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April 2008 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 04, 2008

Don't Overvalue Craigslist

Henry Blodget, the infamous dot.com hypester, is at it again, this time proclaiming that Craigslist might be worth $5 billion.

Blodget, who ran afoul of the SEC during the dot.com boom, busts out another lofty prediction that is a tad shy of reality.

He poses a hypothetical scenario about partially monetizing craigslist with advertising and expanding the listing fees, but assumes a similar ratio of cost to profit from the current tight-fisted operation that doesn't scale well in reality. Sure, a commercial craigslist would be worth a few hundred million in its current form, but many users would leave as the monetization begins.

This type of dangerous hyping is what led us to the last crash, and Blodget is already too late as the economy is already in the crapper.

Don't Overvalue Craigslist By John Gartner at 11:49 AM
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Domain Bidding on Trial

A federal appeals court is considering whether or not Google's policy of allowing competitors to bid on trademarked names is a violation of trademark law.

This could go either way, and whichever way it goes now would likely result in an appeal to the Supreme Court. While MS and Yahoo don't allow bidding on domain names or trademarks, Google continues to allow the practice and make lots of money doing so.

Should people who search for Nike.com or Zicam be presented with ads from competitors? I would argue that advertising based on trademarked names is a "use in commerce," which is the precedent that the judges must rule on. Google's service is undeniably commerce, so it fails that test. However, my limited legal knowledge believes that there is wiggle room for judges to rule otherwise through their own interpretation, so we'll see.

Via MediaPost.

Domain Bidding on Trial By John Gartner at 09:28 AM
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Thursday, April 03, 2008

MySpace Music Death Knell for Many

MySpace is completing the long overdue process of teaming up with the music industry on a streaming service, according to TechCrunch (citing Reuters).

This is huge news not just for News Corp. and the music industry, but also for the plethora of music sites such as Real's Rhapsody which will have an almost impossible task in battling MySpace. Sure, not everyone is on MySpace, but the majority of folks who consume music fit its demographic, so those who aren't will likely join.

Ad-supported streaming music is the future, and creating widgets and other smart social ways of sharing tunes is the music industry's last best hope for growth. There will still be a market for buying digital music, but the revenue growth will come from free streams. Music becomes like TV -- ubiquitous and a commodity that has great value for advertisers, or you can pay to enjoy it sans commercials. It's not such a bad fate.

MySpace Music Death Knell for Many By John Gartner at 09:33 AM
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DoubleClick Staffers Googling 'High Tech Jobs'

About 300 folks at DoubleClick will tell you that Google is not the unfettered money-churning machine that some suggest. According to The New York Times, Google is laying off DoubleClickers, and the company is also planning to sell of the Performics subsidiary. Getting rid of Performics makes sense since being on both sides of the search engine marketing business would raise customer suspicions. Rumors of the GOOG taking a trip down acquisition lane with Expedia don't make sense as the company doesn't want to be travel business as it would limit it "search first" strategy. However, buying Skype makes perfect sense since it is used to find and connect with people and is a conduit for selling service and can be used to connect Google with mobile users. I bet Google could more than double Skype's revenues in short order with new services that leverage its search data. Google's stock may never reach $600 again, but the company does need to be more attentive to its employment roles and aggressively expand beyond search engine and pay per click ad services.

DoubleClick Staffers Googling 'High Tech Jobs' By John Gartner at 09:07 AM
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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

2,000 Dollar Bottles of Remy

Fu-- That, life is too short to scrutinize the cost of lickra

2,000 Dollar Bottles of Remy By Jason Dowdell at 10:25 PM
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Targeting Critical to Video

On demand video delivery -- either online or through the set-top box -- will only be successful as the targeted ads that can accompany it, according to ABI Research.

The analyst firm is bullish on cable companies delivering video on demand if -- like online -- vertical niches can target users.

