Tag Archive for Apple

Digital Marketing Weekly – Issue 8

While many of these items of news were announced back in August 2013, I actually only got around to reviewing them and thinking about their implications, benefits or uses for marketing. I have tried to review how things have changed in the last 6 months and what might have worked or not gained traction just yet.

Pinterest tracks price changes – Pinterest is slowly stepping up the features that help it become a defacto eCommerce platform.  The ability to offer price watching functionality is a perfect feature to encourage retailers to integrate deeply with Pinterest but also if a very powerful function to draw visitors back to Pinterest more frequently.  It will be interesting if Pinterest starts collating and charting this pricing data similar to what price comparison websites currently do.  This could be a very valuable feature for businesses and affiliates once it’s opened up beyond a handful of US retail partners.

Pin a little, save a little

Google “In-Depth Articles” – One of the more interesting new organic modules Google released last year was “in-depth articles” which show high quality content about a person, topic or company you are searching for on Google.  I don’t know why Google can’t apply the same quality feature to Google news? The only downside is that some of the articles appear to be slightly dated on my sample “ebay” query shown below.  So the quality filter is set fairly high but the freshness of the articles may not always be ideal.

ebay in-depth article results

Facebook introduced Embedded posts  – Facebook announced a number a media partners when they launched this back in July 2013 but I’m now struggling to find any of these partners using the feature.  One random article on BleacherReport.com had no Facebook embedded posts but did feature 14 embedded Tweets, so did the product flop? It’s now been rolled out beyond the initial launch partners but I’m not sure I can see the real value. I tried to embed a post in this article but the Facebook feature is clunky and didn’t appear to display so I removed it, it seems if Facebook want more traction on adoption they need to make the embed feature flexible(iFrame,Javascript,HTML) and idiot proof.

Embed Facebook Post

Linkedin Company Page Analytics – Linkedin while a business focused platform is still far behind Facebook when it comes to it’s analytics insights, it is great that they updated their features for company pages in July 2013 but not much has happened since then.  It would be just as great to get similar analytics performance data for individual profiles so you can track how well you are using Linkedin as a content marketing and promotional channel.

Linkedin Analytics

The Linkedin Company analytic platform is fairly sparse and doesn’t have many filters to refine your updates but also reach & engagement metrics are limited to a maximum of 3 months.  So similar to Google Webmaster Tools if you want to track this you need to export it once every 3 months, but the downside there is no export functionality so you are left with screenshots and need to then estimate on what are the actual data points were that are shown on your saved images.  If Linkedin wants to take this market seriously they need to step up their analytics platform and enable basics such as export as CVS, PDF functions and offer a date range that is longer than 3 months.

Twitter Related Headlines – This is certainly a product that made Twitter more interesting as a news platform but the downside is that the related headlines are not as visible in your Twitter feed as I think they could be.  I haven’t yet seen it work with #hashtags and Trending terms but that would be great as often it’s hard to quickly understand the context and you have to leave Twitter to do a Google News search, send out a public tweet asking your followers for more details or pick through the top tweets and hope that provides the context you are seeking. It’s interesting that these are only available from the Tweet’s permalink page and not if you use the recommended embed functionality.

Twitter Related News

Facebook Enables You To Reserve Tables Through Mobile – This was launched back in August 2013 with a heap on interest as would this make OpenTable the dominate platform within the US almost instantly.  But looking forward almost 6 months and I think it will be Foursquare and not Facebook that will be the likely platform to successfully launch this globally.  Foursquare is progressively collecting information off users when they checkin such as seating areas, do they take reservations and payment options.  So basically Foursquare crowd sourcing all the data that OpenTable has at a global scale the question is when might Foursquare enable this functionality?

The other feature that was initially limited to iOS devices was showing TV listing information on mobile devices but there are already Apps that do this better and are available on all mobile devices not just iOS but also don’t sell the insight they learn about your viewing habits back to advertisers and networks. Once again I think the issue is that Facebook has once again limited this functionality of both new products to the US market and unless it’s a global feature people will find local alternative solutions.

