Month: July 2015

I love it when innovation pushes content. Why you should #explorein360

How we engage with content has evolved in major ways since our inception in 2005. We pioneered new formats, new experiences and new ways for audiences to engage with content leveraging Adobe Flash via interactive video experiences. In about 2008, we witnessed what would be known as the beginning of the demise of Flash and the dawn of a whole new way of producing and delivering content via HTML5. YouTube embraced HTML5 and deployed tools allowing content creators and advertisers to distribute unique content across many platforms, at scale.

Our partnership with YouTube over the years has allowed for some pretty awesome branded experiences.

We are proud to announce a whole new world of content on YouTube with the launch of YouTube’s 360 video. JK Imaging Ltd. who, through a Global Licensing agreement manufactures and sells KODAK-branded digital imaging products, came to The Buddy Group with a unique business challenge — engage and identify a niche target audience in a new and innovative way. The goal was to utilize YouTube’s newly launched 360-degree video platform to get ahead of the curve and create a video experience unlike any other using the KODAK PIXPRO SP360 Action Camera. The campaign, “Take a Look Around”, seeks to excite, engage and enable “Revolutionary Creators” to capture and share their world in 360-degrees.

Launched today you will find a unique content hub that helps to educate, show capabilities and engage consumers as they explore video through the eyes of one of four personas: the visionary, the enthusiast, the wanderer, and the adventurer.

The website which launched prior to VidCon 2015 was designed to mimic the viewing experience of a 360-degree video. By dragging the mouse and cursor around the browser users can start to experience what a 360-degree camera can capture. It’s no longer about filming what’s in front of you. We’re changing the way people think about video. The KODAK PIXPRO SP360 Action Camera enables everyone to take a look around and capture life the way it’s truly meant to be seen—in all its 360-degree glory.

From 360 to personalization, how we all engage and interact with videos is about to change for the better.I am excited for this new wave of content and I encourage you to open your YouTube app on your mobile phone and do a search for “Take a Look Around“. The experience is pretty awesome!

YouTube evolves app and content creators benefit

YOUTUBE’S NEW INCENTIVES HIGHLIGHTS DEMAND FOR VIDEO CONTENT CREATORS: YouTube redesigned its mobile app in an effort to keep its top content creators from publishing videos on rival video streaming sites, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new mobile app will showcase content produced by popular YouTube personalities and will allow viewers to expand vertical videos to take up the entire mobile screen. Both capabilities aim to increase the amount of views each video will receive. The redesigned mobile app marks YouTube’s latest move in its battle to retain top video creators amid growing competition from Facebook. YouTube’s top creators post five times as many videos on YouTube than Facebook, but Facebook’s recent plans to potentially offer the same monetization scheme as YouTube has increased pressure on YouTube to keep its creators happy. While the new strategy won’t actually keep content creators from posting videos elsewhere, YouTube is trying to retain its position as the most attractive video site for these creators.

YouTube’s top content creators are an essential part of its video strategy for two major reasons:

YouTube’s top creators drive a loyal base of users to the site. PewDiePie, one of YouTube’s most popular creators, tallies nearly 40 million channel subscribers. This loyal user base will be essential as YouTube invests more in its original content offerings. Last week, YouTube hired MTV’s former programming chief to head its original content division, which plans on creating original series around popular content creators.
Popular content creators will help the company further monetize its platform. If YouTube can keep popular content providers exclusively on its platform, it could boost interest in the video streaming site’s proposed ad-free subscription service.

Internet of Things: Where IoT Growth is Coming …

For Internet of Things (IoT) designs, the consumer segment is a sexy siren call, but enterprise applications are where the money is, according to a top analyst from IDC.

