answer

It Would Cost 37 Billion Dollars a Year To Screen YouTube Videos

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5914188/it-would-cost-37-billion-per-year-to-pre+screen-youtube-videos

It Would Cost $37 Billion Per Year to Pre-Screen YouTube VideosLast week, we reported that a staggering 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Now, engineer Craig Mansfield has worked out how much it would cost per year to pre-screen all that video for copyright infringements—and the answer is close to that of Google’s annual revenue.

Mansfield calculated that a team of 199,584 judges—or equally qualified individuals—would be required to watch and rule over the video, which in turn would cost $36,829,468,840. For comparison, Google’s revenue for 2011 was $37,905,000,000.

Even if it were possible to find a cheaper labor source, the costs would still be astronomical. If you’re interested, you can read his working in detail. [Craig Mansfield via TechDirt]

Image by Rego – d4u.hu under Creative Commons license

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 digital No Comments

AMD reveals its 2012-2013 roadmap, promises 28nm chips across the board by 2013

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/02/amd-2012-2013-roadmap-APUs-galore/

AMD pulls back the kimono, reveals impending 2013 APU invasion
Ready for a bevy of more exotic-sounding codenames from AMD? Well, have a seat, as the maker of everyone’s favorite APUs just revealed its roadmap extending through 2013. And folks, it’s quite the doozy. But before we delve into its technical intricacies (which you’ll find tucked after the break), we’ll begin with some general takeaways. Per CEO Rory Read, 2012 and 2013 are “all about execution,” with the company girding itself for the the next “inflection point” where it’ll excel. The key to this strategy, as he describes it, is to continue marching towards a full-SoC design that will cover a host of devices running the gamut from mainstream laptops to tablets and so-called Ultrathins, the company’s forthcoming answer to Intel’s Ultrabook onslaught.

During its announcement, timed to coincide with AMD’s annual financial analyst day, the company also stressed its unique position wedged between Chipzilla and makers of ARM chips. Ask Read and he’ll tell you that’s a key advantage f! or AMD, that its CPU and GPU IP will bring more value through a better overall experience in the market. That’s a strategy less obsessed with raw specs and sheer speed and more focused on a holistic package. Senior VP Lisa Su said AMD will aggressively enter the tablet arena this year in a big way, reiterating that AMD-based Windows 8 slates are indeed en route, though she stopped short of giving an ETA. Finally, the company’s renewing its focus in the server market, as it seeks to cut a larger slice of the cloud computing pie. That’s AMD’s 2012 / 2013 plans in a nutshell, but if you’re the kind of person who likes a few technical specifics (and who doesn’t, really?) meet us after the break for a peek at what’s in store.

Continue reading AMD reveals its 2012-2013 roadmap, promises 28nm chips across the board by 2013

AMD reveals its 2012-2013 roadmap, promises 28nm chips across the board by 2013 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

My Horrific Experiences With Sony Customer Support

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/my-horrific-experiences-with-sony-customer-support-2012-2


Sony laptopI have a Sony laptop computer. It is less than a year old. It was not cheap. I bought the best components, memory and hardware components options available including 3-year in home support.

A couple of months ago the monitor developed a problem (a line of dead pixels down the entire length of the screen). I knew it was a hardware failure because I run a dual monitor setup and the line did not appear on the second screen.

I ignored that problem because it was relatively minor. However a hard drive failure cannot be ignored. 

Unfortunately I experienced a hard drive failure at the beginning of January and was dead in the water. I could not boot.

Please follow this chain of events (Mac users, please try not to laugh too loudly).