Dinner and a Show: Two Changes to Mobile Pages that will Help People and Businesses Connect

Yandex beats Google to the party with Islands – Russian’s Yandex showed in June 2013 that it’s still the dark horse in the race for online dominance when it went beyond Google’s Search Widgets and launched it’s own rich snippets it called “Islands”.  The widgets go beyond what Google is currently trying to do with knowledge graph and offers users a number of interactive blocks.  Yandex suggests that these blocks can be anything from order forms or factual information and offers the webmasters an opportunity to connect directly to their potential customers.  Yandex Cinema Islands

How it seems that Yandex is doing it differently to Google is that they appeared to have opened up the interactive search snippets to webmasters.  So instead of trying to make sense of your data they give you the tools and it’s up you to make your website data work with their Yandex Island platform. This is a smart play and it will be interesting how long it will take Yandex to expand the islands to more countries beyond Turkey.

Topsy Enhances Keyword Analytics & Sentiment Tracking for Everything – Topsy has become the default platform for Twitter social search, sentiment analysis and social analytics, so much so that Twitter staff use it internally.  It was big news in August 2013 when they announced stats and sentiment for any search term on Twitter, and they proudly display that they have all public tweets since 2006.  So it was certainly a curve ball when Apple bought them in December 2013 for around $200,000,000, with the purchase Apple gets an insane amount of historical and real-time commercial intelligence on every industry, all it’s consumers and competitors.  The added benefit is that Topsy developed a technique to apparently identify country of origin for a majority of tweets and can link about 1 in 4 to a city of origin, this is perfect marketing insight for Apple.

TJ Maxx benefits with iPad discount

TJ Maxx successfully managed to thrown more fuel on the fire around the rumour that they were going to offer a $100 discount of iPads leading up to the annual US Black Friday sales which start this week by effectively using social media.  According to National Retail Federation last year around 134,000,000 US consumers took advantage of Black Friday for their Christmas shopping.  The Black Friday promotions like the TJ Maxx deal offer consumers often steeply discounted products but online and offline stores compete for the same consumer so will even sell products like the iPad at a loss to get traffic to their stores/sites.  The Black Friday sales are similar to the Australian boxing day sales the key to capturing the consumers dollar is to get early traction or deals spread via email newsletters, Google AdWords campaigns and traditional media.

Scale is based on the average traffic of black friday from United States in the last 12 months

The Google search volume around black friday surged to around 40 times average volume according to Google trends and with the recession it is possible that the interest will be even higher this year based on the spike already seen by TJ Maxx shown below.

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of tj maxx in the last 30 days

The story broke just after 11am on Thursday the 18th November and received approximately 20 articles published around its iPad promotion which was followed up the next day with around just under 20 more articles from a number of technology and media publications.  In the space of 3 days they had around 63 articles written by websites such as Cnet, Computerworld, PC Magazine, ZDNet, Engagdet and PC World which is worth thousands in terms of free press.  Along side the main stream media sites to cover the story they were featured on at least 17 blogs from Fortune, Baltimore Sun to PC World’s blog and of course this blog showing a fairly successful initial campaign prior to Black Friday.

Twitter TJ Maxx

Above was the confirmation tweet from the official TJ Maxx account that in fact the deal was real but the stores were unadvertised so you would actually have to ring them or go in a visit in person.  This was both a smart online marketing move to encourage consumers to contact or visit their stores in order to get the deal, using online to push offline sales. They also used social media heavily with no advertising to accompany this promotion outside blog and media coverage.

TJ Maxx reached a decent social media audience

Using TJ Maxx’s Klout data the official tweet had a true reach of around 656 actual twitter users of their 14,132 followers. The first official tweet was retweeted 26 times giving it a further true reach of around 3156 actual twitter users providing a true reach of around 3812 followers on twitter. They also reinforced their message that the reason they were not advertising any of the locations is part of their message you never know what you might find in one of their tweets and in their landing page. TJ Maxx sent out 8 public tweets around the iPad promotion, exposing their promotion to at least 5248 followers on twitter over a 2 day period based on each tweet having a true reach of 656 users. Their initial Engadget story also received 671 retweets, 292 comments and 707 people sharing the story with their friends on Facebook, which also expanded the value of the campaign to TJ Maxx.