Vernon Turner, senior vice president of enterprise systems and IDC Fellow, said consumer whims coupled with volatility among  providers — due to mergers and acquisitions — make IoT far less lucrative in the near term than the enterprise. The latter segment is where companies want to drive more efficiency into their operations and nurture loyalty among customers by leveraging IoT technology.
Turner said that by 2018 the consumer sector will account for 30 percent of the installed base of IoT devices, while the enterprise will account for the rest. However, the consumer sector will generate just 10 percent of the anticipated spend in that year, he noted.
“The real value for IoT is in the enterprise space,” Turner said during an IDC online webinar Thursday (July 23).

Destroying Customer Trust is as Simple as…

If you shopped for a motorcycle, would you ever stop to consider that a Harley-Davidson wouldn’t deliver the power and style that Harleys have come to represent in our collective subconscious? Likely not, because you trust the brand to deliver on its promise of cruising down the open highway with a 100-horsepower engine underneath you.

Every bike Harley manufactures delivers on its brand promise, and as a result, its customers and advocates trust it to continue delivering. This dynamic is the cornerstone of the “trust economy,” a term coined by Rachel Botsman in a 2012 TED Talk. Positive interactions with a brand result in building trust. Negative interactions result in erosion of trust.

Understanding and joining this trust-based economy is relatively simple in concept: deliver on your brand’s promises to your customers. They key, according to Ray Wang, analyst for Constellation Research, is building trustworthy brand experiences—and not engaging in activities that destroy trust.

“You’re not competing with other companies; you’re competing for time and attention,”says Wang. “And that competition is for experiences and outcomes.” When a customer’s experience and the outcome of an interaction deliver on the brand’s promise, that builds trust.

Wang cites Airbnb, a digital startup whose entire value proposition has become a model for the trust economy. “Airbnb doesn’t sell rooms. They don’t sell nights. Their entire value is as a trust network.” Customers can trust the rooms they rent, and landlords can trust customers, for the same reasons: the compounded outcomes of past experiences on both sides. Customers and landlords both review interactions, building positive (or negative) trust profiles on both sides.

So how does a business compete in this trust-based economy? Deliver on your brand promises, Wang says. Here’s how in five simple steps.

Personalize experiences. Know who your customers are and what they want, and create experiences for them that deliver on your brand’s promises. For every interaction that accomplishes this, you build trust.
Operate with transparency. “Always operate with an understanding that everything eventually becomes public,” Wang says. That way nothing inadvertently sabotages your efforts.
Build credibility. Wang outlines a series of questions to ask: do you promote trustworthiness through external certificates? Do you promote trust through customer testimonials? Do you run truthful marketing campaigns? These seem simple, but if the answer is “no,” you’re damaging your customers’ trust.
Make it easy to complain. Companies often turn away from customer complaints, but Wang explains, they serve double duty: they’re data points about where you’re failing, and offer the ability to complain (and to feel heard) actually builds customer trust.
Guarantee satisfaction. The natural corollary to offering a forum for complaints—and delivering on the brand experience—is making sure that you can always guarantee a customer will be satisfied.
The trust economy can be hard to navigate, especially for companies that aren’t familiar with the principles of providing great customer outcomes and experiences. For those companies looking to avoid being left behind by the companies already offering these experiences, a great place to start is Ray Wang’s entire webinar, available on demand.

#YouTube over #Facebook when it comes to video until FB figures out TV

Creators look for reach and ubiquitous  distribution. As soon as FB figures out their role in TV, the pendulum will shift.

VIDEO CREATORS HEAVILY FAVOR YOUTUBE OVER FACEBOOK AS A PUBLISHING PLATFORM: Although Facebook has recently made some headway in narrowing the video viewing gap with YouTube, content creators have continued to find more success on YouTube, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. In recent months, Facebook has boasted an average of 4 billion daily video views, equaling estimates of historically dominant YouTube. While Facebook’s strong numbers have persuaded many premium content providers to publish content on the social media platform, YouTube content creators post five times as many videos on YouTube than on Facebook, according to the report.