My Sony Support Experience

  1. I called Sony support and told them of my problems. They told me my computer was out of warranty even though it was less than a year old and under standard warranty. I told them I had a 3 year warranty. They told me I they had no record of it but gave me another Sony phone number to call to verify my warranty.
  2. I suggested that rather than me hang up and dial Sony, that Sony should dial Sony and verify my service contract. The technical rep said that was not possible.
  3. I called the service number at Sony the tech rep gave me and that service rep verified my date of purchase as less than a year old. The service rep also gave me my 3-year in-home service contract number.
  4. I called back Sony technical support and gave them my service contract number. The technical rep said they could not find that service contact and would not help me. The tech rep told me to call back the service rep and get the right number.
  5. I called back up the service rep, and I did indeed have the right number. The service rep agreed to call the tech rep and stay on the line to verify the number. Apparently service can call technicians but not vice-versa. Some of these calls took 20 minutes.
  6. The service rep informed the technical rep of my purchase date of the service contract (less than a year old), and that it was for 3-years. At that point the tech rep agreed to help me. The service rep hung up.
  7. The tech rep then took my serial number and other information but said before he could schedule a service call he needed a copy of my receipt. I did not have a copy of my receipt. Given the Sony service rep verified my purchase date and 3 year service contract I failed to understand why I need a written receipt. As you might expect I was quite upset and talking rather loudly at this point.
  8. The service rep said he needed to know whether the computer was to be repaired under the service contract or the 1-year standard warranty. As you might imagine I did not see why any of this mattered as my date of purchase was confirmed by Sony as was my 3-year warranty.
  9. Well this mattered to the technician who demanded a receipt. The technician gave me a Sony website in which I could look up my order and get a receipt. I said “If I can go to a website on Sony and look up my order, why can’t you?”
  10. As you can probably guess from what has transpired so far, the tech rep could not do that. It was now late in the day and I had company over and a backup PC was working but without a lot of programs I frequently use and need. I waited overnight to get the receipt.
  11. The next day I attempted to get a receipt but the website URL the tech rep gave me was invalid. 
  12. Once again I called the service contract rep and that person gave me the right address. I said why don’t you look up my purchase day and get it to the tech but this time the service rep was uncooperative.
  13. I go to the Sony website and find my order. I print out my order and fax it to the tech rep. I call the tech rep number and the tech informs me he has scheduled a service call and someone would call me shortly to arrange a time within three days.
  14. I was suspicious of that claim, so the next day I called up the service rep who indeed verified the tech rep did not schedule a service call. 
  15. The service rep put in the order noting they had received my fax and that everything was in order.
  16. I was told I would get a call within 3 days. I was actually shocked to get a call the next day but the pleasant surprise quickly ended on news they had to order parts and I would get a another call within 3 days when the parts would be ready.
  17. Two days later the parts arrive and I get a call and schedule a time.
  18. The rep brings out another monitor and another hard drive. 
  19. The monitor is bad. It has a line of dead pixels in a different spot. 
  20. The tech rep installs the hard drive and leaves me with a set of install disks.
  21. One might think that the on-site technician might actually load the disks they delivered but one would be wrong. These guys are 100% without a doubt strictly hardware only. They do not load disks. Even ones they hand deliver.
  22. It is late in the evening and once again I had company. The next day I run the setup disks and get an I-O error. I cannot tell what is wrong. 
  23. I call Sony and they suspect another hard drive problem and tell me someone will call me within three days to schedule an appointment.
  24. I am screaming at the top of my lungs at this point as I have had it. The rep agrees to do nothing but schedule another call. I ask for his supervisor and an transferred to a “national customer relations specialist” NCRS.
  25. I ask the NCRS to send me a new computer. He tells me that the computer I have is no longer available. That was a direct lie because in advance (in expectation of lies) I had gone on the Sony website and could order the exact computer I already had. 
  26. I informed the NCRS that the computer was still orderable and he said he did not have the authority to do what I asked. If a national customer relations person does not have that authority, one has to wonder “Do they have ANY authority?”
  27. I asked to be transferred to his superior and was put on hold. His superior (and the NCRS refused to tell me the title of that person) would not take my call but whoever that person was did tell the NCRS that if the next delivery did not work they would pro-rate a refund.
  28. I demanded to talk to the NCRS superior but the NCRS would not comply.
  29. At that point I had had enough. I had been without my computer for 11 days and had loaded trial versions of software I use on another computer to get by, but I was still running in limited mode in a number of ways.
  30. I do an online search for computer repair for my city at 4:30 PM. The first two places did not answer the phone or had a messages they were closed. The owner of a third local repair shop in Barrington Illinois did answer the phone. He was open until 7:00PM and Barrington is only a half hour away.
  31. He agreed to look at my computer. I brought in my computer, the install DVDs Sony gave me, and an external hard drive backup I had of my computer.  He took one look at the install disks and said “this one is bad” (it had a discolored spot on the DVD). He changed the bios on my machine to boot to an external DVD drive and fortunately the external drive was able to read the install disks. It was now going on 8:00PM and the owner had stayed an hour past closing to help me but the configuration was only 70% done.
  32. The owner had to go but the next day when I called in, he had reset my drive to the original Sony state, removed all the Sony bloatware including Norton. He loaded all my personal files from an external hard drive I brought in. Above and beyond the call of duty, he found every ICON on my computer and went out and loaded trial versions of every software program I had.
  33. Now that is service. I had my Microsoft Office Key as well as keys to the other programs I use.  I had no idea how to configure my POP account at SBC on to my Microsoft Exchange account but he did that off the top of his head. By accident, I found someone (a business owner) who not only understands computers but someone who also understands the value of a customer.
  34. Five days later (two over the weekend) Sony did come by and replace my monitor. It might have been done sooner but I was out of town on Friday.