TJ Maxx got Twitter followers

From before the story broke and based on the current growth TJ Maxx’s official twitter account received its highest spike in followers in the last 3 months with an estimated 8% jump in followers by the end of the weekend.  This is important as leading up to Black Friday TJ Maxx needs the biggest possible audience to reach if it want’s to successfully compete against stores like Amazon, Walmart & Best Buy.  It is important to measure the impact of the campaign by more than one metric as growing your audience by 8% is both significant and when done with viral promotions like this very cost-effective.

TJ Maxx 3 Month Follower Growth

What could TJ Maxx have done better?

The screen shot below showed a very poorly implemented landing page, that could have at least had a product image to reinforce the promotion along with a reminder of the pricing discount. It’s a shame that when companies have promotions like this go viral they are not prepared or able to roll out landing pages quickly the improve conversion rates for campaigns.

TJ Maxx Tablet Landing Page

TJ Maxx Tablet Landing Page

While it would have been nice to have a store locator that might have cluttered up the landing page since the product sold out in 1 day it would have made sense to make this stock issue clearer or at least highlighted the SOLD OUT words. For a more effective campaign based on the viral nature of the promotion leading up to Black Friday it would have made sense to include both the link to stay connected with a link to their Twitter account, the button to become a fan of them on Facebook and to make sure you don’t miss out next time a sign-up section for their email newsletter.

If you are still looking to buy an iPad you can always check out Amazon.com which has theApple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)

Bing for Android

Bing MobileThe Bing Community broke the announcement today that Bing for Mobile was coming to Verizon Android users and would be expanding its app to other carriers and mobile devices soon. In an interesting move where mostly the big tech blogs are the first to feature breaking news and particularly anything to do with Mobile or Google will likely be annoyed that one of the first sites to cover the launch in detail was Seattle Technology Blog TechFlash.

So in what looks like the Microsoft marketing machine is finally starting to get rolling and has finally got mobile users in the center of its development plans, so it will be interesting to see what other Microsoft applications might also be coming to your Verizon Android phone soon.

The Bing maps function has finally evolved beyond Google maps as it will automatically find your current location and intergrates some local business features that third party apps have offered for years.  You can now search for new places based on categories such as cafes, banks or cinemas which is going to prove useful if Bing Maps intergrates with Yelp or FourSquare data. There is till no real integration with local checkin apps and it will be interesting to see which of the companies is first to ink a deal to be the exclusive provider of checkin data via an API.

Bing Maps for Mobile

Bing Maps Update
The new Bing for Mobile App even has a zoom button for one handed operation of its Bing Maps that doesn’t require you to use the “pinch to zoom” feature, which is useful for drivers who continue to use their phone while driving, when holding an umbrella or when carrying stuff with the other hand.  Small little features show that much thought has gone into developing the new app specifically for the Android user and it will be interesting to see how updates are rolled out which might show a sign of whats to come with the new Windows7 Phone.

Bing Travel for Mobile?
Its interesting to see what looks like Bing Travel has been built into the application with the ability to do a voice search to find flight information to see arrival and departure times and can offer other details such as Traffic, Hotels, Weather and Local news relevant for that flight. You can see the example screenshot below that shows the details for United Flight 635 leaving from Chicago to Seattle, but its not clear why you might need to know Hotel information for a departing flight.  The addition of Traffic and Weather are great to find out if a flight maybe delayed but just basic quirks show the application still needs some usability testing to make it more intuitive to users.

Bing Travel for Mobile

Why Verizon?
Bing has been smart in their selection of the US carrier who was the focus of Google’s Droid Marketing campaign back in November 2009.  Google used Verizon to help build its platform up within the US market so its likely that Bing can now benefit by having an existing user base who can utilise their mobile app.

Why Android?
Leading up to the launch of Windows7 Phone later this year, Microsoft has started to move their resources towards allowing consumers to experience its Bing platform on as many devices as possible.  Already having a application for the iPhone and Blackberries, Android was the next logical step.

Why did it take so long?
Based on the community post it seems that much of the Bing application has been built to take advantage of the power of the Verizon Droid phones, so its not just a standard development project but a look how to get users to experience Bing with the best experience.

