Archive for June, 2014

drag2share: BricksMortar Retailers Will Use Beacons To Combat The Showrooming Threat


bii smartphone ble beaconsBeacon deployment has begun in earnest.

LevelUp, one of the top mobile in-store proximity payments companies, recently installed beacons at select retail locations. London’s Regent Street, a top shopping destination, is being outfitted with beacons. And recently a new product emerged from beacon-maker Radius that can turn businesses’ Macs running OS X into iBeacon technology. 

At BI Intelligence, we’ve been closely tracking beacon development.

Beacons are extremely important to bricks-and-mortar retailers because they provide a way to deliver offers and notifications to consumers’ smartphones via a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) signal while they’re in-store. The devices provide a unique advantage for bricks-and-mortar  businesses as they continue to try to deflect the threat from e-commerce-only retailers. Beacons won’t keep people from using their smartphones to price compare — something Amazon’s Fire phone just made even easier — but they could send people the kind of incentives that will entice them to convert in-store.

In a recent report, BI Intelligence looks at what beacons are, how they work, and how the technology is revolutionizing the way devices can connect and interact with each other, and physical spaces. We also examine those industries poised to see the biggest investments in beacons, and why Apple’s debut of iBeacon has given beacon technology a huge boost.

Of course, it’s not as simple as a consumer simply having BLE-compatible smartphones. Consumers also need to opt-in to receive offers from merchants and have their location tracking turned on on the phone. But all the recent investment in beacons suggests that retail businesses see a huge upside in beacons. 

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Friday, June 20th, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

drag2share: Supreme Court unanimously rules that software patents can’t cover abstract ideas


From now on companies will have to be a little more specific when filing software patents. The United States Supreme Court today ruled in favor of CLS Bank, a company that was accused by Alice Corporation of violating several of its patents relating to computer-based trading systems. Twice lower courts have found that Alice’s patents were invalid and now the highest court in the land has settled the dispute once and for all. In one of the two group opinions supporting the unanimous decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that “merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.”

This doesn’t magically invalidate all software patents, however. The opinions, especially that drafted by Justice Thomas, were careful to avoid ruling too broadly. Some filings involving abstract ideas may still be unique enough to deserve a patent. But as a general rule inventors will have to do better than simply recreating basic and abstract ideas with the aide of a computer — in this case the exchange of financial obligations.

This does set a precedent for invalidating vague software patents that come before courts in the future. And, when paired with the court’s recent decision to grant more power to judges to punish patent trolls, it appears that the Supreme Court has taken steps towards effecting the patent reform that Congress has so far failed to pass.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: CHART: Most Online Shoppers Don’t Mind Waiting At Least Six Days For A Delivery


Online shoppers are surprisingly patient when it comes to waiting for their orders to arrive, according to a survey from the United Parcel Service, compiled by BI Intelligence in the chart below.

  • Roughly one in four online shoppers say they are usually willing to wait eight days or more for their purchases to be delivered. 
  • 68% say they are willing to wait four to seven days for their delivery. 
  • Only 7% of online shoppers regularly want their order within two to three days, and just 1% say they regularly demand next-day delivery. 

Keep in mind that faster shipping is usually more expensive for the customer, so online shoppers may simply be used to choosing the cheapest delivery option and getting their order a bit later. The findings suggest that for now, people don’t shop online for things that they need right away. If it’s an urgent purchase, that person will likely run to the nearest store. 

BI Intelligence is a tech research service covering the e-commerce and payments industries. To receive full access to all our downloadable charts, analysis, and industry reporting, sign up.

bii online orders expected shipping

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: World Cup Ads Are Four Times As Popular As Super Bowl Ads


This year’s World Cup campaigns are being watched on YouTube all over the world as well. Brazil brings in the most YouTube views at 61 million while the U.S. trails behind at number two with 57 million views, followed by Mexico with 50 million views.  

