Monthly Archives: February 2013

Clouds and Pipes

Telefónica Distrito C Madrid España - Spain

Telefónica – Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clouds and Pipes. That’s what telecom has become. Services go over-the-top (OTT) and telcos provide connectivity. Telcos have fought a battle for more than a decade to retain Services and they lost. Only Voice and IPTV represent significant business other than connectivity.

Not even the assets they had at the time of the first cloud and pipes post are an advantage anymore:

  • Telcos do not have a billing relationship any better than iTunes/App Store, Google Play, Skype and many other OTT.
  • Telcos brand is perceived by consumers as ‘you-pay-for-all’ vs Internet freemium everywhere.
  • The only reason voice is still with telcos is because of clever bundles of minute plans. And IPTV in most markets resulted in a must-have bundle just to sell broadband.

Telefonica does well to try and play the OTT game too with a separate entity, Telefonica Digital. It’s the only chance to be anything other than a pipe.

As per RCS, forget about it. This was invented when Nokia ruled. In a post-iPhone world with Facebook and Twitter native support, what does RCS has to offer to a user?

Update: Check out Telefonica Digital Tu Go. That’s a good example of making OTT work for a carrier.
This app enables you to have OTT voice with your phone number when on Wifi. That is a far simpler and lower cost approach to poor 3G indoor coverage than deploying femto-cells.

Coming soon:
Clouds and Pipes: The End of Telecom as we knew it.
You can get an early copy of the book and contribute with comments by subscribing to the blog by email.

 

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Marketers, do you really consider iPads as mobile?

percentage-of-retail-e-commerce-dollars-spent-via-mobile-devices
You will find more statistics at Statista

Prediction is hard, specially when it’s about the future.

The chart shows the incredible growth of mobile commerce. Excited? Well, not so much. It’s all driven by the iPad. When ten years ago many analyst predicted that mobile-commerce would be the future, few actually meant tablets to be part of the story?

One thing is that Steve Job presented the iPad and the Macbook Air as mobile devices. Another thing is that for digital marketing purposes, analyst consider it so.

Despite sharing the same OS as the iPhone, the use of an iPad is actually closer to a laptop than to a smartphone. I often buy from Amazon using my iPad instead of my laptop, even when at home. Same for online banking. In both cases, I use the original website, not the mobile one. When I am on the go, the iPhone is always with me, but not the iPad. When I am sitting in a Starbucks I may take an iPad, but still, it replaces the laptop rather than the mobile phone.

Categorizing the iPad as mobile is misleading. The use of a tablet differs from. If you are making decisions on your ad budget based on an analyst that categorizes iPad as mobile, think twice.

That said, technology-wise it has a big implication. Kill your Adobe Flash site if you haven’t yet. Just bet on HTML5 for all versions of your site, mobile, tablet, laptop-desktop or TV.

mobilecontentmarketing

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How does the Future of TV look like?

YouTube localization

YouTube localization (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Youtube turns 8 in a few days. Just a kid, but mature enough to tell us what the future of TV will look like.

According to eMarketer, in 2012 advertising spending on online video in the US was $2.9bn. A sizable market, but less than 5% of the $65bn spent on TV ads. 

Not too impressive if it were not because online video grew by 47% year on year. At that rate of growth, it would just take 8 years for online video to surpass TV ads spending. Just by the time Youtube would turn 16.

And there are reasons to believe that the 47% growth we saw this year is just accelerating, led by YouTube. Here are 3 reasons why Youtube will drive an even bigger growth:

1. Better ads.

  • Advertisers are increasing their spending.  “YouTube is […] home for major brand advertisers.  On YouTube, our top 100 global advertisers spent over 50% more in 2012 than they did in 2011,” they said in their last earnings call.
  • Ads are getting better both for user experience, and for brands. Advertisers like the new TrueView skippable ad format, through which they only pay if viewers watch the ad. 
  • The potential of Google to better targeting ads to user profiles and context is unmatched.

2. Better Content.

  • Growing number of Professional content available: VEVO and Liga BBVA are just two fine examples I love.
  • Perfect platform for amateurs to turn pros with an ad-based business model
  • Youtube could soon enter the paid-for-content subscription model. This hints they could start making deals for live sport events, one of the strongholds of Pay-TV operators.

3. Better Features.

  • HD at 1080p is a reality.
  • Multiscreen is a reality. Same content on mobile, tablets, PC and TV
  • Social is embedded and there are huge potential for “second screen” options that could potentially integrate better with online TV than with traditional TV

Online TV and traditional TV borders will blur. And when they do, Online has all the advantages to win.

 Milestones in Youtube early life:

  • First video uploaded (“Me at the zoo”) in April 2005
  • Google buys Youtube in October 2006
  • 720p launched in December 2008
  • One billion daily views in October 2009
  • 1080p Full HD launched in November 2009
  • 2 billion daily views in May 2010
  • Trueview ads launched in December 2010
  • 3 billion daily views in May 2011
  • 4 billion daily views in January 2012
  • First video to reach 1 billion views: Gangam Style – PSY, December 2012
  • #2 search engine (bigger than Bing, Yahoo, ASK and AOL combined)
  • 800 Million+ monthly unique visitors in January 2013
a-brief-history-of-youtube-infographic-shortymedia
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The Reason Why Apple’s Stock Is Sliding

applecharts-growthyoy

See those huge growth peaks in 2008, 2010 and 2011? They are the result of two products that changed two industries forever: mobile and personal computing.

The chart just shows what’s normal when you hit a homerun with a product that shakes an entire industry:

– in 2008, it’s the iPhone 3G
– in 2010 and 2011 it’s the iPad and iPad 2

You can only get that type of growth when you launch a new product that creates a new market category by itself.
Is the current growth of “only 20%” a sign that Apple is losing its mojo? No.
Can you expect Apple to grow at 70-80% YoY as they did in the past without releasing a new breakthrough product? No.
Is there any product in the pipe with such a potential? I don’t think so. TV is in the radar, but I wouldn’t bet on it to be as big. Google/Youtube seems in better position to disrupt TV — and I don’t mean Google TV.

Apple’s stock price has dropped 35% since September, reducing in $250 billion the company’s market cap.

The market is just coming to terms with the fact that you don’t change an entire industry as big as mobile and personal computing every couple of years.  Not even if you are Apple. The growth Apple had was exceptional, and you can’t expect it to continue at that rate just with new versions of iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Anyway, a 20%+ growth YoY without any new bomb product, is a growth most companies only dream of. And Apple mindshare of higher-income customers looks intact.

 

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