Tag Archives: Amazon

Watching TV in the Howard House

Chromecast - the best bit of kit on our television
Chromecast – the best bit of kit on our television

Like many households in the UK, our TV viewing habits have changed in the last few years, and continue to change.

To set the scene, we have four kids, ranging from 9 to 14 years old (plus Mrs H and I).

Our TV package consists of the following, each of which I’ll then describe:

  • Sky TV
  • Netflix
  • BT Sport
  • Now TV
  • YouTube
  • Google Play
  • And recently… an Amazon Prime Trial

Continue reading Watching TV in the Howard House

Reading list for 12 October 2015

Kids playing cards
Yes you can play cards on an iPad, but kids don’t enjoy it as much as the real game

In between all these links I’m currently reading LEAN Enterprise – I’ll provide a full review if/ when I manage to finish it.

In the meantime, here are some of the more interesting links I’ve visited over the last week:

Mobile leads first half digital ad surge| warc.com – Ad spend on mobiles increased 51% to £1.08bn during the first half of 2015. Is it a bubble or a natural trend? Continue reading Reading list for 12 October 2015

Amazon v Alibaba – the stats

Last week I posted an infographic about credit cards and since then I’ve been inundated with organisations sending me similar graphics.

Here’s one which I particularly liked, comparing Amazon to Alibaba. It reminded me of a recent BBC article comparing Amazon to Tesco:

Last year its [Amazon’s] revenues hit $88bn (£56bn) , but it made a loss of $240m (£153m). (Just as a comparison, Tesco’s revenues in 2014 were £71bn, on which it made a profit of £2.6bn – though this year it recorded a huge loss after writing down the value of its property. Oh, and right now the stock market thinks Amazon is worth roughly eight Tescos.)

Here’s the Alibaba v Amazon infographic: Continue reading Amazon v Alibaba – the stats

20 Internet Trends in 2015

One of my favourite annual Internet reports is out. It’s the KPCB report, from the Venture Capital company based in the US.

It’s 196 pages of fact-packed charts, and here are my favourites.

The US makes up ‘only’ 10% of the 2.8bn online users. 73% of the World has a phone, of which 40% are smartphones. So there are 2 billion smartphones.

The top 15 Internet companies (by capitalisation) consist only of American and Chinese companies.

The only company featuring in the top 15 companies in 1995 and 2015 is Apple, which has increased its capitalisation by over 190 times! The combined capitalisation of the top 15 has increased by 141 times.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) on Facebook is $9.36, based on advertising alone. Continue reading 20 Internet Trends in 2015

Cyber athletes see it coming

Nothing on TV tonight? Watch Twitch instead like millions of others
Nothing on TV tonight? Watch Twitch instead like millions of others

There’s a new shake up happening in the sports industry at the moment, and in one of the main organiser’s words, traditional sports “Can’t see if coming”.

Last week BBC radio produced a great programme called “The Rise of the Cyber Athletes” – it’s one of those radio programmes where they place a camera in the studio which kind of converts it into a standard TV programme…

The audience for watching cyber athletes compete in international electronic games tournaments is growing very quickly. And that audience is bringing considerable revenues and investment.

Cyber athletes have sports nutritionists, sports psychologists, training camps, rigorous training regimes – often up to 16 hours a day, and attract large audiences to live events.

Continue reading Cyber athletes see it coming

Review of 2014 predictions

Blackberry shares in 2014 - at 49% growth, there are worse things you could have done with your money
Blackberry shares in 2014 – at 49% growth, there are worse things you could have done with your money

How did my 2014 Digital Media predictions from last December turn out?

2014 has been another interesting year in the digital world. The end of a terrible recession has forced most companies to place digital at the heart of their strategy. #Fintech has become a recognised term for banks, insurance companies and other financial services organisations trying to update their systems to become ‘digital‘.