Bing avoids AT&T?
It is possible that Bing has avoided AT&T due to the possible impact on user experience if the network is unable to provide high speed internet access at all times.  The new Bing app appears to be fairly graphically and would likely be fairly bandwidth hungry based on some of its visual features. According to Comscore’s Mobile Subscriber stats for April 2010, Verizon has around 31.1% of the market which allows Bing to reach a very larger subscriber base in just one development release.  Verizon also like most carriers loves exclusive offering to entice customers and reduce churn rate, so expect some marketing campaigns around the launch will start soon.

Waiting to test it
I haven’t had a chance to play with the new Bing for Mobile application yet but I can see the experience is much better than the current offering on my Blackberry so I look forward to trying it out to see if its as cool as it sounds.  If you have had a chance to use it please drop a note in the comments with your initial reactions.

Webtrends integrates with Marin Software

Webtrends has been fairly aggressively trying to catch up to its competitors through a number of purchase Transpond (Social Mobile Marketer), Widemile (Testing & Optimising) and ClickShift (Ad Optimisation) and the partnership with Marin Software could easily develop into an acquisition. Webtrends is now the only enterprise level web analytics platform that is still privately owned and not part of a bigger software company but its clear that sooner or later it will either have to merge or be bought out.
MediaPost has reported Webtrends & Marin Software have signed a license agreement which also involves the integration of their technology platforms.  The move is smart as it allows companies to link the entire campaign metrics similar to Overdrive’s Social Eye social media ROI dashboard.
The benefit is that companies can analyse website traffic via webtrends analytics platform to measure campaign performance and goals/revenues and adjust the paid campaigns through their Webtrends Ads which is now powered by Marin Software to improve or optimise their traffic.  The benefit for those using Marin Software is they can now collect details on organic traffic to source new keywords for SEM campaigns and measure its impact on brand awareness for a particular product or service, similar to Google Campaign Insights.
Facebook Integrations
Webtrends announced one of the first analytics solutions for Facebook fan activity and interactions that happens inside Facebook on custom tabs , Facebook apps and shares back in March 2010. Also just recently Marin Software had announced their bid management platform now allows for managing Facebook ads, but has layered over the ability to use algorithmic bidding, advanced audience segmentation and ad testing/rotation features.  The companies are working along very close paths and by using API integration it is easier to pass data between platforms and reduces incorrect decisions made based on poorly aligned data that previously processed manually to find patterns.
Benefits in buying ads?
The benefits of being able to successfully purchase advertising space on Facebook with a pure focus on measurable campaign objectives and optimise the campaign to deliver the most sales or leads does offer an strong incentive for more agencies to examine their platform.  The obvious other benefits is the time saved in reporting and analysis which allows for larger and more complex campaigns to be run more efficient with less cost and decreased wasted spend.
Google Analytics Competitor?
It moves their technology platform closer to a true competitor for Google Analytics which has continued to integrate with DoubleClick and AdWords.  While the recent updates to Microsoft adCenter do improve the market place for advertisers it doesn’t integrate as well as this agreement.  It will be likely that a number of technology companies will be looking at either increasing their purchases of smaller players or examining how much a bid for the two companies would cost. Webtrends has continued to remain a niche player with only around 1,000 clients or around 1.74% of all web analytics installs compared to Google Analytics 48.9% of the market.
analytics marketshare
Who would buy the combined Webtrends/Marin Software company?
It would be a smart move for one of the search networks such as Microsoft adCenter, AOL or even ASK to buy the two companies as it will finally allow for a real competitor to emerge to Google Analytics.  The a smarter purchase of Webtrends/Marin Software would be by one of the two leading social media platforms that are trying to show their investors they have a solid business model for earning revenue and their ad network is more than just an experiment for advertisers.  If Twitter or Facebook purchased the combined Webtrends/Marin Software company it would allow for them to expand their Ad network and rapidly scale their value to advertisers.
The dark horse in the market is Apple, which based on Google’s purchase of Urchin which forms the base of their web analytics it would possibly approved by the FTC and European competition watchdogs who want more than one powerful player in the market.  IBM would likely be locked out of any more purchases in the analytics space due to its recent consumption of two of Webtrends biggest competitors.
Webtrends competitors purchased
  • Unica was purchased by IBM on the 13th August 2010
  • Coremetrics was purchased by IBM on 15th June 2010
  • Omniture was purchase by Adobe on 15th September 2009
  • Urchin Software was acquired by Goolge on 29th March 2005
The upgrade has begun with existing accounts and any new advertisers will have to wait until October 2010 to start using Webtrends Ads for their digital campaigns.  It will be interesting to see what competitors such as Kenshoo, Efficient Frontier or Acquisio might be doing over the next few weeks to counter this technology marriage. I say the analytics market needs some more consolidation and plenty of more agreements to share API access and cross platform integrations would be welcomed by most advertisers and agencies.

