Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 29, 2013 12:21 PM
HMV, the once-global chain of British music stores, has had a rough couple of years. The company went into the British equivalent of bankruptcy earlier this year, but now with a new owner, Hilco, and 142 stores in the UK offering up everything from music, games, films and TV, the brand is looking to make a comeback. And like the rest of the world, HMV is putting its hope for revival and survival onto the web—the platform that ate its lunch by enabling digital music downloads to bypass retailers.
This week, HMV debuted a revamped website that tries to bring back the “authority” of the experience consumers had in its stores, Britain's Marketing Magazine reports. The site features curated and original content that hopes to inspire consumers to discover “both old and new products.” Trying to woo digital-savvy millennials and music-lovers, the “site will also become personalized, based on users’ interests and past purchases.”
In order to bolster the community aspect of the site, employees from the brick-and-mortar locations will also be posting information based on what’s happening locally. But is it too little, too late?Continue reading...
video killed the _____ star
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 20, 2013 05:10 PM
Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer has moved far beyond its grocery roots. The company has upped its already substantial investment in BlinkBox, a digital download service that streams thousands of movies and TV series to computers, tblets, TVs and Sony's PlayStation 3. Now, its rumored that e-books and music are on the horizon.
Tesco joins the ranks of fellow streaming service operators including Netflix, Amazon, and Lovefilm, all of which contribute to an industry that is projected to hit $20 billion by 2018, with a 17 percent yearly growth. However, if Tesco finds a way to marry together all of its businesses, it could potentially have a leg-up on major competitors like Netlix.
“If you can watch a film and get money off your groceries, petrol or extra Clubcard points, then Blinkbox may begin to look more appealing” than Netflix, Amazon, Lovefilm, and even Apple iTunes, Michael Perry, an analyst at Verdict Research told Bloomberg. “Blinkbox definitely poses a threat.”Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on July 24, 2013 12:43 PM
Apple’s comparatively diminutive third quarter earnings might have exceeded market expectations, but the announcement also solidified Samsung’s place as the worldwide smartphone king. Apple reported sales of $35.3 billion and a profit of $6.9 billion, down 35 percent and 46 percent, respectively, since the first quarter. In fact, Samsung earned $1.43 billion more in profit last quarter than Apple.
The mounting issue in Apple-land is that the company has failed to truly release a new, innovative product since the iPad. While iPhone sales jumped 20 percent to 31.2 million, the company's most popular product continues to be one of the most expensive smartphones on the market—posing a great opportunity for competitors like Samsung, BlackBerry and Nokia to tout their similar products and more cost-efficient models.
To Apple’s credit, the company has attempted to expand its brand into new realms. The debut of iTunes Radio, for instance, could give cornerstones Spotify and Pandora a run for their money. But perhaps the most interesting addition was hiring fashion guru Paul Deneve as a chief-level “special projects” officer. The assumption is that Deneve will lead Apple’s charge into wearable technology, most notably with the rumored iWatch
But radio and a watch might not be enough to save the once indestructible brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 17, 2013 07:06 PM
The first feature film from CollegeHumor, "Coffee Town," ranked among the 10 most downloaded movies on iTunes last week, deeming the site's quirky, first long-form content attempt a success.
The movie was shot in just five weeks and promoted with a $60,000 marketing budget. "With the web, we're so use to having an idea and seeing it a couple of days later," Ricky Van Veen, who founded CollegeHumor with high school friend Josh Abramson, told AdAge. "We just applied that do-it-yourself mentality to this."
The 90-minute film, which was budgeted under $1 million, features Glenn Howerton ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") and Adrianne Palicki ("Friday Night Lights"), as well as a digital-centric release strategy that is as inconoclastic as its humor.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 3, 2013 03:03 PM
Some folks turn to self-help books for business-motivation, while others go the motivational-speaker route or turn to personal coaches. Andrew Mason, the former CEO and cofounder of Groupon, is hoping younger generations will turn to his newly-released album, "Hardly Workin'" which is filled with “motivational songs about business leadership."
Mason, who was tossed out of Groupon in February, released the seven-song pop album, like a Schoolhouse Rock for the working world, on Tuesday.
“I managed over 12,000 people at Groupon, most under the age of 25,” Mason wrote in a blog post, the Chicago Tribune reports. “One thing that surprised me was that many would arrive at orientation with minimal understanding of basic business wisdom.” Whether they want to now learn it from an out-of-work guy with a guitar remains to be seen.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 10, 2013 05:18 PM
Apple's annual developer conference, WWDC, began as expected with a keynote from CEO Tim Cook that reflected upon the brand's hometown inspiration, as well as a thorough run-down of Apple's latest user statistics.
Notably, the afternoon event introduced a new operating system—Mavericks— for Mac, ending the company's cat-themed era. Brand executives also unveiled a new, cylindrical MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air with an 11-hour battery, and a near-complete overhaul of its iOS interface, introducing iOS 7.
Top of mind, though, were the swirling rumors about a supposed music streaming service. Not long into the presentation, execs confirmed the new iTunes Radio service, which will be built into the music app.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 07:10 PM
While Apple has had some good news lately (it reached 50 billion downloads from its App Store, signed a deal with CW to have the network’s content appear on Apple TV, and its UK retail locations received the top customer-service rating in Britain), it also is going through some tough times as a brand.
A recent poll from Bloomberg notes that, “71 percent of poll respondents say the Cupertino, California, company has lost its cachet as an industry innovator, which includes 28 percent who say it is permanent and 43 percent who say it may be a temporary hiccup.” While some Apple loyalists remain dedicated to the company that has brought the world such innovations as the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes, plenty of folks in the general population aren’t as high on Apple as they used to be, with some turning to competitors like Google and Samsung. “Google plays offense while Apple has recently settled for playing defense,” Forbes reports. “Apple is struggling to maintain its position in the market, while Google is expanding its position.”
Google’s shares have gone over a record $900 while Apple’s are now just above $400 after being over $705 in late September. While it can be difficult to keep up with its own track record of innovation, Apple apparently has got to keep pushing in order to keep the masses satisfied. “Where Apple went wrong is they began to confuse version releases and feature improvements with innovation,” Forbes reports. “What Apple is learning the hard way is even the most loyal base of consumers will jump ship when provided a valid reason to do so.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2013 03:36 PM
Planned scarcity is a classic marketing trick for high-end goods. And if luxury fare isn't just difficult enough to get, then many of the most discriminating consumers don't want it anyway.
Ferrari's vehicles have been relatively inattainable forever largely by dint of their six-figure pricetags (and the brand unveiled a new, $1.3 million LaFerrari hybrid model at the Geneva auto show in March). But now Ferrari wants to make its goods even more exclusive by beginning to limit production. It's hoping a new tie-in with Apple will boost Ferrari's rarefied cachet even more.
The company plans to scale back sales to fewer than 7,000 vehicles this year to "maintain the exclusivity" of the brand. Ferrari sold 7,318 cars last year, and revenues so far this year have grown by about 4 percent over a year earlier.Continue reading...