Video content creators prefer publishing more on YouTube than Facebook for two distinct reasons:

First, YouTube users come to the site to watch videos. While Facebook’s audience is first and foremost a social audience, YouTube’s estimated 1 billion users access the site exclusively for its video content. This gives YouTube creators a dependable audience base. For example, 68% of top YouTube creators posted content on both YouTube and Facebook in May, but videos consistently garnered more views on YouTube than on the social media platform, according to Tubular Labs data sited by The Wall Street Journal.
Plus, YouTube allows creators to monetize their content. The video streaming giant allows creators to keep 55% of revenue generated from ads, allowing creators to profit off of their videos. Although Facebook announced plans to introduce the same ad revenue split, it has yet to fully roll out the program. Creators thus have little incentive to develop content specifically for Facebook and its evolving video format.
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KT, Nokia Networks launch first IoT lab in Korea – FierceWireless:Europe

KT has joined forces with Nokia Networks to set up what it describes as Korea’s first Internet of Things (IoT) lab in a bid to help the South Korea-based operator fulfil its goal of becoming “the number one player in Korea’s IoT market”.

The lab will provide IoT-related technical expertise and knowledge to small and medium-sized partner companies to help foster a connected digital ecosystem.

This initiative is based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both companies during this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). KT and Nokia Networks also agreed to implement the world’s first LTE-M field trial for the interconnection of sensors by the fourth quarter of this year.

The Data of IoT will be worth more than any hardware or service #IoT #intel #broadcom #google #facebook (yes, facebook)

Thank you, Business Insider. Always great weekend reading!

NTERNET OF THINGS AND DATA CENTERS LIFT INTEL IN Q2: US chipmaker Intel has historically relied on sales of its PC processors to generate the lion’s share of its revenue. While PCs still account for the largest piece of Intel’s net revenue pie, the steep decline of PC shipments have hurt Intel revenues. PC shipments dropped to 66.1 million in Q2 2015, the second consecutive quarterly shipments decline.

In the wake of PC’s deceleration, Intel is looking to expand its chip offerings to power other types of devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) and data centers are becoming critical to that strategy, according to Intel’s Q2 2015 earnings report.

  • Revenues from PC processors are decaying quickly. Revenue from the PC division shrank by 14% YoY. Despite this significant YoY decline sequential PC-generated revenue did see a 2% uptick.
  • Data centers and the IoT are the key segments of growth for Intel. Both categories saw strong YoY and sequential revenue growth (see chart, below).
  • Data centers and IoT are starting to account for larger shares of Intel’s total revenues, underscoring the growing importance of these divisions. The IoT made up 4.2% of net revenue in the most recent quarter, up from 3.9% in Q2 2014. Data centers ticked up from 25% of net revenue in Q2 2014 to 29% in Q2 2015. 
  • Conversely, PC’s share of total revenue is shrinking. The category shrank from 63% of total revenue in Q2 last year to 57% in the most recent quarter.

While the slowdown of the PC division of Intel is telling for the chip industry, perhaps the most important takeaway from the company’s earnings call was not the company’s ability to sell chips to certain divisions, but rather the increasing challenge in how to make the chips themselves. Intel announced that it was expanding the 2-year chip release cycle it has used so far to 2 and a half years. Subsequently, Intel will release a third round of its 14 nanometer chips before pushing 10nm chips to the consumer market. Intel’s 10nm chips, which were originally expected to hit the consumer market in 2016, will be pushed to mid-2017 at the earliest.

Intel’s longer chip production timeline suggests that as each chip iteration becomes more advanced, it’s increasingly challenging for companies to innovate quickly enough to make exponentially better products in a 2-year timeline. In the near-term this means that the rapid advancement of mobile technologies will see a subtle slow down. In the long term is means that after the industry reaches a viable 5nm chip sometime around 2026, advancements in processors will likely slow considerably.