1. TV will change

Last December I predicted Ultra HD will become production ready, 3D TV will disappear and we’ll start seeing transparent TVs on the market. Continue reading Review of 2014 predictions

Who is the most innovative Digital company?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69730904@N03/8813574238/in/photolist-eqPSyw-epTCc8-epTGev-en4VSP-eqPSPS-eqPTLS-eqPTc7-eqPTq9-doNVTr-efQAXy-efJRYB-efQBp5-em66tj-efsmR6-cENafG-dMJvs3-en4PPF-e6EqJu-ecJRVJ-e6pKQ6-ek6sgo-ei8Brh-eAWKCw-dFV5kN-eqB6TM-bNkiBe-dYvGXF-efMgFh-eATBuR-eh7hDz-eh7hi8-eh7hu4-eh7h4p-eh7hag-eh7ho6-eAWK9m-efhiTw-dUz93S-dYvGYV-bK2B1V-efWWxb-efWWTJ-efRb6H-efRbwx-efWX7U-efWWZs-efWWB9-efWWsQ-efRbCg-efRbuv-efWWEY/
Google Glass. Beware in bathrooms of someone winking at you.

Yesterday someone asked me a question which I’ve been asked before but never covered it on this site… “What company do I think is the most consumer-oriented, innovative technology company?”

The context of the question related to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, who do I rate as the most innovative?

First we need to ask another question – “What is innovation?” To me, innovation is the skill to keep inventing new stuff, to keep redefining products and/ or business models. It’s the constant strive for change for the better, not just the sake of it. Continue reading Who is the most innovative Digital company?

21st century support

Bradbox WordPress error
A frustrating way to finish a weekend

If you’d visited this blog over the weekend, you’d have received a WordPress error message. I only discovered it on Sunday evening when I checked the site for feedback. Google Analytics revealed the outage started from about 1am on Saturday morning.

I tried fixing the problem. I tried everything I could to fix it. One limitation I faced was that I have been brought up on Microsoft technologies (.net and SQL Server) and not php and MySQL – the technology that this blog runs on.

Frustrated, I went to sleep on Sunday night knowing the site was still unavailable.

After work on Monday I returned home and tried a few more things. I reached out to a WordPress guru I know. He offered some advice but I’d already tried everything suggested.

And then I came across one of the new types of one to one support websites where specific experts help other users.

I’ve always been interested in this area of consumer support. Graduating in Computer Science a couple(!!) of years ago earned me the natural honour of fixing anything within my extended family that had electricity flowing through it. Since my degree I’ve been asked to ‘programme’ the clocks in various cars, fix a microwave, tune in a TV and set up speakers – my university course appears to have been highly practical from an external perspective.

When family or friends call for help with real computer issues such as domain names, broken hard drive, email configuration, or Google Apps, I wonder who people call if they don’t have access to a friend or family member with a technical computer background.

So there I was on Monday evening, urgently wanting my site fixed, on Wizpert.com. I thought I’d give it a try. The sign up process was fast, and within a few seconds I was talking to a friendly chap from Romania (yes… I wondered whether there was an Endava link too, but no there wasn’t) who was one of their WordPress experts. At first we were chatting on Wizpert’s chat screen, and then I offered for him to remote on to my screen using Chrome Remote Desktop.

Naturally I was sceptical, and thought at some stage he might try to install some spyware somewhere, or change some passwords for access at a later stage. I watched carefully as he moved around my virtual server.

Just under two hours later he had fixed the issue and after thoroughly testing the solution I was a happier man.

The issue wasn’t straightforward, and required two types of solutions. We were still puzzled at the end about how the problem had started on the Saturday night at 1am – our assumption is that one of the WordPress components ‘auto-updated’ and broke the MySQL installation.

Not everyone uses Amazon Mayday for support
Not everyone uses Amazon Mayday for support

Wizpert is one of a number of new support models arising in the peer Internet age such as Amazon have with the Mayday button.

On Wizpert, payment to the expert is discretionary.

If you do decide to pay, users buy ‘coins’ using a credit card or PayPal, and then send these coins to the expert who helped. There are recommendations during the chat process “Most users who this expert helped gave x coins to thank them”.