Moral of the Story

  • Have file backups. I did.
  • Don’t count on Sony
  • I have had bad experiences with Dell as well so don’t count on Dell or any other mass producer either.
  • Instead find a local computer shop that understands computers and the value of a customer.
If you live in NW Illinois, the place I found that helped me isBarringtonComputer. The owner is Richard Zatek.

By the way, I left out one interesting detail.

Barrington Computer has the ability to access a computer remotely. Zatek gave me a way to see what was happening remotely to my computer. When I checked on it at midnight (from my backup machine  at home), Zatek was also dialed into my computer and we exchanged messages right on my computer remotely using notepad, at midnight. We could see what each other was typing. That is pretty cool as well as exceptional service.

One good thing came out of this. I am pleased to have found someone who knows computers and also understands the value of a customer. Sony sure doesn’t.

 
Addendum
 
I received many emails regarding this post. Here is one from attorney “BR” who says …

Dear Mish,

I’m a big fan of your site and it is pretty much required reading for me most days. I read your account of your travails with “Big Corporate Customer service” with great empathy. I encountered a very similar experience two years ago getting a burner part replaced on my natural gas hot water heater. It took six weeks, 7 separate “house calls,” at least 15 different phone calls, and nearly being divorced before the problem was rectified. And it was a parts problem for which the company had issued a “recall,” so it wasn’t a unique or unexpected problem.

I’ve become convinced that this type of customer “service” is viewed as being a “feature” and not a “bug.” And it crosses all lines of products and services, but especially those covered by “warranties.” They are actively discouraging you from insisting on your right to the free repairs and other services for which you have already paid when you purchased your warranty. In my judgment it represents a calculated effort by corporate types to maximize the profits they obtain under extended warranty agreements. It really is a form of fraud.

Lesson learned is that while P.C. stands for piece of crap, warranties are worth even less.

Very truly yours,

BR

Addendum Two
 
I received many comments about the poor quality of consumer products. I failed to mention a possible remedy.
 
I asked the store owner if he custom built computers and he said it would not be cost-effective. After all, he still would be using components straight from China.
 
Instead he said, never buy a computer from a normal retail store or through the “consumer division” of a PC maker. Sony only has a a consumer divi! sion. HP and Dell have business divisions.
 
Unfortunately, that may not mean support will be much better, but rather the components will likely be of a higher quality. Large businesses might buy hundreds of computers or more at once. To get repeat business, the computers need to be more durable and have no built-in bloatware (trial software and other garbage).

Addendum Three
 
I received many emails like this from Mac users but here is one from a person at VMC Consulting Corporation with a email address at Microsoft.

Reading your recent “Horrific Experiences” post, I just want to make a friendly suggestion.

Next time you want the best Windows machine money can buy, get a Mac.

No kidding.

The Mac is the best Windows machine you can buy, and the support is fantastic. I don’t know where you live, but if it’s a major city, I bet there’s an Apple store nearby.

You can either use “Boot Camp” and run entirely in Windows, or you can be booted into the Mac OSX, and run Windows inside of Parallels, which is a fantastic Virtualization program.

Cheers,

David


This post originally appeared at Global Economic Trend Analysis. 

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5880812/the-new-blackberry-ad-campaign-is-proof-rim-has-entirely-lost-it

The New BlackBerry Ad Campaign Is Proof RIM Has Entirely Lost ItSay hello to The Bold Team. Sadly, this animated foursome is RIM’s attempt to capture the youth market. They urge the younger generation to “Be Bold”. Something tells me it won’t work.

This pink and purple mess looks a bit like an advertising executive just vomited his late-night cocktail onto a page and presented it to RIM. “That’ll do,” he probably thought. “They’re shafted anyway.”

The Bold Team are “bravely stepping out of 2011 and into 2012 filled with unlimited possibilities”. If you care to know more about RIM’s answer to the Power Rangers, there are four of them. You want a quick run through their biographies? Sure, there’s:

GoGo Girl, The Achiever: “Saving the day with a brilliant strategy”
Justin Steele, The Advocate: “Always ready to stick up for his friends”
Trudy Foreal, The Authentic: “Not afraid to call it as she sees it”.
Max Stone, The Adventurer: “Able to jump out of a plane…”

Presumably Max Stone is inspired by the RIM employees who got drunk on that plane.