PHABLETS TO OVERTAKE TABLETS SHIPMENTS IN 2015: A stagnating tablet market and surging consumer adoption of large-screen smartphones, referred to as “phablets,” will propel global phablet shipments ahead of tablets for the first time this year, according to a new report from IC Insights. Phablets, which combine the functionality of a smartphone and a tablet, have been cannibalizing tablet sales for a few years, and the release of the large-screen iPhone 6 Plus has helped further catalyze this trend.

  • Phablet shipments are set to grow by 66% this year to reach 252 million units. This growth will be helped along by the launch of Apple’s newest version of the iPhone 6 Plus in September and Android’s newest Galaxy Note sometime in August.
  • Tablets are expected to see shipments growth of just 2% to reach 238 million units in 2015, up slightly from the 234 million tablets shipped in 2014.
  • Phablets are cannibalizing smaller smartphone shipments, too. IC Insights predicts phablets will account for 17% of all smartphone shipments this year, and that share will increase to 21% in 2016 and 30% in 2018. 

The phablet category is expected to continue expanding its lead over the tablet category through 2018, when phablet shipments will be more than double that of tablets, according to IC insights.

The data corresponds with another report showing growth in “active users” on phablets. As shipments have risen, phablets have been slowly winning share of all active users from other mobile device categories, according to a separate report from Flurry (see chart, below). While just 3% of active mobile users globally were on phablets in February 2013, that share had jumped to 20% just over two years later, in March 2015. Phablets stalled the active user share growth of small tablets and shrunk that of medium and small phones as well as full-sized tablets.  It’s expected that the phablet device category will continue to increase its share of all active users as more smartphone users on both Android and iOS upgrade to large-screen devices.

CHEAP SMARTPHONES DRIVING ADOPTION IN MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA: The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region saw smartphone shipments grow by 66% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2015 to 36 million units, an uptick that puts the region on track to see 155 million smartphone shipments this year, according to the IDC. MEA’s big Q1 was partially assisted by a significant portion of feature phone consumers upgrading to smartphones.

  • Smartphone shipments are overshadowing feature phone shipments. Smartphones accounted for 63% of all mobile phones shipped in the Middle East in the quarter, and 47% of all mobile phones shipped in Africa in the same period.
  • Feature phones are fading. These more basic devices saw a 20% decline in shipments YoY and are forecast to shrink to 27% of all MEA handsets in 2019.

Android is faring particularly well as smartphone penetration expands in MEA. The Android platform accounts for 80% of device shipments in the Middle East and 89% of shipments in Africa. Apple’s iOS devices, on the other hand, account for 17% and 7% of shipments, respectively. The affordability of Android devices is a big part of the platform’s success in the MEA region; phones priced under $200 accounted for 36% of the phone market in the Middle East in Q1 2015, a price bracket that’s dominated by devices running Android. This breakdown highlights Android’s enormous opportunity in emerging markets, where Apple’s high-end devices are cost prohibitive.

MICROSOFT TO EXPAND SURFACE DISTRIBUTOR COUNT BY THOUSANDS: Microsoft plans to expand the number of partners that can distribute its Surface 2-in-1 tablet from a few hundred to somewhere in the thousands, the company announced during its Worldwide Partner Conference Monday. The company is chalking up the need for significant channel expansion to strong demand for the Surface Pro 3, the Surface 3, and the Surface Hub. More importantly, Microsoft anticipates that, on top of this preexisting momentum, demand for these devices will see a significant upswing from the impending release of Windows 10.

This is a significant uptick at a crucial time. Microsoft had just 20 Surface distributor and reseller partners last fall and, at that time, industry players blamed Microsoft’s limited distributor approach for its failure to break into the enterprise market early in the Surface’s release. Microsoft’s decision to address this shortcoming now is well-timed: While the tablet market as a whole has stagnated over the past few quarters, shipments of 2-in-1 devices, which appeal to the enterprise, are expected to grow, a fact that Microsoft is going to leverage. If past sales figures are any indication, Windows tablet sales will be particularly strengthened by the addition of so many more distributors:

  • Microsoft alone shipped more than 2 million Windows tablets in Q4 2014, a quarter in which Windows tablets as a whole – including from Microsoft and other Windows tablets sellers – shipped 6 million units and accounted for 9% of the tablet market. 
  • Even if shipments of third-party Windows tablets just hold steady, Microsoft-branded tablets such as the Surface product line will see a big lift from such drastic distributor growth.

