Monday, 25 March 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mobile World Congress 2013 Review

Another Mobile World Congress is in the books and while the number of new devices was not quite as pronounced as in the previous few years, there still were a number of products revealed that are poised to hit the marketplace. From the heady streets of Barcelona, the talk of the Mobile World Congress for 2013 was centered on the continued expansion of technology and honing the impressive designs for mobile devices.
What Was Hot at #MWC

There were a number of new products that generated a healthy amount of buzz from this event on the wireless side, new platforms and different items that caused a great deal of talk among those who attended. Here are just a few of the items to look for in the near future.
LG Optimus G Pro: This new mobile device certainly generated the buzz with its powerful new processor, large 5.5-inch display and impressive 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor just to name a few of the impressive features. One of the most interesting additions was the front & back cameras that could be operated simultaneously for a picture within picture effect.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: This new premium tablet design was a mere 6.9mm thin, but boasted a 10-inch 1,920 x 1,200 display, advanced 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and dual front and rear facing cameras. Although thin, this tablet was pretty solid and held up well under testing.

HTC One: For those who enjoy high-end mobile devices, the HTC One boasts a number of advanced features that certainly grabbed the eye. Starting with the machined aluminum shell that was fitted perfectly to the polycarbonate components was highly impressive. Add to this the nice 4.7 inch display with beveled edges that help compliment the feel of a top dollar design.

Sony Xperia T: For devices that promote great connectivity, the Sony Xperia certainly impressed quite a few. The handy NFC apps present at the Mobile World Congress would put to good use in this device that helped people navigate around with ease. Add to this the number of posters with additional info that could be accessed and this device was most impressive.

Social and Mobile Trends 2013
It’s clear from the direction established that mobile devices are becoming even more versatile and powerful. Given the improved connectivity, features and access as displayed by the devices presented at the Mobile World Congress, the trend continues towards developing all-in-one mobile devices with greater computing power and convenience.
Tablets in particular are developing into more powerful mobile devices that have expanded versatility along with greater access. In essence, both the social and media trends continues this convergence of convenience, technology and greater overall memory to provide a person with all the access they need in one simple device.
Social Business Today
To help stay on top of news in the social media world, provides the latest news, upcoming projects and other vital information about the world of Social & Mobile trends. Whether checking out the latest events at the Mobile World Congress, to the latest mobile trends 2013 and beyond, this is the resource that provides all the information. - The Best in Social Business

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

YouTube's Show Me The Money Problem...

