Yesterday, Cablevision announced the roll-out of its new Optimum Online Ultra broadband service, with speeds of 101 Mbps downstream/15 Mbps upstream for $99.95 without a bundle. There is a lot to like about this announcement:
I had a fantastic time at the Forrester Marketing Forum in Orlando last week. Being a newly indoctrinated Forrester analyst, it was equally beneficial to meet clients and other Forresterites. It was great to see that a lot of clients blogged and tweeted throughout. A few clients put together great overviews of the forum.
The opening session focused on on taking risks in a down economy, a great way to jumpstart conversations during the event. I got a chance to roll up my sleeves and talk to a slew of clients one-on-one about how this notion could put them ahead of their competition. There were a few key themes that kept coming back:
Last week at the Marketing Forum, Forrester COO Charles Rutstein challenged a couple of us media & marketing analysts to answer the question, What happens when online CPMs get so close to zero that they make ad-supported businesses unsustainable? He drew scary charts on a napkin.
In my last blog post, I sketched out the e-Business ramifications of the pressures that were mounting on credit card fees and operational structure, both from the legislative/ regulatory front as well as from merchants, who had just launched a website dedicated to mobilizing consumers against the “unfair and hidden” credit card fee of interchange.
Social networking is the type of application that lends itself to frequent usage. A high percentage of young adults and teenagers check one or more (but typically one) of their social networking sites more than once a day. Sites that see repeated use are well-suited for applications on cell phones. Any brand or company thinking about high levels of engagement with their customers should probably be considering how applications fit into their mix within their mobile strategy.
Social networking giant MySpace reports its mobile usage increased roughly 450 percent in 2008, with users now generating 7 billion mobile page views per month. Speaking here at the Nokia Developer Summit 2009 in Monte Carlo, MySpace vice president and general manager of mobile operations John Faith added that in the last year, mobile traffic increased from 10 percent of all MySpace traffic to more than 35 percent--moreover, the company anticipates that sometime within the next few years, 50 percent of all users will access MySpace via mobile.
Ok, I admit that I used the word "iPhone" in the title to seek attention, but it is true. My first experiences with Stanza were on my iPhone. A friend suggested that I download the application. Free download. I often asked, "what is the business model?" Selling the technology is one possibility. The creators of Stanza have made a lot of money on an iPhone application. See release.
More seriously, it is an interesting play for Amazon. Heavy users of a service/function on a portable device - whether a PND, MP3 player, etc. - lean towards buying dedicated devices. I have a Kindle, and I love it. I have the Kindle application on my iPhone, but I don't use it. Casual users of these services will buy and use devices that are multi-purpose. Moreover, users don't want to worry about file formats. Lexcycle fills in some of these gaps.
Content players need distribution, content strategies and business models that span the range of portable devices. Adoption outside of laptops and cell phones is limited today, but devices such as portable media players, netbooks, etc. are filling in the space in-between.
Mobile strategies extend beyond a cell phone presence - more so for media companies today than those in other industries.
Last week, the number of downloads to Apple's iPhones and iPod Touches finally topped one billion. That is an impressive number coming from approximately 30 million devices in the market.
The word "iPhone" in the title of any newspaper article or otherwise turns heads and sells. I would offer, however, that the impact of the iPhone and its potential have been under-hyped. I believe that the impact on the industry is comparable to that of SMS. May not seem that way today, but it will in the course of time.
Here is a partial list of what it has accomplished so far. Apple has:
- Taught carriers that they don't need to own the end customer experience to profit from those customers.
- Demonstrated that consumers will pay for an experience that is unique and extraordinary.
- Shown carriers that they do well serving the average customer, but aren't equipped to serve each segment best.
- Taught consumers how to download applications to their cell phones.
- Taught consumers that their cell phones could do more than voice calls or text messaging
- Created a platform and a business model that is truly compelling to developers.
- Taught US consumers what "3G" is and accelerated demand for it.
- Weren't afraid to leverage their existing 60+ million billing relationships
- Shown us we don't need "open" for a great consumer experience
- Have ever consumer brand in the country thinking they need an iPhone application
I look forward to 3.0 and its possibilities. I don't think enough is being said about what Apple has achieved.