Signs & Portents: Nokia's 5800 with Touch Screen

Today, Nokia announced its first mainstream touch screen mobile phone, the 5800 XpressMusic. This is a mass market phone that's an evolutionary extension of existing Nokia designs. Priced at Euro279 pre tax or subsidy, the phone will be available for free on many contracts and should rapidly become available on pre-pay.

Whatever you may hear, this isn't Nokia's first touch screen device or even its first touch screen mobile phone. But unlike the 7710 this will be a mass market platform with real developer support. And Nokia will need it, as many existing Series 60 applications will require developer effort in order to work on the 5800.

The 5800's device aesthetics fit its price point. This phone isn't going to turn heads -- unless the extremely loud speakers catch people's attention -- although it's not ugly either. The deep curved shape fits nicely into the hand and its narrowness makes the 5800 very comfortable to hold and likely explains the leaked 'tube' codename. There are sensible button options along the sides to act as shortcuts for the media bar, dim the screen, adjust volume, go to home, or the classic Nokia green and red buttons to control the phone. While Nokia has forsaken its anti-touchscreen religion it has avoided the fallacy of adopting a new anti-button at all costs mantra, Apple-style.

In countries where both are available, the 5800 will be the flagship Comes with Music (CWM) device. This offers unlimited music downloads, both over the air, and onto a PC, for purchasers of a 5800 that is sold with a CWM bundle. Interestingly, while the 5800 will ship in 2008, the CWM bundle version won�t arrive until 2009.

Read more

Comes With Music: First Take

After much hype and anticipation Comes With Music is finally with us, along with announcement of the new "flagship" CWM handset 5800 (see Ian Fogg's post for more on the device).

Regular readers will already be familiar with the core featuresets of CWM so rather than a full laundry list I'll focus on highlights and the unexpected:

- Launched in UK on pre-pay basis on 5310 at 129.95 GBP with Carphone Warehouse (exclusive until end December)and N95 8gb on contract and 5800 next quarter. Pricing of 5310 is highly competitive (essentially the same price as an iPod Nano with unlimited music on top).
- EMI on board, so all majors and majority of indies. 100% chart coverage
- All music is permanent ownership
- 192kbs WMA files
- 12 or 18 month free music subscription (latter is new)
- Nothing to announce regarding a year 2 subscription

Read more

Most Important 2008 Digital Music Announcements, Part II

The other most important announcement in digital music this year (Nokia Comes With Music). MySpace Music was the other. And last year's was Amazon's digital downloads. Yes, Apple still dominates, but the game's getting a lot more interesting, and the innovations are coming from outside of Cupertino.

Facebook is Silicon Valley; MySpace Is Hollywood?

The NY Times' Saul Hansell asks, does anyone want to watch TV on Facebook? Well, according to a June Jupiter survey, only 12% of social network users regularly watch professional video on social networks. There's no statistical difference between MySpace and Facebook users.

Jupiter has identified a group of social networkers that says it uses them primarily for entertainment, and another that uses them primarily for friend-following. While MySpace had almost 60% of the entertainment types, it and Facebook each had 40+% of the friend followers. (Half our survey base were MySpace users and 30% were Facebook fans, which accurately represents US market conditions.)

That means MySpace just slightly over-indexed for entertainment. Clearly, from a supply-side perspective, MySpace is building out its entertainment offerings aggressively, while MySpace mostly focuses on communication utilities. (Communication is entertainment for a lot of social network users, of course.) But on the demand side, the audiences are still scattered.

Formal analysis in report form coming soon.

Reebok's "Run Easy" Creates A Movement, Not A Campaign

Reebok and its agency Carat shared the details of their "Run Easy" campaign -- a multichannel effort to create a movement in running.

The situation: Reebok has strong brand recognition, but a much smaller share of sales than competitors.  Reebok wanted to create a perception that running was for everyone, not just for the elite, a very different message than competitive positioning.  Reebok also believed that to do this well, they needed to create a *movement* around running.  It wouldn't work to try to motivate people around running just with a few outbound campaigns.

The approach: Creating a movement is different than creating a campaign.  In fact, Reebok used an approach somewhat contrary to how traditional media efforts are developed.  They seeded their market with the "run easy" idea in advance of a large media blitz.  Then they used media to further interest in the idea and enroll people in the movement.  And last they spread the message through in-person events and viral elements in order to drive participation and encourage the community to spread the word on Reebok's behalf.

From my perspective the primary lessons to take away from Reebok's effort, are:

Read more

NBC Universal Finds Olympic Investment Was Well Worth It

I'm back with some details from those cases presented at the BIMA event I went to last week.

Nick Johnson the VP of Multimedia Sales for NBC Universal shared some great data and lessons learned from NBC's "ownership" of the Beijing Olympics.

He called the Olympics a cultural phenomenon -- and for more reasons than their presence in China and all of the political hullaballoo that brought about.  From a media perspective, the games brought about significant behavior change among American consumers:

76% stayed up late to watch events
48% changed their routine in order to watch events when they were on
36% delayed doing things in order to watch events

On top of the high volume of television watchers:
56 million unique users came to NBC's site to watch events, get content, see replays
NBC saw 12.3 million video downloads, AND it saw 16.4 million unique mobile users

Johnson's conclusions from the research NBC conducted following the Olympics:

1) Television can still be king.  The Olympics were hugely successful at driving a mass audience for NBC

Read more

changes to my internet banking account


130 pages of information from MUFG to tell me about changes to my internet banking account

Just How Big A Deal Will Comes With Music Be?

In anticipation of the launches of Nokia's Comes With Music and Sony Ericsson's Play Now plus services, Jupiter has just published a report that assesses the likely impact that such Subsidized Mobile Music Services will have on the broader digital music market.

To assess the impact Jupiter fielded a consumer survey, but more importantly built a sophisticated adoption scenario forecast - in fact it is probably too sophisticated for its own good.

Some of the key findings of the report are:

- Subsidized services have strong potential but consumer appetite for paying anything at all is limited: just 5 percent of Europeans said they would pay more for a mobile phone or contract to get unlimited music downloads for one year. Thus 100% subsidizes are the best route to mass market adoption
- Mid term growth will be tempered by handset replacement cycles and consumer understanding of the value proposition
- The good news for record labels is that over half of interested consumers are file sharers
- Subsidized services will likely only grow European digital music revenues by 15 percent by year five, with licensing accounting for the lion's share

Twitter

Like my colleague, I am also a late joiner in the Twitter dance. I had always been reluctant to join the micro-blogging phenomenon (I started this blog 3 years ago) but was finally intrigued by the fact that the company would stop delivering SMS alerts for free outside the US. So, I decided to discover it by myself a month ago. I am still not 100% convinced but begin to see the value from a PR / news / interaction perspective.

Anyway, you can join me at http://twitter.com/Thomas_Husson