I doubt these support models will be used for enterprise clients, but as devices and applications become more complex – and certainly more essential to our daily lives, end-user support will transform from the current model of phoning anyone you know with a Computer Science degree, to being able to ask someone sitting a few thousand miles away for some help and advice.

The Titans of ecommerce – Alibaba vs Amazon

 

Alibaba billboard in London
Alibaba billboard in London

Alibaba had its record highest revenue day yesterday – a staggering $5.75bn in 24 hours during a promotional event. Or put another way, that’s $66,500 of sales per second. Alibaba is the biggest ecommerce business in China, and it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against its peers in the West.

Put into relative context, Marks & Spencer has annual revenue of £10bn per year – that’s around 3 times the Alibaba 24 hour amount.

Amazon released their annual revenue earlier this month. Their 9 month revenue (since Jan 1 2013) is $48.8 billion, of which $39.8bn is product sales – a better comparison to Alibaba.

Alibaba is planning to IPO soon, and rumours are that it’s value will exceed Facebook. And so it should. As a retailer, it has product sales and clear profits. It doesn’t rely on other organisation’s advertising and marketing budgets. Similarly to Amazon and eBay, Alibaba is a marketplace, bring sellers and consumers together, and the company doesn’t need to hold all stock itself.

On the subject of eBay, the first major online marketplace, it reported 9 months revenue of $11.5 billion.

The next major landmark will be when Alibaba achieves revenues higher than the biggest bricks and mortar retailer, Walmart, who posted revenues of $116 billion last quarter. Alibaba still has some way to go.

Mark Read, CEO WPP Digital on WPP’s digital future

WPP expect digital revenues to increase at the expense of print
WPP expect digital revenues to increase at the expense of print

This was the first keynote speech of ad:tech London. Here are my brief notes:

A key focus for WPP at the moment is China and the Internet

WPP has more staff in China than in the UK

Digital ad spend will grow from 95bn today to 180bn in 2018, at which point digital will exceed traditional ad spending

Digital will take revenue from print and other channels, not from TV. In fact, TV ad revenue may still grow very slightly to 2018

WPP will be concentrating on this [shopping] list for the next 5 years
WPP will be concentrating on this [shopping] list for the next 5 years
Key trends from Mark:

      1. Mobile. Its beyond advertising. Mobile is a CRM tool rather than another channel for banner ads. E.g. the British Airways app provides branding on a phone, alerts and transactions
      2. E-commerce will become ever more important. The uk is already the second biggest market for ecommerce to South Korea. The question is how to handle Amazon
      3. Data driven. Every website you visit will leave a digital footprint. The question is how to join these footprints and cookies together into one story, or a single customer view.
      4. Social. Many WPP clients see Facebook equals mobile. Mobile usage = Facebook usage. The top mobile apps are Facebook and YouTube (each with over 1 billion installs), followed by WeChat (in China), Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn.
      5. YouTube. 1 billion users consumer over 6 billion hours of content per month. That’s 6 hours per month per person. Video equipment on the high street at affordable prices, not just for professionals. Brands are joining in by supporting user generated content with product placement (e.g. Ford supplying vehicles for travellers).
      6. The Gatekeepers of the internet. Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft each have hundreds of millions, and some have billions of users. Working with them, or having a strategy of working alongside them, is key.
WPP feel technology is central to their clients' digital strategy
WPP said that technology is central to their clients’ digital strategy

In the next 5 years digital will account for around 45% of WPP revenue, it’s currently in the mid-30s.

WPP have bought ecommerce provider Salmon who produce the sites for Argos and DFS.

WPP doesn’t want to be a an ad agency. It wants to become a full marketing implementation agency in the next 5 years, competing with the likes of Accenture and Deloitte Digital.

The summary was this:

Ideas + Technology = great digital marketing

You need strength in both areas.

And I couldn’t agree more.

See the other presentation notes from ad:tech.