ABI Research says cable providers such as Rogers in Canada are targeted groups such as Indians and Chinese with vertical advertisements. For TV/cable to compete, they will have to do as well as website in collecting demographic data and delivering relevant ads.

The analyst firm has a new report "Video on Demand and Ad Insertion Markets" that discusses streaming and downloadable video as well as VOD. The battle between the TV and PC for ad dollars is healthy for everyone since a dominant player in one area (Comcast or Google) will be kept in check by the other platform.

Targeting Critical to Video By John Gartner at 03:21 PM
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Blinkx Joins Broadband TV Fray

Joining Hulu, Joost, and others with a broadband TV platform is video search engine Blinkx. BBTV leverages Blinkx' content relationships with the BBC, Reuters, and independent film and animation companies.

BBTV has channels for news, comedy, animation for a browse approach that compliments its video search website.

What differentiates Blinkx' service is software that pulls out the spoken word from the video streams, according to MediaPost:

While watching blinkx BBTV, viewers can access transcripts of a program's audio track and background information on everything from actors and personalities to reviews and locations shown within the video.


Watching video while surfing is a huge shift in work/entertainment habits. TV may no longer be a passive undertaking as Blinkx and Joost are trying to keep people at the keyboard and off the coach.

None of this matters without advertising to pay for it all, and as more ad dollars move online, video content will get more consideration.

Blinkx Joins Broadband TV Fray By John Gartner at 01:28 PM
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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Site Googles for Best Answer

A journalist and former colleague of mine believes he's better at Googling than Google and has launched a site to show off his search talent.

IGoogleForYou.com by Salon contributor and author Farhad Manjoo will sift through Google to find THE answer to your question and email the answer to you. Manjoo claims that no question is too tough.

Manjoo takes issue with the use of algorithms instead of people to find the best answers.

Computers are helpful -- after all, when I Google For You, I'm using Google's computers. But computers are nothing without people; expecting to get the right answer from a collection of servers without human coordination is like expecting a group of cats to put on "Macbeth." The result is sometimes funny, but mostly it's sad and stinky.


He may not keep up with the queries if enough people find out about this service (or if he plans to sleep), but Manjoo illustrates how much time it can take to filter through many Google search results to find the answer to a specific question.

He also might prove that clever marketing can help you sell some books.

Site Googles for Best Answer By John Gartner at 09:13 AM
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Spiral Frog Avoids Disclosure

It's not that I wouldn't like to have a music service that enables me to download any song I like for free, with the only "cost" logging in once a month and being exposed to a few banner ads. Just like having a hover car powered by air that can do 300 mph, it would be great, but I live in the real world.

Hence my continued skepticism that Spiral Frog will ever be able to deliver free download music from all of the major labels and pay its bills.

The latest twist in this "story" is that Spiral Frog will no longer disclose financial data as its new investors don't care about things like revenue or web traffic. That of course is obvious since they invested in a company with a revenue model that is hard to explain with a straight face.

Spiral Frog now has a publisher's agreement with Warner Music, but they still have to acquire the recording rights before the tracks can be given away.

My cynical side says that after the inevitable Spiral Frog bankruptcy and closer, someone is going to hack the digital rights management that prevents tunes from being played without a current account. There are millions of tracks floating on hard drives, and someone will find away to free them, and then won't Universal Music feel foolish for ever signing a deal with Spiral Frog?

Spiral Frog Avoids Disclosure By John Gartner at 08:41 AM
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April 2008 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (9 entries) April 1-5
  • Week 2 (10 entries) April 6-12
  • Week 3 (10 entries) April 13-19
  • Week 4 (10 entries) April 20-26
  • Week 5 (4 entries) April 27-30

2,000 Dollar Bottles of Remy
Integrity Research Names Evalueserve Circle of Exp...
by Balasubramanyam Nistla
Spiral Frog Avoids Disclosure
Universal won't feel foolish for cashing the ...
by AllBrains

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