Related Images:

iPAD news ecosystem

Flud App LogoIn a slightly shorer interview on Technoarti I interviewed Bobby Ghoshal in the post iPad news apps FLUD the market, which covered in some detail learning more about his new perspective on how people can consume their news using new platforms such as the iPad, Blackpad or iPhone. The interview questions included in this post focused on a separate theme and focus more around the functionality and development platform used to build a great product and launch it in such a short period of time. From my understanding the whole principal of the application and based on their tag line its about creating an ecosytem for your news so its not just another RSS reader.
FLUD vs Flipboard
The FLUD app appears to be a smarter way of consuming news that heavily promoted magazine styled Flipboard. The Flipboard app offers a complex and busy layout that offers boxes for your Facebook news feed, twitter feeds and various other RSS feeds.  The limitation of Flipboard is that a designer doesn’t have much control over organising the content to be a constant look and feel for users, it almost seems to be closer to a replacement for your web browser than a news/media consumption platform, shown in the screenshot below.
Flipboard
Flipboard appears to have created a new social network where you have more of a mystery prize for what content will be filtered by your group of contacts.  The problem with Flipboard that FLUD attempts to solve is for the casual experience that will work on other devices such as Anroid devices, iPhones and other mobile devices.  Another issue around Flipboard is that content feeds seem to suffer if they are behind paywalls and you will not be able to share this content with contacts.  Flipboard breaks the revenue model and makes article consumption hard to track and does not naturally work with RSS feeds, where FLUD appears to encourage it.

The FLUD app Dashboard

The interview so what about FLUD?

Bobby Ghoshal

Everyday on my iTouch I seem to see new applications showing requests to update because they are now iPad compatible, as someone who doesn’t have an iPad, why do I really care that the application is not suitable to be used on a bigger screen?
It was this mentality that I drafted some of my questions to Bobby Ghoshal & David Coallier of Echolibre who built the FLUD app around the FRAPI platform, really did I care for another iPad ready product? Here is the other set of interview questions following on from my Technorati post, with Bobby Ghoshal.
He did request the use of some more fun profile pictures which shows some insight for his passion for creativity and breaking old down obstacles such as being able to build an new iPad application in just 1 month.
(Q1) WTF (What the FLUD) is it?
Answer: Download FLUD right now (August 5th 2010) and you are going to see an intuitive and beautiful RSS news reader with social sharing controls, video playback, no limit on feeds, bookmarking etc. Our vision, however, is to create an ecosystem that converts readers into influencers. What is an “influencer?” you might ask… Internally we have our own ideas of what that means, but that is really up to the community to decide. We have purposely left things open ended for v1 because the community is going to give us some powerful ideas and they already have. For now our goal is to focus on building controls and tools that users WANT to use and not get caught up in the features game.
(Q2) Ive already got all my iPhone apps such as Mashable, Bloomberg, NYTimes, Time Mobile, WSJ, FT Mobile, Engadget, ThompsonReuters and Daily Telegraph so why do I need another app?
Answer: You have just named some of the best news publishers on the iPad, but here is the problem… they do not co-exist in one place. We are bringing a cohesive, fully customizable and still beautiful reading experience to one app. That can be powerful for a power-reader who wants quick bytes of broadcast-able information from 20, 30, even 40 different sources of news, but doesn’t want to switch between apps.
FLUD feed

Adjust FLUD news feeds

(Q3) How does FLUD function offline or when there is no internet access?
Answer: We are definitely pushing for offline news access, no questions asked. Our priorities shifted for the v1.1 release after listening to our Fluders and their wish-list of items. We are going for the top 3 things they asked for and offline access isn’t one of them. Expect to see offline access in v1.2 though, which should be coming up fairly soon.
(Q4) How does FLUD link users to other users?
Answer: For v1.0 we have chosen not to focus on user profiles. The best way to connect with other users is through our social sharing controls currently in the app. Also, for v1.0 users can anonymously influence “the FLUD” which is the community news feed of most loved news items. We are not ruling out user profiles, but we don’t want to force it on Fluders. We want to make sure that when we roll it out, it serves our users and our strategy seamlessly.