Here’s a list of the top ten World Cup ads on YouTube as of Wednesday:

10. Beats by Dre: The Game Before The Game 

 9. Nike Football: Risk Everything. Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr. & Wayne Rooney

8. Castrol: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block 

 7. Adidas Football: House Match ft. Beckham, Zidane, Bale and Lucas Moura: all in or nothing — Adidas Football

 6. Itaú: Mostra tua força Brasil (Clipe Oficial) 

5. Adidas Football: The Dream: all in or nothing ft. Messi, Alves, Suárez, Özil, RVP &a! mp; more  

 4. Nike Football: The Last Game ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Zlatan, Inesta & more 

3. Samsung Mobile: #GALAXY11: The Training  

2. Nike Football: Winner Stays ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Kr., Rooney, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta & more

1. Shakira & Activia: Shakira – La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown 

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: Venmo Is The ‘Killer App’ That The Mobile Payments Industry Has Been Waiting For


Venmo, owned by eBay’s PayPal unit, already channels as much volume in total dollar value of transactions as Starbucks’ successful mobile payment app, according to BI Intelligence’s estimates. It has taken Venmo less than two years to achieve the same volume as Starbucks. 

Mobile Transaction Volume

At BI Intelligence, we are regular users of Venmo. Here’s a look at how it works and why it’s seeing such a fast rise in adoption.

VENMO IS A MORE MOBILE-FRIENDLY VERSION OF PAYPAL: Venmo allows users to easily send money back-and-forth to one another for expenses like rent, restaurant and bar checks, and event tickets. Venmo is free to use and appears to be gaining the most traction with U.S. smartphone users in their late teens and twenties. It’s very popular on college campuses. 

venmo screenshot iphone compose

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

Company Mentions on Social Channels Peak on Thursdays – eMarketer


In today’s socially charged world, a simple tweet, post or pin from a customer could prove detrimental or profitable for a business. Most company mentions, however, aren’t connected to a positive or negative message. They tend to be neutral communications.

Data released in May 2014 by real-time media monitoring app mention revealed the results of an analysis of more than 1 billion! worldwi de company mentions collected from early 2012 to March 2014. The research found that 76.6% of company mentions were neutral. Meanwhile, 17.6% of mentions were positive, and just 5.8% were negative.

The overwhelming neutrality of posts is an indicator that people are increasingly relying on social media for customer service. Most of the neutral company mentions were from people seeking assistance and asking questions.

The volume of company mentions fluctuated throughout the week, with Thursday seeing the most interaction from influencers. Some 15.8% of company mentions were sent on Thursday, followed by Tuesday, with 15.7%. Although the weekends saw the least amount of interaction, it doesn’t mean influencers were altogether silent. Approximately 12% of company mentions occurred on Saturday and 11.4% on Sunday.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

Facebook’s New Focus Changes the Game for Brand Advertisers – eMarketer


Facebook’s recent focus on direct-response advertising is leaving fewer options for marketers with branding goals, according to a new eMarketer report, “Facebook Advertising: Next Steps for Brand Advertisers.”

Not so long ago, the common belief was that Facebook—and social media in general—would be best suited for building awareness and engagement, not for influencing conversion or sales. However, the majority of Facebook’s most recent ad initiatives are aimed at mark! eters wi th performance goals, while the company has de-emphasized ads aimed at driving social interaction and engagement, a concept that brought many brand advertisers onto the platform.

“Companies still see Facebook as a platform for social brand interactions, but that’s no longer the way Facebook is presenting itself,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst of social media at eMarketer. “Facebook has moved on, but many brands are still marketing there the same way they did two years ago.”

Facebook accounts for a growing share of digital ad spending, and eMarketer expects the company’s worldwide advertising revenues to increase 56.4% in 2014 to reach $10.93 billion. That figure represents a 7.8% market share of global digital ad spending, increasing from a 5.8% share in 2013 and 4.1% in 2012. eMarketer estimates that digital ad spending worldwide will reach $140.15 billion this year, growing 16.74% over 2013.