A company which is shedding customers quicker than the Costa Concordia lost passengers, seeing its stock price fall week-on-week, and drafting in replacement CEOs, you’d expect to put some effort into advertising. Obviously not. RIM is completely out of touch. [Mobile Syrup via Pocket Lint]

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Entrepreneurs Can See The Future, And Here’s What The Future Looks Like

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ron-conway-startups-trends-future-2012-1


Ron Conway

SV Angel’s Ron Conway has been an investor since 1994.  In this month’s issue of The Economist, Conway writes his 2012 startup predictions.

First he says the social web has hardly reached maturity. We’ve only seen the beginning of what’s possible via Facebook. “Some 90% of the world’s data have been generated in the past two years,” he writes.

Conway thinks social interactions will be at the heart of most new products moving forward. They’ll influence everything from search results to how mom and pop shops conduct their businesses.

Conway also notes how quickly startups are seeing success at the local level. Groupon built a multi-billion-dollar business in three years. Conway wonders if we’ll see a startup become a true $1 billion business in 12 months in 2012.

The biggest trend Conway sees is something he calls “collaborative  consumption.”  By that he means people area willing to share or rent things instead of buy them. Airbnb and ZipCar are good examples of this.

Conway concludes by saying why he loves startups. “The answer is quite simple: these entrepreneurs share their vision of the future with me. And every so often, their vision becomes the future. What could be more interesting than that?”

To read the full article, head over to The Economist >>

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Why Loyalty Credit Cards May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-retailers-loyalty-programs-2011-12


loyalty credit card

Credit cards have been a staple for retail rewards programs for decades (you know, like that Visa card they try to make you sign up for every time you go to Gap). They’ve been an effective way to reward customers, and for retailers to get additional funding.

But a new report by analysts Michael Exstein, Chrisopher Su and Trey Schorgi at Credit Suisse says that it’s time for retailers to abandon the credit card. Why are credit-based rewards programs not the right way to go anymore?

1. The cost of rewards programs keeps rising for banks. As rewards competition ramps up, issuer margins are pressured.

2. As the programs get more expensive, banks will offset costs in other areas. This will result in either less beneficial terms for retailers, or higher fees for consumers. Retailers may have to increase their own rewards programs to remain competitive

3. Retailers’ relationships with their customers could be hurt, because banks (who are now in control of many retailers’ credit businesses) could squeeze consumers. Since the programs are branded for retailers, not the banks, consumers would deem them responsible.

Credit Suisse instead suggests that the answer to these woes is simple. Switch over to programs based around membership fees or other upfront investments. “Going forward, we think the emerging trend will be the need for consumers to “invest” in loyalty programs, thereby creating a “vested interest,” says the report.

So what brands are doing it right so far?

Amazon — The Amazon Prime membership program has been vastly successful. Consumers pay an annual membership fee of $79, and get shipping benefits, free use of Amazon Instant Video and perks for their Kindle.

Costco — The largest membership warehouse club in the world has three levels of membership. There’s a $55 annual fee for businesses, a $55 ‘Gold’ card for individuals and a $55 executive member upgrade, which gives folks a 2% discount on most purchases.

Sam’s Club — Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary has a similar system, with a $40 per year Advantage card for individuals ($100 for Advantage Plus which offers extra savings) and a $35 per year Business membership ($100 for Business Plus).

Macy’s — “Thanks for Sharing” is a program that’s working for Macy’s to generate loyalty. It requires a $25 upfront investment (which is actually a donation to charity), in exchange for rewards.

Target — The REDcard is a ‘hybrid’ method which has been working well since the retailer started it up in 2010. It offers 5% savings on everything and includes shipping benefits.

These programs all capitalize on the concept of creating that “vested interest.” Customers, having already paid a set of promised benefits, will be more likely to keep spending to use those benefits that they’ve already paid for. They’ll keep coming back.

NOW SEE: The 20 Brands With The Most Loyal Customers >

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 news No Comments

The Dallas Cowboys Are Letting Fans Conduct Their Own Press Conferences Via Google+ Hangout

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/demarcus-ware-google-hangout-question-and-answer-session-2011-12


DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas Cowboys are changing the game, and it goes well beyond the football field, where he leads the NFL with 15 sacks. 

The Cowboys linebacker is one of – if not the – first athlete on a professional team to hold a Google+ Hangout with his fans.

In case you’re unaware, the hangout is basically a group video chat for up to 10 people. 

The Cowboys star and his fans took part in an intimate question and answer session, giving people an opportunity to speak directly with Ware.

It’s definitely a novel idea in this lockout age for fans feeling disconnected from the athletes they follow.

Hopefully other organizations will take note and take advantage of this opportunity.