(Q5) How does FLUD protect users privacy as they supply more data on usage?
Answer: We are currently not collecting any personal user information so we do not have any issues here. All we collect right now is the user’s device ID.
(Q6) What was the initial business model for the FLUD App and how did you come to a final decision?
Answer: We started an application that allowed a user to track content that they chose to track and then eventually will be able to influence. Under the right conditions, that can be a potent mix on an exponential scale.
(Q7) What about the whole information overload issue?
Answer: Yes this is a great question. The easiest way to scare a user away is information overload. That is why we built FLUD to be highly scannable with plenty of breathing room around the content. Our goal is to help the user get quick bytes of information while they are at their desk, on a commute etc.

Flud view of news

(Q8) What is the basic framework for the App?
Answer: FLUD was built with Objective-C along with Facebook and FRAPI as third party integrations.
(Q9) What is FRAPI, it sounds like a Coffee brand is it Java?
Answer: FRAPI is a high-level RESTful API framework that allows companies to focus on business logic engineering rather than spending precious time trying to make a REST-like API. By relying on an API, FLUD has the possibility to place updates on the app without having to go through the Apple approval process; something that can be critical in this fast-paced market. FRAPI also enabled FLUD to reduce development time drastically while giving the product the ability to scale to thousands and thousands of users seamlessly. Learn more about FRAPI.
(Q10) So is there a worry about the seeming stream of clone apps in the iTunes store?
Answer: Not at all. Competition is healthy. I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot here but the truth is FLUD, Flipboard, Reeder and Pulse are 4 top notch RSS reader apps. Eventually all the core functionality across the board will normalize and it will come down to market position and design. Over the next few months we will continue to strengthen not only our app but also our brand, goals and message.
FLUD Facebook

FLUD Facebook integration

(Q11) How did you find the Apple approval process?
Answer: Apple is doing their best to make sure they get most apps approved within a week of their submission. I do wish that there was a long list of items that we know we cannot have in our app in order to get approved. FLUD would have come out a week earlier, but we got rejected because BBC doesn’t allow featured syndication. The fix was easy, but it would have been nice to have that knowledge beforehand so we didn’t waste 14 days with just waiting.
(Q12) What could you have done better in the Apple approval process for the next app?
Answer: A better notification system to show where your app is in order of approval as compared to other apps and a better list of “DO NOT DO” so developers can make better decisions the first time around would be very helpful.
(Q13) What are the time frame for updates to the FLUD App?
Answer: We are looking to work as fast as possible and to build a larger team to help facilitate quicker updates.
(Q14) When is the Flud App available?
Answer: Also is there FLUD App available in all countries? Now, we are fairly happy with that result after only 5 days, of course we want the crown and there is plenty of work to do yet. Also, yes, FLUD is available to every country that has an iPad in it’s stores.
(Q15) What does the FLUD App cost?
Answer: The app costs $3.99 in the US store and it’s currency exchange equivalent in other countries.
(Q16) Are there any plans to extend the platform to cover Android or Blackberry platforms?
Answer: Absolutely, Android is a big check box on our list. We haven’t discussed Blackberry as yet, but we will.
So FLUD maybe the future of news?
So it seems that early entrant Pulse appear to have stalled around its integration with social media contacts where FLUD appears to excel from the early images and video I have seen, so I might have been converted now if only I was as impressed with the iPad, maybe I will wait for the Android or Blackberry version. You can follow FLUD Sexy News on twitter and I encourage you to help make this app awesome and give the FLUD team feedback and love. If you have a iPad why not give the app a try you can Buy FLUD news ecosystem on iTunes

Googled TV

Google TV LogoGoogle has finally completed the loop it started a few years ago when it launched Google AdWords for TV Ads, when today it officially launched Google TV a consumer product based on Adobe Flash and Android 2.2.  The Apple TV inspired device appears to be almost a beta version with much of the features already available with a HDMI or VGA cable, your PC and a your current TV. Some of the integrated features are likely to be found in the ability of Google to better target users with their TV AdWords platform and publishers can expand the audience for TV Adsense. Below you can watch the Google TV initial product demo featured at Google I/O 2010.

