Etsy’s CEO Chad Dickerson recently announced a big company milestone.
Last year, the company’s community generated more than $525 million in sales. This year the community is on track to crush that number.
It’s already passed $500 million in sales.
That figure also gives you an idea of what Etsy is making. Etsy takes a 3.5% cut of every sale and 20 cents for every posted item.
Since February, Etsy’s also started processing payments for some of its shops through a program called Direct Checkout. On payments, it takes a 3% cut plus 25 cents per transaction. Since February, it’s processed $50 million in payments.
That means Etsy has generated more than $20 million this year, and the holiday season hasn’t even struck yet.
On Thursday, it announced a new gift-card program which will require Etsy shop owners to sign up for Direct Checkout, and it’s also offering free payment-processing through the end of September to encourage its use. That may hit transaction fees in the short term, but in the long term, if more Etsy shop owners adopt Direct Checkout, it will substantially increase the money Etsy makes from each sale. (Etsy says Direct Checkout benefits shop owners because customers spend more on average when the feature is enabled.)
Brooklyn-based Etsy has more than 300 employees, 800,000 active merchants and more than 40 million monthly visitors.
Kraft Foods Inc. reported Thursday that its second-quarter profit rose 5 percent as higher prices helped offset pressure from commodity costs and currency exchanges rates. The company said that it continues to see strong demand for its power brands such as Oreo and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. However, the company is still feeling the pinch of the tough global economy and said that its gum and candy business in Spain, France and Greece suffered during the period as teenagers there struggled financially.
Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld discussed the matter further with analysts in a conference call.
QUESTION: Your results have obviously been very resilient through the first half of the year but you did highlight more difficult macro-conditions during the second quarter. You spoke to gum and candy in southern Europe. Could you go into detail on what you’re seeing in key markets and where on the margins may be becoming a bit more difficult outside of southern Europe? And if you look at market share in aggregate across your categories, are you still comfortable you’re gaining share?
RESPONSE: Again, I feel very good about our performance in Europe. … As I mentioned in my remarks, we still are still growing share in 14 of 17 countries so we’re feeling quite good about our performance across the continent including the U.K.
The challenge really has been southern Europe and there it has been disproportionately a gum category. But our four categories are doing exceptionally well across the landscape there. … We’ve got some exciting new campaigns in support of Cadbury dairy milk as well as Milka and some terrific innovation in the pipeline that I’ve talked about a couple times on this call, all of which together are helping to fuel our strong performance. I expect that that will continue as we exit the year, despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions.
Compared to many TV streaming services, Hulu is a mature technology, created five years ago by some of TV’s biggest players. Now, the New York Times suggests it’s coming of age—and that events this week will see it truly become a network TV challenger.
The Times reports that, this Thursday, Hulu will pitch advertisers on its new, original programming. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is in fact an annual ritual called “upfronts”—usually reserved for cable channels and network broadcasters.
The fact that Hulu is sidling up alongside the big players of the TV world is a huge milestone for online TV. In the same week, Hulu will also announce that it now has more than two million subscribers for its $8-a-month Hulu Plus service.
So, Hulu’s first piece of original programming, Battleground, wasn’t great. And, sure, the firm has to put up with its parental companies feuding most of the time. But that doesn’t seem to matter too much when Hulu is pitching at the same meetings as the biggest national TV providers. [New York Times]
Sony Music Unlimited, the all-you-can-hear music subscription service that represents Sony’s answer to Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody and so on, added a crucial new feature to its Android app on Thursday: the ability to store music on an Android smartphone or tablet so that music fans can play it back without using a WiFi or wireless data connection.
We say “crucial” for a number of reasons – among them that cellphone providers are capping the amount of data you can stream each month (here’s how AT&T’s “unlimited” plans stack up, for example). Offline playback is also key for planes, subways, highways, and other places people like to listen to music but have a hard time streaming it. It also saves your battery, because the music only has to travel from your phone’s or tablet’s local memory to your earphones, instead of through your phone’s power-hungry WiFi or cellular radio.
In essence, it lets you take full advantage of the economics of a streaming service without sacrificing the convenience of downloads.
Our initial focus for the Music Unlimited service was to use our advantages of having great ‘living room’ products such as the PlayStation 3 and Bravia Internet Connected TVs to create a great in-home music experience. We accomplished that – evident by our one-million-plus active user base. However, we always knew that music mobility is a key part of our consumers’ lives and that having music available when they are not connected – on planes, on road trips – is an important part of the experience. So, in response to our customers’ wishes for offline playback, we wanted to make sure we came out with this feature as quickly as possible.
Sony Music Unlimited streams music to the home devices he mentions, as well as the Sony Music Unlimited app for Android and Android tablets, all from the same account, free for up to 30 days. The update that adds this offline playback feature rolls out today.
Image: Netfalls – Remy Musser / Shutterstock
A raid on suspected militants in the West Bank was cancelled yesterday after an Israeli soldier updated his Facebook status to read “On Wednesday we clean up Qatanah, and on Thursday, god willing, we come home.” The solider has since, unsurprisingly, been relieved of combat duty for being a moron. He’ll also spend 10 days in prison for his update.
Trying to educate soldiers on the importance of not leaking classified info to Facebook, the Israel Defense Forces have started putting up new posters in bases:
In posters placed on military bases, a mock Facebook page shows the images of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Below their pictures – and Facebook “friend requests” – reads the slogan: “You think that everyone is your friend?”
I really want to see one of those posters. Anyone in the IDF want to send us a picture? My email address is below. I won’t post it on Facebook, promise. [NY Times]
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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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