rank

Most Product Reviews On Amazon Are Crap

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/you-probably-shouldnt-take-amazons-reviews-at-face-value-2012-6

amazon boxes

Those glowing reviews you see on Amazon.com aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, according to a study performed last year. 

Tech entrepreneur Filip Kesler and Cornell professor Trevor Pinch, found that more than 80 percent of the reviews on the site were positive all because 85 percent of prolific reviewers receive free stuff to review. (Hey, everyone loves a freebie.)

“Amazon’s top reviewers do receive some sort of direct material reward, however small, for their endeavors,” wrote the authors. 

This was particularly true in the book realm. Reviewers in the top 1,000 rank told the authors they received a large number of Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) of books from small agencies and self-published authors. Those in the top 500 rank said they received even more, and so it went up the totem pole.

One member of Amazon Vine, the site’s members-only review program, described how his rank attracted more freebies in the study: 

“I started getting offers at about rank 800 (Classic Rank). When I got to 500, the offers increased, but I did not get many until I got to about 250. Under 150, it increased some more. At that point is was an average of one offer per week (not including Vine). When my New Rank appeared, placing me in the 50s, I started getting several offers per week, mostly for books.” 

For consumers looking for a deal and great products, it might be better to go the old-fashioned route, i.e., asking family and friends for suggestions. 

SEE ALSO: Surreal photos of America’s housing crisis > 

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Why Google Is The Grinch Who Stole Your Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-grinch-who-stole-your-business-2011-12


Google Sign

It’s that time of year when we all reflect on the past, search our souls and determine what we want for the next year. I’ve been reflecting on what it means to work with a company that controls so much of the market, provides such a broad set of capabilities and delivers such a large percentage of monthly revenues to publishers. Of course, I’m thinking of Google and what their dominance in the ad market means for a publisher’s future and its ability to remain relevant to marketers.

What do we know about Google? They are this great company that gives consumers some of the best digital products available on the Web: search, email, maps, Android, apps and more. This has catapulted Google to the rank of second most valuable brand, behind only Apple, according to Millward Brown. This seems to be great for consumers, but what about the businesses who are now reliant on Google for search and display revenue, advertising technology and various business applications like Google docs, Android OS, Chrome, etc.?

Many of the businesses I meet with hold Google in high regard because of the products they represent and the amount of revenue they provide. However, these businesses are equally concerned about Google’s consumer stranglehold, their influence over the ad ecosystem and their focus on automation, all of which lessens the publishers’ worth in the value chain as a whole. Google’s market dominance stretches well beyond search, which in itself is obviously enormous. This expansive dominance should be alarming for every marketing-related business, including publishers, advertisers and agency and marketing services technologies.  Here are a few stats on Google by category that will likely frighten even the largest of these businesses:

  • 65.38% Share of Search, Oct-11 Hitwise
  • 44.1% Share of Ad revenue, Oct-11 PCMag
  • 43.8% Share for Video, Oct-11 Comsccore
  • 30.03% Share for Travel, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 22.38% Share for Automotive, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 18.69% Share for Shopping, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 16.29% Share for Health, Oct-11 Comscore

If these stats weren’t enough to dampen your holiday spirit, Google now is even prioritizing their own products above the paid search listings on their search engine. This creates a major conflict for the advertisers that have made Google what it is today and may force those clients to pay even more if their advertising is to remain competitive in this new bidding landscape. Google clearly is leveraging its position of power with consumers to launch new products and ensure their own success. The latest example of this is the promotion of their Chrome browser on the Google homepage. As you can see from the chart below, Chrome is rocketing to the position of #1 browser, a rank it is projected to achieve by June 2012.

Google is now a major threat to every business in the publishing and advertising marketplace. In the short term, while they may appear to be a superior partner that provides revenue and marketing innovation, I believe that over the long term they are eroding the value of each and every business in the media sales and publishing value chain. And, worst of all, they are charging heavily for the privilege. I’d estimate that for every dollar spent by an advertiser in the media buying process, Google captures upwards of 25% in tolls (via their various ad services, DFA, Invite, DFP, AdX, Motif, Admeld, etc.), thereby minimizing revenue and profits for publishers and other vendors along the way

So as you reflect on 2011 and consider whom you want to partner with in 2012, give some thought to the short versus the long term. What is your value proposition to clients? And who do you ultimately want to run your business … the Grinch or You?

Have a great holiday and Happy New Year!

The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc

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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 news No Comments

Nielsen IAG Top Ten Most-Recalled In-Program Placements: Dramas/Comedies

Sex sells … well, sex .. but not much else. Victoria’s Secret was the most recalled product placement on TV — fortunately they sell products related to what was recalled. Not so sure about the mayo and cell phone.