Google TV Trends

In an interesting benefit with the new Google search interface it can now add modules such as trends, and according to Google Trends, Google TV is the #1 most popular search term in the past hour as shown in the image below but peaked 3 hours ago. The point is that similar to the previous Twitter trends,  growth worked on a percentage basis can skew the actual volume of searches for that term which can make it easy for such a term to rank #1 most popular search term when most of the search queries only really started in the last hour or two.

Google TV Trends

The interesting element is the searches related to Google TV are very action focused with searches for:

  • sign up for google tv
  • google tv search
  • google tv invite
  • get google tv
  • google tv box

This shows that there is a strong interest in getting the product but most likely before people actually know what is it going to cost, when it will be available, what devices or TV networks will be compatible.  It also shows that it is likely very early in the products life cycle as many purchase searches such as “how much does it cost”, “where can i get”, “can i buy google tv”, “google tv guides” do not yet appear as related search queries.

Google TV Hardware Partners

One of the likely benefits will be manufactures such as Sony and Logitech start to roll out with the software built into their hardware it will start to gain traction but that can take years as Digital TV is still struggling to gain a foothold and the addition of this may confuse consumers and complicate the steps to consider when buying your next TV.

Google TV Partner – Logitech

Logitech Google TVLogitech advises that its not here yet, and they will be providing full product details for their Google TV companion box later this fall. The Logitech Google TV companion box is an external device that connects your TV through a HDMI port, using a intuitive controller to use the Google TV platform.The issue for international readers is that you will have to reside in the USA to be able to use the new Logitech Google TV device.

The early sneak peaks confirm that the Logitech companion box will use Logitech Harmony technology which will integration with your current home entertainment system.  It will offer features such as video calling and offer a variety of controllers, including a Google TV smart-phone app…

Logitech press pack download on the Google TV announcement.

Google TV Partner – Sony

Sony Internet TVSony has pitched its Google TV device as the world’s first HDTV product that incorpates the Google TV format.  Similar to Logitech there is a wait until the new Sony Internet TV device is available. Much less information is available about the new range of Sony TV products that Logitech provides about its device, which may mean the Sony product has a fair bit more development work before its due to be released.

  • The HDTV device enables searching for: channel, show or website
  • The HDTV device automatically upgrades its software
  • The HDTV device allows you to customise your TV experience via Apps
  • The HDTV device is powered with Intel Inside
  • The HDTV device uses a handheld wireless QWERTY remote

The marketing Sony is using to promote its Internet TV seems very similar to how the iPhone was originally introduced as a new way to look at your phone.”iPhone Apple reinvents the phone” & “Say Hello to iPhone”

The new Sony Internet TV slogan is “Television, meet Internet.”, it makes it also very close to its competitor Apple who still runs “YouTube, Meet Apple TV”.

Microsoft Project Natal (Competitor)

It will be interesting to see how Google TV will compete with Microsoft Natal who doesn’t actually require you to use a keyboard or mouse to interact with your TV.

Apple TV (competitor?)

Apple TV has been around for a number of years, while the device is ground breaking it never had enough attention as many of the other products in the Apple range were offered, but this might be the finally push Apple needs to get the product back into the ring.

Samsung TVs

This is an obvious competitor to the current range of Samsung Internet TVs that already offer internet ready features and have for a number of years, the only difference is that Google is the search engine and Android is the operating system you will be using. Samsung also has the more flexible options for firmware and software updates with automatic via internet, manual via internet and manual via usb.  This allows the product to be suitable to markets outside of the USA where ISPs can limit users bandwidth where Google TV only offers automatic updates.

The obvious competition is that Google TV is mainly linked with Google properties and uses Netflix to power its ondemand movie platforms.  Samsung Internet TV runs mainly on the Yahoo content network using Y! TV Widgets and features the following competitors applications.

  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • eBay
  • Amazon Video on Demand
  • BlockBuster ONDEMAND

Competitive issues?

