The Importance Of Having Content

The news that Joost is scaling back its plans for world domination to focus on developing white label services is not a surprise. But it is a marker of sorts, given that back in the day Joost was a poster boy for a new kind of mid-form online video destination that would flourish in the perceived gap between YouTube, with its skateboarding cats and ad-unfriendly farting fratboys, and the old media dinosaurs wedded to distributing their prized content on TV.  Sadly, the game moved on.

So what lessons can be learnt from Joost’s experience? First of all, it took the wrong decision by asking users to download client software. As iPlayer discovered in 2008, users want streaming: it turned out the appeal of YouTube wasn’t just the content, it was the instant click and play experience. Joost changed to a streaming model – eventually -  but too late to engage the audiences who had already discovered iPlayer and Hulu.


The media business is still about content, and those who have spent millions of dollars creating and acquiring it are not inclined to let someone else distribute it online. The likes of ABC, NBC/Fox and the BBC (as well as smaller brands) built their own online video platforms to deliver content direct to consumers. At the other end of the spectrum, YouTube started to clean up its act while experimenting with longer-form content. Joost got squeezed out.

Read more

Convenience Quotient As Applied To Customer Service

In my last post, I mentioned that I would soon be publishing a CQ document of my own about convenient customer service. That day has come!  Here is the executive summary from "Enhance Your Product Strategy With Convenient Customer Service":

Customer service has become an integral part of product strategy, and, as such, it should now be a primary concern of consumer product strategy professionals. Customer service has also grown more complex: Consumers used to simply bring the product back to the store from which they purchased it or call a toll-free number to obtain service. More customer service options now exist, including email, IVR, and online chat. Moving customer service online is a double-edged sword — it's expensive to provide effective online solutions, yet the more customers move to them, the lower the costs. We apply our Convenience Quotient methodology to various forms of customer service and find that nothing beats having a live person on a phone line available for troubleshooting. Other methods offer their own mixes of benefits and barriers to consumers. Consumer product strategists should think of customer service, in whatever guise, as a critical product attribute and weave their choice of interaction directly into their overall product strategies. I evaluated a variety of channels by which customer service issues can be resolved, as well as some indirect alternatives such as leaving the issue unresolved ("do nothing") or buying a new product or churning to a different service rather than working with the company toward resolution.  Here's a "sneak peek" at how the results came out:

Read more

Digital Britain and Music Piracy: First Take

Tuesday’s Digital Britain report covers a lot of ground and I’ll leave it to my colleagues to cover much of it, but I’ll focus here on the parts which refer most directly to the music industry.

The interim draft was a master class in nuanced, caveat-drenched civil servant speak that carefully avoided making a definitive call in any one direction.  The final report thankfully takes a more direct approach but many music industry executives will feel that the tone is struck firmly in the favour of the ISPs.

The report starts off with reaffirmation of the interim report’s assertions that the current digital market place is struggling and needs a framework of support to protect and uphold Intellectual Property (IP) in the digital domain, stating:

“The content industry faces a significant challenge. At its heart the current model is not working.”

And goes onto recognize the difficulty of monetizing consumption and the need:

“to turn a strong user base into hard currency.”

It even takes a very strong line on IP violation:

“The Government believes piracy of intellectual property for profit is theft and will be pursued as such through the criminal law.”

Read more


New Convenience Quotient doc just published

If you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to check out Paul Jackson's latest report entitled, "The Convenience Quotient of Portable Computing."  Here's the abstract:

Read more

INQ ' s Twitter Phone

Just saw this post in moco. INQ did a Facebook phone last year that I think offers one of the best social networking experiences on a cell phone. They truly integrated content from Facebook into the contact list. My two cents is that social networking features on cell phones like these will make cell phones the preferred device for these activities - may even trump the PC longer term. Am hoping to prove with some research later this summer.

INQ Mobile To Release Twitter Phone

By Dianne See Morrison - Tue 02 Jun 2009 08:10 AM PST


INQ Mobile, the cellphone maker behind the "Facebook Phone," is hopping to tap into Twitter's surging popularity by releasing a Twitter phone, in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season, Reuters reports. Like its Facebook phone, the Twitter phone would be a mass-market feature phone, and would cost carriers less than $140. So far, INQ's phones, which also includes a Skype phone, have only been picked up by carrier Three, whose parent company, Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa, also owns INQ. Since the launch of its Skype phone in 2007, the cellphone maker has sold a total of 700,000 devices.

Read more