Source:  http://adage.com/madisonandvine/article?article_id=143808

Rank Brand In-Program Placement Description Program Airing Info Recall Index
1 Victoria’s Secret Michael interrupts meeting to offer Donna a retail store’s catalog The Office (NBC, Apr 29) 214
2 Ford Cole Austin points to his Mustang and says he still owns it Cold Case (CBS, May 2) 190
3 Skype Joyce tells Benson and Stabler that she talks to Andrew online Law and Order: SVU (NBC, Apr 7) 183
4 Yamaha Susan explains to Mike that she has inherited a piano Desperate Housewives (ABC, May 2) 181
5 Rolex Provo tells Fin that Jack stole his watch; member of the cooking staff is wearing it Law and Order: SVU (NBC, Apr 7) 178
6 MedTec Name is visible on the ambulance doors Trauma (NBC, Apr 5) 176
7 Toyota Mitchell and Cameron park their car at Charlie’s house Modern Family (ABC, Apr 14) 161
8 Chevrolet Winston drives with Guerrero, who identifies the car as a Camaro Human Target (FOX, Apr 7) 155
9 Porsche Zack asks Nick where he got his car from Accidentally On Purpose (CBS, Apr 21) 152
10 Chevrolet Pres. Hasaan rides in a black SUV after turning himself over to terrorists 24 (FOX, Apr 5) 147

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Friday, May 14th, 2010 digital 1 Comment

The numbers vary depending on who you ask or whose data you use

Bing search volume continues to drop despite tons of ads and cheating — redirecting traffic from live.com, msn.com, microsoft.com, and windows search (see also – http://bit.ly/7qDBEz) .

January 13, 2010

The Nielsen Company today reported December 2009 data for the top U.S. Search Providers.

MegaView Search data – including total searches, unique searchers, search share, and all other search figures – cannot be trended with search results prior to October 2009 due to recent methodology changes.

search-volumes-comparison

Searches represent the total number of queries conducted at the provider. Example:  An estimated 6.7 billion search queries were conducted at Google Search, representing 67.3 percent of all search queries conducted during the given time period.

versus Oct 2009 numbers from hitwise

experian-hitwise-percentage-us-searches-leading-search-engine-provider-september-2009

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 analytics No Comments

Occasions and Holidays Drive Movie Box Office Sales, Not Advertising

Taking the top box office results for each of 52 weekends from the past 10 complete years (1998 – 2008; Source: IMDB.com) we see consistently that occasions like Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving show increased movie going activity. People have more time during these holidays to go to the movies and Valentines is a date+movie occasion. Also, during the summer, many people go to the movie theatre to escape the heat so there is an overall hump every year during the summer months — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

movie-box-office-2


People go out during Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving. And they still spend what they planned to spend — 2 tickets for movie — they didn’t buy 2 more tickets and see a second movie on the same date or holiday weekend.  If they had several good movies to choose from (often, they don’t), they would choose to spend the finite dollars on the one movie they really wanted to see. The overall movie spending “pie” did not increase much, if any, year over year.

1998 $4,055,194,733 n/a

1999 $4,253,601,768 5%

2000 $4,496,554,005 6%

2001 $5,003,433,737 11%

2002 $5,489,974,199 10%

2003 $5,581,797,720 2%

2004 $ 5,697,299,530 2%

2005 $ 5,524,566,579 -3%

2006 $ 5,660,826,625 +2%

2007 $ 5,968,027,963 +5%

2008 $ 5,887,193,490 -1%

The chart below shows a red line which is the average of all 10 years. The 10 thin blue lines are the annual lines from1998 – 2008, inclusive and these are plotted as actual dollars. They come out right on top of each other.

movie-box-office-2-overlay

Movie advertising, which runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, has failed to noticeably increase the overall spending year-round or even during specific times. The chart below shows the differentials (difference between an annual line and the 10-yr average line). These all hover closely in the +$50M and -$50M band. The amplitude of the 10-yr average (red line) is larger than $50M in the summer hump — implying that the average change in movie ticket sales due to normal seasonality is larger than the change in amplitude caused by ALL movie advertising combined.

movie-box-2-differentials

And the summer “hump” is due to actual demand (people going out to movie theatres, some to escape the heat) not due to advertising. The only effect of advertising is to share-shift from one movie to another — the total spending remains consistent and even seasonal variations are consistent — a “zero-sum game.”


All-Time USA Box office

Source: IMDB.com

Rank Title USA Box Office
1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
2. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061
3. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
4. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace(1999) $431,065,444
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628
8. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
9. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) $380,262,555
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003) $377,019,252
11. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373,377,893
12. The Passion of the Christ (2004) $370,270,943
13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $367,614,540
14. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $340,478,898
16. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
17. Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336,530,303
18. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
19. The Lion King (1994) $328,423,001
20. Shrek the Third (2007) $320,706,665
21. Transformers (2007) $318,759,914
22. Iron Man (2008) $318,298,180
23. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $317,557,891
24. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) $317,011,114
25. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001) $313,837,577

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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 digital 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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