Category Archives: social media

A Stream of Music, Not Revenue

Description:  When Spotify, the digital music company of the moment, announced this week an exclusive deal with Led Zeppelin and free access on mobile devices, it also reported impressive numbers. Its listeners have streamed 4.5 billion hours of music this year, and it has paid more than $1 billion in music royalties since its founding.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Dec. 12, 2013

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Yet even as they have grown, streaming companies have encountered a stubborn problem: Music lovers will consume large amounts of music as long as it is free, but getting them to pay a monthly subscription has proved much more difficult.

Pandora, the only publicly traded streaming company, delivers about 1.5 billion hours of music each month to more than 70 million users, but only about three million of them pay. The rest listen free but must endure advertising. Even though it has a market value of $5 billion, Pandora has yet to turn an annual profit.

“There is this irrational resistance for people to actually plunk down their credit card for streaming services,” said Ted Cohen, a digital music consultant with the firm TAG Strategic. “We’re 13 years into the Napster phenomenon of ‘music is free,’ and it’s hard to get people back into the idea that music is at least worth the value of a cup of Starbucks coffee a week.” READ REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:
1. What are the various business models to revenue from online music?

2.  Which business model has the best chance for success? Why?

Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing

Description: If reducing virtually all human interaction to purely transactional terms isn’t your style, you probably should avoid Gary Vaynerchuk.

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Nov 2, 2013

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 In recent years, that puzzle has given ulcers to a lot of executives. They have watched the rise of Facebook and Twitter, along with the advent of commercial-skipping technologies like DVRs and hardware like the iPad, and realized that spending money on television, print and radio will no longer suffice. But how do you market to people in these virtual realms? Given that these platforms are supposedly about friends connecting — it’s called social media for a reason — will anyone listen and look? Is it too much to ask for a return on this investment?

These questions have produced an age of anxiety in marketing the likes of which have not been seen since television and Uncle Miltie landed in living rooms decades ago, and it has given rise to a new tribe of entrepreneurs, all peddling their own forms of Xanax. There are now so many social media experts out there that some of them renounce the label.     READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  What is the Hashtag in social media marketing and why is it important?

2.  How do you market to people in these virtual realms?

You’re Not Just The Product, You’re The Ads (And Your Friends Should Thank You)

Description:  Word of mouth, sponsored. Trusted recommendations, promoted. Reviews from friends, endorsed. This is the new lexicon of advertising.

Source: techcrunch.com

Date: Oct 10, 2013

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Facebook pioneered this social advertising model in 2011 with its “Sponsored Stories” ad units. Facebook’s filtered News Feed only shows you the most important posts about your friends. But if you Like a brand’s Page or post, check in at a business, download or use an app, or share a link, advertisers can pay to boost that action’s visibility in the feed or have it appear in sidebar ads.

Twitter has social ads too. Its “Promoted Tweets” show posts from businesses you don’t follow. To show these businesses are reputable and relevant the ads show the names of people you follow who follow that business. A Promoted Tweet from HP in my stream mentions three accounts I follow that follow it. Twitter doesn’t use your face, words, or content in its ads, though, and the social context is much less prominent than on Google and Facebook.

Combing social signals with advertising makes marketing seem less generic, which is important considering how many ads we see on a daily basis.  READ REST OF STORY 

 

Questions for discussion:

1. “Without ads, services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter might have to charge.”  Do you agree with this statement?  Why or Why not?

2.  What are the downsides of “you: becoming the ads?

Give Yourself 5 Stars? Online, It Might Cost You

Description:  New York regulators will announce on Monday the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Sept. 22, 2013
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The yearlong investigation encompassed companies that create fake reviews as well as the clients that buy them. Among those signing the agreements are a charter bus operator, a teeth-whitening service, a laser hair-removal chain and an adult entertainment club. Also signing are several reputation-enhancement firms that place fraudulent reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Citysearch and Yahoo.

A phony review of a restaurant may lead to a bad meal, which is disappointing. But the investigation uncovered a wide range of services buying fake reviews that could do more permanent damage: dentists, lawyers, even an ultrasound clinic.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1. What do you feel is the best way to discern authentic reviews on the web ? Why?

2.  Do you feel that this problem could be the end of a service like Yelp Why or  Why Not?

Love Match Made in the Code

Description: In the quest to find true love, is filling out a questionnaire on a Web site any more scientific than praying to St. Valentine?

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 1, 2013
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Yes, according to psychologists at eHarmony, an online company that claims its computerized algorithms will help match you with a “soul mate.” But this claim was criticized in a psychology journal last year by a team of academic researchers, who concluded that “no compelling evidence supports matching sites’ claims that mathematical algorithms work.”            Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

1. In the quest to find true love, is filling out a questionnaire on a Web site any more scientific than praying to St. Valentine? Why or why not!

2.  Would you personally use a match-making site? Why or why not?

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Description:  “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Feb 16, 2012

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As the marketers explained to Pole — and as Pole later explained to me, back when we were still speaking and before Target told him to stop — new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. Most shoppers don’t buy everything they need at one store. Instead, they buy groceries at the grocery store and toys at the toy store, and they visit Target only when they need certain items they associate with Target — cleaning supplies, say, or new socks or a six-month supply of toilet paper. But Target sells everything from milk to stuffed animals to lawn furniture to electronics, so one of the company’s primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is Target. But it’s a tough message to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them.  READ REST OF STORY 

 Questions for discussion:

1.  Are there any ethical dilemmas to using big data in consumer services?

2.  What other commercial applications can you see for organizations in using big data?

3. What skill would you need to be able to use Big Data in an organization that you work for?

The Perils of Snapchat

Description:  CNN’s Samuel Burke looks at the new Snapchat Leaked website, which reveals people’s private photos.

Source: cnn.com

Date: May 31 2013

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Click on link to see video case

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/tech/2013/05/31/exp-idesk-snapchat-leaked.cnn.html

Questions for discussion:

1.  Do you see this issue with Snapchat as a problem? Why or Why not?

2.  What are some possible downsides of this service?