Facebook does not publicly break down its ad revenues along branding/direct-response lines. But based on how the company’s business has evolved, and comments company executives have made, it is likely that direct response represents a majority of ad revenues.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: YouTube won’t block music videos from Indie labels, but it won’t pay them either


There’s been some brouhaha about YouTube blocking a huge swathe of music videos before launching its paid Spotify rival. The truth, however, is a little more nuanced. Labels who haven’t signed up to the website’s new terms, the majority of which are independents like XL Recordings, will have their artist channels blocked in the next few days. It’s not a blanket ban, however, since clips released through Vevo will remain, as well as fan-uploaded copies of tracks from artists like Radiohead, Adele and The xx. The kicker here, unfortunately, is that labels who won’t sign up to the paid tier are also kicked out of YouTube’s ad-supported monetization scheme. So while we may still be able to find Lotus Flower on a Radiohead fan’s channel, the band itself won’t get a single penny.

Another downside of the ban is that YouTube won’t use its copyright algorithms to blacklist infringing content, leaving independent labels to hunt through the site and issue takedown requests on their own. According to a lobbyist operating on behalf of the indies, YouTube isn’t even playing fair, offering “highly unfavorable and non-negotiable terms” which undercut the fees paid to Spotify, Rdio and Deezer, as well as being less generous than the money paid to the major labels like Warner, Sony and Universal. Now, some of this is probably just the hardball tactics that accompany any big new service, but we wonder what the movie studios will do if YouTube does go ahead with its mooted Netflix rival at some point in the future.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks


Social Engagement Index Desktop Smartphone

We tend to talk about social networks in terms of size, because audience reach is one of social media’s biggest advantages. That’s why Facebook gets so much attention. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, it’s a beast.

But as audiences adopt newer social networks, and people’s social activity becomes increasingly fragmented, other measures of social network activity become more important, especially for businesses trying to determine where to best allocate time and resources. How much time users spend on each social network and how engaged and interactive they are with content there are increasingly important ways of evaluating the sites.

In a recent report, BI Intelligence calculates an Engagement Index for top major social networks and compares their performance in terms of time-spend terms per-user, on desktop and mobile. We also look at how the different top activities on social media — photo-sharing, status updates, etc. — are indexing in terms of activity, and which sites drive the highest volume in each category. This report complements our popular reports on social media demographics and global audience sizes

Access The Full Reports And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Here are our findings: 

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Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 news No Comments

Microsoft Accidentally Pitched Michael Arrington To Hype Internet Explorer


Michael Arrington's mouth and a cigar and cash burning

Microsoft got caught with their hand in the cookie jar Tuesday when a PR rep accidentally offered to pay Michael Arrington — founder of TechCrunch — to hype up Internet Explorer, the company’s web browser.

“This is just layers of stupid,” Arrington wrote on

Sponsored content has become an unfortunate byproduct of the new media landscape. Andrew Sullivan recently criticized the practice at a Harvard event.

“You think you’re reading a writer when you’re actually reading a copy-writer,” he said.

Sullivan suggested the rise of sponsored content would eventually backfire, resulting in a wave of reader cynicism that would diminish its popularity as a marketing tool.

Here’s the the pitch Microsoft’s PR rep made to Arrington:


To which Arrington responded, incredulously:


Twitter reacted with amusement:

Stay classy Microsoft cash for comments – ugh really? #IEbloggers

— Peter Mescalchin (@magnetikonline) June 18, 2014

When I have no other choice, I always use Internet Explorer to download Chrome. #IEBloggers #rethinkIE (where can I claim my money now?)

— Lukas Klein (@lukashed) June 18, 2014

If I mention #iebloggers #iebloggers twice do I get paid double?

— Scott Watermasysk (@scottw) June 18, 2014

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment but have yet to hear back, though the company told TechCrunch through a spokesman it had “suspended” the sponsored content program.

The practice “is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media,” the spokesman said.

It might be best to remain skeptical of any writing on IE before July 10, especially if it uses the #IEbloggers hashtag.

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Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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