Competition is getting tough in the digital reader category. Tight margins and rapidly evolving devices are likely to thin the marketplace by next year. Currently, a price war is going on. Today, bookseller Borders lowered the price of its e-reader devices...again. Starting at $99, the Alarutek is the cheapest e-reader on the market.
Borders is trying to get back into the black with fewer stores and a focus on digital books. But can cheap prices and customer rewards save a business? That's not clear.
MySpace may not have as many users as Facebook, but the company is trying to reposition itself (again) as a place where brands can find traction online.
The trouble is, brands usually follow users. Can MySpace flip that equation on its head and use great brand partnerships to attract users?
MySpace executives hope so.
Old Spice's popular viral videos have been winning the company accolades all summer — including an Emmy nod this week. Now it looks as if something a little more powerful contributed to the company's strong sales figures this year: coupon offers.
As soon as Old Spice stopped offering coupons for the products touted in the viral "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" ads, the company's sales bounce disappeared. If Wieden + Kennedy's lauded creative can't move product, the campaign could serve as a warning to those seeking viral video glory online.
Apple's new iAd mobile advertising platform offers the enticing proposition of advertising seamlessly integrated into Apple's myriad mobile applications. But according to one developer, the acquisition cost on the platform is around $15.
If other users have similar problems, this could spell trouble for Apple.
Developer David Smith of Cross Forward Consulting recently spent
$1,251.75 on an iAd campaign that generated only 84 downloads. He documented his issues on the company blog. According to Smith:
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is frantically trying to monetize its digital properties. As part of that plan, popular video site Hulu recently added a premium version that costs $9.99 a month. For consumers looking for high quality video content online, it's an interesting model. But there's one catch.
According to new research from One Touch Intelligence, 88% of the content available on Hulu Plus is already available on Hulu for free.
Groupon is one of the e-commerce success stories of the last year. The group buying site's revenues are skyrocketing, and its half price deal with Gap sold 441,000 units last week. That translates to $11 million in sales in one day. Groupon has now announced that more national deals will roll out soon.
This is clearly good news for Groupon. But will it be good for Groupon's partners? Maybe not.
Nordstrom has added a new tool to its well-regarded customer service efforts: a seamless connection between the company's online and offline inventory. According to The New York Times:
"The change works this way: Say that a shopper was looking at a blue
Marc Jacobs handbag at Nordstrom.com. She could see where it was
available at nearby stores, and reserve it for pickup the same day."
It may seem like a no-brainer to allow customers to purchase any item sold by a single retailer. But the unusual thing about this story is that many traditional retailers aren't already doing it.
Twitter's new Promoted Tweets ad platform may be new, but it's already gotten top ratings from advertisers. Online investment brokerage Zecco announced Promoted Tweets has increased the company's engagement rates on Twitter by as much as 300%. Why is the company so pleased?
According to Zecco CEO Michael Raneri, it has to do with engaging Twitter users:
"I think it's one of the first online brand engagement opportunities out there."
A new battle is being waged in the online targeting wars. Privacy specialist Joseph Malley filed three lawsuits this month against online ad serving companies that use something called "zombie cookies." Defendants include brands like MTV, Disney and Quantcast.
And while the practice might not be widespread, it could be another blow against Adobe, since it involves advertisers using Flash to track consumers, even after they have deleted their cookies.
Cable companies may have some very intricate ways of protecting their television business, but holding media companies to very strict partnership deals isn't going to retain subscribers forever. In addition to competition from telecoms and satellite providers, cable companies are dealing with consumers who don't want to pay their steep monthly TV bills.
But according to The New York Times, Americans are not giving up on their cable. That assessment doesn't account for the latest quarterly estimates. Or the large numbers of people who aren't cutting their cable so much as avoiding it entirely.