(video via Digital Hoops Blast)

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Monday, December 5th, 2011 news No Comments

Spending Tons Of Money To Attract New Customers Is A Stupid Idea

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/spending-tons-of-money-to-attract-new-customers-is-a-stupid-idea-2011-11


If you’ve ever tried to explain the concept of “make new friends but keep your old ones” to a five-year-old, you have a pretty good perspective on how many high-growth businesses approach customer acquisition and retention.  Growing businesses tend to spend so much of their time and money acquiring new customers that they often overlook their best source of growth: retaining and growing their existing customer base.

One of our clients has more than 90 percent of its resources–people, marketing budget, etc.–focused on creating millions of new customers a year. Their business model is based on monthly recurring feeds, much like the cable or wireless industries. Customers come in and they stay…until they don’t. An analysis of the client’s historical data shows that the average customer stays for an average of 2.5 years. Because their customer acquisition cost is lower than their expected customer lifetime revenue, they reach a break-even point in less than two years. So it’s a great business, as long as they keep generating new customers, right?

Wrong. The problem is that as the management team’s growth expectations increase, it gets increasingly harder to acquire more customers. As a result, customer acquisition costs go up and the quality of customers, in terms of how long they stick around, goes down.

To solve this growth dilemma, the client needs to ask three key questions:

  • What revenue growth will we achieve if we keep our existing customers for just one additional month, on average?
  • What will it cost us to do this by, say, improving customer service or adding customer benefits?
  • How does this growth compare, both in magnitude and cost, to acquiring new customers?

The answer for our client will be the same as it is in almost all businesses. It’s cheaper, easier, and more effective to retain current customers than it is to acquire new ones. In fact, if this business can retain all of its customers by just one additional month on average, they can achieve an additional 3 percent of annual growth. If they can retain their customer base for four additional months, they can create double-digit growth–without adding a single customer.

It’s simple math–something that even a five-year-old might understand.

This post originally appeared on Inc.

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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 news No Comments

iPhone 4S hits four million in sales after first weekend

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/17/iphone-4s-hits-four-million-in-sales-after-first-weekend/

How did you spend your weekend? If you’re Apple, the answer is simple, really: selling a whole lot of iPhones. Cupertino this morning announced that iPhone 4S sales have reached four million — quite an impressive number compared to what its predecessor was capable of, a fact no doubt helped by the addition of some carriers, like Verizon and Sprint here in the States. The handset is currently available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, with plenty more countries coming by the end of the year. Press info can be found after the jump.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading iPhone 4S hits four million in sales after first weekend

iPhone 4S hits four million in sales after first weekend originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 09:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, October 17th, 2011 news No Comments

Are Daily Deal Credit Cards On The Way?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/are-daily-deal-credit-cards-on-the-way-2011-10


Groupon

With the daily deal market exploding, what’s next for sites like Groupon and LivingSocial?

Groupon Goods might be the answer on some expert’s lips, but according to CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou, branded credit cards look more likely. 

That’s because credit cards are easier for shoppers to use. Unlike a coupon, they work automatically and you can always store the cards in your wallet.

Credit cards would also simplify the redemption process in that consumers could easily swipe and credit 2, 3, or even 5% cash back to their account, for example. Plus the cards present a lucrative stream of revenue that only stands to be threatened by sophisticated card companies like American Express and Visa.

The demand is there, as a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by Lightspeed Research revealed last month. More than a quarter (27%) of LivingSocial customers said they would be interested in a branded card, while more than a third (34%) of Groupon’s customers want one too.

But would daily deal credit cards be a boon to cash-strapped consumers or just passed off as a trend among the sites’ spendthrift regulars?

“Most likely it’s going to be something high end consumers who are spenders will want,” says Papadimitriou. “They won’t be making them their primary cards across the board, but people don’t usually make store-brand cards their primary cards anyway.”

This makes sense: Lightspeed found that relative to the overall U.S. credit cardholder population, Groupon and LivingSocial regulars tend to have better credit scores, are twice as likely to pay off their monthly card balances in full, and are three times as likely to make purchases with them. What’s more, about half are earning $75,000, so they can afford it. 

So while the cards wouldn’t do much to spark the economy on the whole—or soothe the millions of Americans desperate for a deal—they might do plenty to stoke spending among the credit elite. Which is exactly what Groupon or LivingSocial want, since most affinity cards are hard up to take on risky credit holders.

If you’re in the high end, however, think twice before signing up if a card is released, says Papadimitriou. 

“As with all co-branded cards, if you’re already a loyal customer and are spending a lot of money—say more than $2,000 to $3,000 a year, then get that branded card because it will likely be useful. But if you’re not a loyal customer or a frequent spender with that company, then don’t worry about it.”

 

 

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 news No Comments

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