The platform is likely to raise the interests of competition watch dogs as the ability of Google to link data and track users across multiple platforms has now been extended from PC to Mobile and now to TV.  It is likely that Google Analytics will also require some slight tweaks to ensure this new platform can be tracked and advertisers are able to start to measure the true costs or benefits of advertising on TV. With regulators already struggling to swallow the idea of Google buying AdMob, any purchase by Google of set-top box makers or software developers purchased which would improve the Google TV platform may be disapproved.

Google Adsense for TV

One of the bigger benefits to Google and marketeers is the expansion of publishers who would be interested in Google Adsense for TV, where publishers are able to attract advertisers who traditional wouldn’t use TV easily to their networks. But Google needs its TV product to succeed in growing the network of advertisers in order to make its Google Adsense for TV profitable, but to attract advertisers it needs an audience with Google TV in their lounge room.  So the whole focus of what Google Adsense can bring to your business depends on the success of the Google TV platform, so either buy shares in Google or buy a new Google TV…

What Google AdSense for TV can bring to your business
  • Adsense for TV reaches new advertisers – Leverage our platform and salesforce to reach our new to TV advertisers. Read their success stories.
  • Adsense for TV allows you to maintain control – Exercise quality and editorial control over all ad creatives; approve and reject ads days before airtime.
  • Adsense for TV offers quick, no-fee integration – Integrate with Google TV Ads in a few short weeks using our Fast Track integration tools.
  • Adsense for TV offer precise measurement and insight – We provide anonymised tuning data from millions of set-top boxes that you can share with your salesforce, advertisers, and leads.
  • Adsense for TV offers simpler, guaranteed payments – No make-goods, no stewardship, and we’re designed to provide thirty days net payment— regardless of collections.

Googled TV now what?

It is a very interesting power play by Google but it is not anything ground breaking thanks to Jason Kincaid at Techcrunch breaking the news 1 day early about Google TV, and there had been rumors for months about the product.  The biggest impact I can see is that Apple will relaunch their Apple TV product, Hulu will face more competition from YouTube and Google will be able to sell more AdWords.

iPad – Breaking Apple News

Apple started off the event with a run through of the companies history and successes and is now the largest mobile device market in the world, bigger than samsung, motorola, nokia. Their retail locations now number 284 retail locations with 50 million visitors to their retail locations that can now stock the new iPad.

The new device seeks to replace your entertainment and gaming system with its mac tablet which Steve claims is much easier than a Netbook. While the device seems to be fairly easy to use, for email, photos, calendar, reading the paper or watching Tv shows on YouTube or iTunes, it does seem to be just a larger iPod.

Similar to a number of new tablet devices it auto rotates the screen to change the perspective which is not cutting edge but does make for easier readability. The device seems very similar to the Microsoft surface in how you use and view items, and it appears that the device is using more Google products against the popular thoughts that they were dropping it in favour of Bing.

The portrait and landscape mode allows for slightly different ways to interact with the device and it also shows its true media potential with the ability to playback HD quality video from YouTube or iTunes.  The resolution of the device seems to match what people expect from a LCD monitor so could it replace your current Mac monitor?

The device is thiner than any netbook on the market, with a 9.7 inch IPS display powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a 16GB to 64GB storage.  It also offers full capactitive multi-touch with 10 hours of battery life. It is also supported by a Accelerometer and Compass.

The iPad device is designed to be fully environmentally friendly
  • Arsenic-free
  • BFR-free
  • Mercury-free
  • PVC-free system
  • Highly Recyclable

The new SDK is being released today that will enable developers to be able to develop their applications for the full screen device which explains about the delays with the updates and explains the mysterious “insert comment after 27th here…” that was recently found.

As promised by media companies the New York Times has develop a custom app for the device which seems to make it a Kindle killer with the wow factor. The New York Times app now features a real newspaper look and feel with full colour images to accompany each story.

It also allows for related image galleries and videos to be embedded directly into the article, with full stereo sound and full colour HD video.

To increase is possible audience with students and designs, the iPad features an amazing Brushes application where you can use the device as a digital canvas or use it for sketching ideas while not in the studio.

One of the features of the device is the ability to run high resolution full 3D games such as Need for Speed from EA, which they advise is like real life driving with full stereo and audio support. The iPad device appears to have the ability to run games such as Need for Speed at full frame rates which can make for an awesome gaming experience.