jay-z youtube
The big picture for YouTube looks good. The world’s biggest video site keeps getting bigger, generating more video views and more ad dollars.
Things are fuzzier for some of YouTube’s biggest programming partners. Their views are also increasing. But the ad revenue YouTube generates for their stuff isn’t keeping pace.
In the near term, that’s pushing many big YouTube networks and partners to look hard for new sources of revenue. The bigger question is whether YouTube will be able to generate enough ad money for content makers to support the “premium” programming it has been trying to attract so it can compete with traditional TV.
“It’s hard, given YouTube’s low [revenue-sharing] numbers and lack of marketing infrastructure to make the unit economics for premium programming work,” says Steve Raymond, who runs Big Frame, a YouTube network/programmer that says it has generated 3.2 billion views.
The dollars programmers earn from YouTube’s ad-selling efforts range widely. But many big publishers say that after YouTube takes its 45 percent cut of the ads it sells, they frequently end up keeping about $2.50 for every 1,000 views their clips generate — that is, if their video generates a million views, they get $2,500. Other publishers say their split can be as high as $10 per 1,000.
Those rates were supposed to improve in the last year, in part because of YouTube’s splashy effort to create advertising-friendly “channels” by advancing programmers like Big Frame millions of dollars to make exclusive shows for the site. Last May, it hosted a glitzy “Brandcast” event in New York, where it brought out stars like Jay-Z to sell marketers on the idea that YouTube should command TV-like dollars.
Instead, according to people in and outside of YouTube, last year the site ended up with a glut of inventory, which put even more pressure on ad rates.
Last fall, YouTube invited top programmers for a sneak peek at YouTube Space, a glitzy new production studio it built in Los Angeles; at the event, many of them took the occasion to gripe about the site. “Every single person in the entertainment group complained to [YouTube content executive] Alex Carloss: ‘We’re not making enough money,’” said an attendee.
Late last year, Machinima, a videogame-focused network that generates billions of YouTube views a month, reworked contracts for many of the video contributors it represents, and let others go completely. The problem, according to people familiar with the programmer, was that it had guaranteed video makers a pay-per-view rate that was higher than the payouts it was getting from YouTube.
Now Machinima, like other big YouTube programmers, is looking to augment its YouTube ad dollars by selling some of its shows via subscriptions, according to people familiar with its plans. Maker Studios, another big “multichannel network,” is looking to boost revenue via alternate streams like iTunes soundtrack sales, among other strategies.
Many big programmers are also concentrating on selling their own “integrations” with advertisers, where stars talk about or use marketers’ products, since they don’t have to split those deals with YouTube.
Some, like Vice Media, try to find backers like Intel to pay for their videos before they ever make it to YouTube. “It’s a difficult space to get to scale and to monetize it at the same time,” said Vice Media CEO Shane Smith, whose advertising/production company has plans to run 12 channels for YouTube this year; it recently announced that it has one million subscribers on the site. Relying on YouTube-generated advertising is “not going to be our monetization strategy,” Smith said.
Others are working to direct traffic from YouTube to their own sites. Last year, Freddy Wong, whose amateur special-effects clips have won him millions of fans on YouTube, launched RocketJump, a portal he and his backers created to capture more money from his movies.
Video makers who control their own sites say they are often able to generate much bigger payouts than YouTube provides, and frequently cite CPMs, or ad rates, of $20 per thousand views.
That’s partly because they can offer advertisers bells and whistles that aren’t available on YouTube, like website “skins” featuring advertisers’ logos. But YouTube critics say standalone sites can also outperform YouTube because Google doesn’t have its own YouTube sales force; instead, the site is pitched by all of Google’s sellers, alongside other products, like search ads.
“They don’t have dedicated, 100 percent focused, 100 percent trained people on these sales teams who live and breathe video. It’s that simple,” said a video industry executive. “There isn’t a single person within YouTube that thinks this is the right way to sell video.”
YouTube programmers also complain that Google’s sellers aren’t directed to sell individual shows and networks, but instead focus on broad “audience” buys.
That’s good for Google’s top line, but not for individual shows. It’s also a turnoff for some advertisers, said Mark Pavia, who oversees digital at media shop Starcom USA, which handles more than $10 billion in annual ad spending. ”They tried a model that just wouldn’t work for advertisers,” said Pavia.
Google executives say they don’t have any plans to overhaul their YouTube sales approach. But they do predict that things will get better.
Up until last fall, for instance, YouTube made almost no money from videos watched on mobile phones, which now account for 25 percent of the site’s views. After reclaiming YouTube’s app from Apple and overhauling its Android app, some of those views now generate ad dollars. International traffic, which also represents many of YouTube’s views but often generates tiny ad dollars or none at all, will take longer to improve.
Here’s a statement from YouTube content head Robert Kyncl, who has pushed the site’s “funded channel” strategy:
“A key part of growing the platform is opening up inventory, which enables more partners to succeed by monetizing their content. This can lead CPMs to fluctuate in the short-term, but it’s good for the partner ecosystem long-term. We’re seeing this happen as overall partner viewership, revenue and subscriptions are on the rise.”
Some investors are betting that YouTube will get it right, and that programmers will end up building assets that are as valuable as today’s cable channels. In December, Time Warner led a $36 million funding round for Maker Studios. Last week, Bertelsmann invested in StyleHaul, another multichannel network aimed at fashion-conscious women.
YouTube will make another push for ad dollars in May, when it repeats its marketing event in Manhattan. Starcom’s Pavia is hopeful the site will adjust its pitch this time. “We have very large advertisers who believe in online video,” he said. “[YouTube has] the ability to solve this if they want to.” - The Best in Social Business

Monday, 4 March 2013

Facebook To Launch Newsfeed Upgrade

Facebook sends event invites ahead of news feed revamp

Facebook has sent out invites for a 7 March event that promises to unveil an updated version of the social network's news feed.
"Come see a new look for News Feed," the invite reads.
Facebook's news feed has evolved from a quick snapshot of friends' status updates to a real-time feed that incorporates the activity of your connections on and off Facebook, as well as ads.
Back in 2009, Facebook introduced the concept of the "real-time" news feed, which added the link atop its main page to notify you that new updates had been posted.
By September 2011, Facebook added the real-time "ticker," which gave you updates on absolutely everything that was going on with your friends via a scrolling menu on the top-right corner of your screen. The news feed, meanwhile, started focusing on the "most interesting" stories. At this point, you can opt to see "Most Recent" or "Top Stories" on your Facebook feed.
Last year, ads started cropping up amidst your friends' status updates and photos. They eventually made their way to mobile, where Facebook also added the option to download apps directly from the news feed.
The last event Facebook hosted, meanwhile, was to unveil its new search option, dubbed Graph Search. - The Best in Social Business