Archive for May, 2014

Affluents Don’t Want Texts from Luxury Brands


Targeting affluents? Don’t expect to reach them through texts. In Q1 2014, Luxury Institute found that just 17% of US affluent internet users, those with an income of $150,000 or more, had signed up or were somewhat/very likely to opt in to messages from a luxury brand.

Even tech-savvy affluent millennials weren’t interested in luxury brand messages popping up on their pho! nes: Jus t around one-quarter said they had or would be interested in receiving such communications, a percentage similar to Generation Xers.

Instead, emails may be the way into affluents’ digital inboxes, with 49% of respondents saying they had or were somewhat/very likely to opt in to receiving emails from a luxury brand.

While this wasn’t a majority activity among the entire group, the total percentage was skewed lower by boomers, as over half of millennials and Gen Xers were interested in receiving messages this way.

Either way, digital didn’t appear to play a major role in US affluent internet users’ research or purchase processes when buying luxury items.


Friday, May 30th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: The Quest To Kill Cash: New Apps Are Finally Getting People To Abandon The ATM


U.S. P2P Mobile Payments

Credit and debit cards have already gone a long way to getting people off of cash and checks.

But there is one type of payment that still requires a trip to the ATM or a desperate hunt for the checkbook. Called peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, these informal transactions are made between people — say to pay someone back for a concert ticket or to pay a babysitter for a few hours of work.

A new crop of apps, though, is changing the way these types of payments are made. In a new report from BI Intelligence we take a look at apps like Venmo, Square Cash, and M-Pesa, which are allowing people to transfer money back and forth using just a smartphone. Already, PayPal-owned Venmo, one of the leading mobile P2P apps, says it saw $314 million in transaction volume on its app last quarter.

In the report, we take a close look at what’s so compelling about these mobile P2P apps, and forecast mobile P2P payment volume through 2018. We explain what differentiates some of the most successful P2P apps and how we see adoption of smartphone-based P2P payments ultimately transitioning people onto mobile payments in general.

What’s really interesting about these apps is not just the services they provide for people, which solve a real pain point. It’s the fact that these services could ultimately get people to make mobile payments in general. There’s good reason to think that this is what these apps are really after. These companies often make little to no money off of facilitating peer-to-peer transactions, but if they can become the platform for in-store mobile payments, there could be real revenue at stake. 

To access the full report and all our coverage

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Friday, May 30th, 2014 news No Comments

Why Are Publishers, Media Buyers Excited About Programmatic Guaranteed?


It’s hard to ignore the enthusiasm for programmatic display advertising—an automated, technology-driven method of buying and selling digital display ads—which seems to be on everyone’s roadmaps. Initially, the industry focused on real-time bidding and its impression-level, auction-based buying function. But as more brand dollars move to digital, both publishers and media buyers look to programmatic technology to lock in advertising agreements in advance, bypassing traditional direct sales channels, according to a new eMarketer report, “Programmatic Guaranteed: Meaningful Momentum, Despite Murky Industry Definitions.”

Known as “programmatic guaranteed” or “programmatic reserved” for the ability to secure upfront commitments to both price and amount of inventory, this branch of programmatic direct is gaining significant traction among publishers and media buyers looking to automate the often lengthy insertion order (IO) process and bring greater audience insight to their premium ad buys.

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 news No Comments

iTunes’ Revenue Decline Shows Why Apple Had To Buy Beats (AAPL)


Apple CEO Tim Cook had an esoteric explanation for why Apple bought Beats, the headphones and music-streaming company. “These guys are really unique,” Cook told the New York Times. “It’s like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They’re rare and very hard to find.”

But here’s the grim financial logic that shows why Cook felt he had to pay $3 billion for the company. Revenue from iTunes is in decline, according to this analysis from Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty.

Macrumors, which first saw the Morgan Stanley note, says:

Huberty notes that iTunes revenue is falling as users turn to streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify to meet their music needs. This decline “raises concerns about Apple’s ability to monetize the new base of emerging market customers,” writes Huberty. According to Huberty’s calculations, each iTunes account spent an average of $3.29 in the first quarter of this year, down 24% year-over-year.

