned from online reputation management and SEO:

1. Maintain an open line of communication with media and your customer base.

2. Big budgets can be fought with efficient and cost effective methods, with an increased focus on new media and reduced use of traditional marketing.

Just as small business can co-exist with the major chains, blogs can compete and co-exist with major news outlets, if they tap into the community's support. Online, the community support consists of social networks,blogs and forums.

Hanson and Hughes felt an obligation to make the film for several reasons, but their main goal was to determine if there's an even playing field between small and big business.They discovered that some towns couldn't compete with the major corporate shopping malls and chains, but other towns utilized their close-knit aspects to wage successful grassroots campaigns and promote local stores.

I was impressed by Hosein's objective stance regarding this hot-button issue that's usually covered from one extreme viewpoint or the other. Judging from his remarks, the documentary uses more of a pro-independent angle rather than an anti-corporate rant you might see from someone such as Michael Moore.

We wanted to see if mom and pop were surviving ,but we realized a lot of it comes from people wanting to control their own life, support ycommunity and shopping locally. It was a sense that these people were out there surviving and some sense thriving. there are sophisticated people out there with sophisticated opinions.

I appreciate the positive contributions that corporations have on America balanced with their negative. However, I'm also a fan of local restaurants over the dull chains, and I believe that small,independent business are the backbone of America. They make the difference between a good economy and a great economy or in today's case, the difference between a surviving economy and a dead one.

Independentamerica.net & the Power of Local / Social Networks By Matt O'Hern at 11:01 AM
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« December 2008 Week 4

  • Week 1 (16 entries) December 1-6
  • Week 2 (16 entries) December 7-13
  • Week 3 (13 entries) December 14-20
  • Week 4 (11 entries) December 21-27
  • Week 5 (6 entries) December 28-31

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