While these software, hardware, and partnership developments suggest that prospects look good for Microsoft’s tablet line, the company must still win back market share from Apple, which currently holds ~30% of the tablet market (see chart, below). Apple’s hold on the industry will be difficult to loosen, especially because the company is expected to launch its long-rumored large tablet (unofficially referred to as the iPad Pro) this fall, and the company’s partnership with IBM to make enterprise apps gives it extra appeal to businesses.

EMPLOYEES WANT TO KEEP PERSONAL AND BUSINESS ACTIVITIES ON MOBILE SEPARATE: The practice of using personal devices for business purposes, formally known as bring your own device (BYOD), has become increasingly popular, and businesses are struggling to keep pace. The large majority of employees in the US, UK, and Spain want to keep their personal and business tasks and communications separate, according to new data provided to BI Intelligence by telecom-web convergence company tyntec. Despite the high degree to which employees use mobile devices outside of the office, few businesses have satisfactory, if any, official BYOD policies. Here are some problematic areas highlighted by the data:

  • Nonreimbursed expenses are a big concern for employees who opt to BYOD. Less than half of all employees in the surveyed markets receive reimbursement for work-related use of their personal phones.
  • Most employees spend a significant amount of time completing work-related tasks on mobile devices outside of working hours. In the US, 37% of employees spend more than 10 nonoffice hours completing work-related tasks on mobile. That share stands at 19% in the UK and 38% in Spain.
  • Companies that have BYOD policies, and employees who complete work-related tasks on personal mobile devices without official BYOD policies, are unlikely to have or encourage the use of business apps. Just 5% of US employees using their personal devices for mobile work tasks use business apps. This likely reflects a dearth of work-related apps created by companies with BYOD policies.

Notably, while more than half of US consumers use their personal phones for work in some capacities, just 34% of these employees work for companies that have BYOD policies in place. At the same time, 74% of US employees would ideally choose to have two separate phones for work and personal use, or one phone with two separate numbers. This highlights the gap between how employers are approaching BYOD work environments and what employees need in them.

PC MARKET CONTINUES DECLINE: PC shipments continued their sharp decline in Q2 2015 after a rough first quarter, according to the latest report from the IDC. Shipments dropped to 66.1 million in Q2, down from 68.5 million in Q1, which had previously been the lowest PC shipment volume in recent history.

  • This shipment drop represents a decline of -11.8% year-over-year (YoY).
  • The US market saw 16.4 million PC shipments in the quarter, representing a YoY decline of -3.3%. 
  • Apple is the only vendor to have grown its PC shipments YoY, according to the IDC’s data.
  • Oddly enough, Apple doesn’t make the top 5 vendors in competing research firm Gartner’s PC report.

Numerous factors such as inventory reductions related to the impending release of Windows 10, longer PC lifecycles, and uncharacteristically strong sales in Q2 2014 have resulted in the steep growth decline. The PC market is likely to somewhat stabilize in 2016, though it’s expected to continue its decline through the rest of 2015.

4 Ways Google’s News Lab Will Help You Create Awesome Content

Last week, Google introduced the News Lab, a digital journalism toolbox full of useful reporting tools and lessons about how to use them. If you click to the site, you’ll see that the project offers help with four different areas journalists deal with on a daily basis: research, reporting, distribution, and optimization. There’s even a sleek video about data journalism with testimonials from some well-known media geeks like Vox Editor-in-Chief Ezra Klein and New York Times Upshot Editor David Leonhardt.