This chart shows iTunes revenue falling as a percentage of Apple’s online services unit:

Apple Beats

And this one shows iTunes’ revenue per user falling:

Apple Beat

Given those headwinds, it appears that music was actually a battle Apple was losing to challengers like Pandora and Spotify. Beats, presumably, is intended to give Apple a new beachhead in subscription music services that run alongside iTunes Radio’s legacy free streaming service. And ! — another factor for Apple — the headphones themselves give Apple a device platform with its own existing distribution network that it can also improve and build out.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 charts No Comments

drag2share: This Is How Top US Retailers’ E-Commerce Businesses Stacked Up During The Quarter


In recent weeks, a number of top U.S. retailers reported first quarter earnings, allowing BI Intelligence to compare the e-commerce segments of their business. 

  • Nordstrom‘s online sales grew the most among the top retailers we looked at. Its online retail sales in the first quarter totaled an estimated $400 million, according to Internet Retailer. That’s up 33% from the first quarter of 2013. 
  • Best Buy also had a strong quarter online. Its e-commerce sales in the U.S. grew 29% year-over-year to $639 million. 
  • Wal-Mart did not break out a dollar figure for e-commerce, but it did say that online sales grew 27% over the first quarter of 2013. Similarly, J.C. Penney‘s e-commerce sales grew 26% over the same quarter last year.
  • Gap‘s online sales in the first quarter grew 13% year-over-year to $575 million. That’s down from Gap’s 2013 sales growth of 17%. 

For full access to all BI Intelligence’s charts and analysis on the e-commerce industry, sign up for a free trial.

bii top us retail ecommerce

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: Online Video Advertising Is Growing Many Times Faster Than TV, Search, And Most Other Digital Ad Markets



Online video is growing faster than most other advertising formats and mediums.

  • Video ad revenue will increase at a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.5% through 2016, according to our estimates. 
  • That’s faster than any other medium other than mobile. And much faster than traditional online display advertising, which will only grow at a 3% annual rate. 

In a new report from BI Intelligence we explore the key drivers of the skyrocketing growth of video ads, examine the cost and performance of the emerging digital ad format, and look at the major players that are shaping the industry. 

Access The Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today »

Here are some of the key trends we explore in the report:

The report is full of charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use

In full, the report:

For full access to all BI Intelligence’s charts and analysis on the video industry, sign up for a free trial.


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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: Starbucks


The company has had more success in other areas. Here’s the scorecard from Starbucks’ 2013 report:

starbucks global responsibility

We also asked about Starbucks’ controversial failure to hit its 2010 goal to raise and donate $10 million to alleviate the world water crisis through sales of Ethos Water, which it purchased in 2005. The company went on to raise only $6.2 million by 2010 and blamed the economic crisis among other things.

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 news No Comments

Publishers Rely on Ads, Not Subscriptions, for Growth


Publishers appear positive about their digital future. That’s what May 2014 research by Cxense in conjunction with Editor & Publisher found, with 88.45% of US publishing executives polled saying their companies’ digital revenues would increase in the next year.




Among those ! who plan ned to increase their digital revenues, ad sales were the top channel through which they intended to do so, cited by 62.8% of respondents. Less than one-quarter of respondents said the same for paid subscriptions, indicating that news sources may have caught on to the fact that mobile users aren’t interested in paying for digital news.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 news No Comments

Mobile Grabs One-Third of US Computing Products and Consumer Electronics Digital Ad Spending – eMarketer


Digital advertising spending by the US computing products and consumer electronics industry will reach $3.80 billion this year, and that figure will increase to $6.01 billion by 2018, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Computing Products and Consumer Electronics Industry 2014: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends,” part of our new report series, “2014 Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry.”

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: Google is harnessing machine learning to cut data center energy


Why is that important? If Google knows what the PUE should be at any time, its engineers can set up alerts to inform them if any data center falls outside of the prediction for whatever reason — ie., there’s probably something wrong going on. Google can also use the model to shave off low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency in the data center. The kind of finely grained analysis that can’t be determined by a human looking at a spreadsheet, but can be detected by software crunching the massive data set. For example, Google can use it to decide how often and the best time to clean data center heat exchangers that both save money and energy. Previously they’d been doing that with some guesswork.

Google PUE

Finally Google can use the machine learning to run simulated tests on the data centers to see how it would affect PUE. Such tests probably won’t be done in an actual environment, because they could have unintended consequences and involve some risks to the system.

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Wednesday, May 28th, 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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