The Interactive Attribution Wave is Live

Riley, EmilyAfter talking about the topic of attribution for several years now, I'm very excited to be publishing a Wave that highlights the key companies in the interactive attribution space. The companies are: Atlas, ClearS, Coremetrics, Theorem, Trueffect, Visual IQ and x+1. You may not have heard of some of these companies, and many of these companies don't even consider themselves competitors. Two signs that we are really at the leading edge of this topic, and have a lot of room to grow. That said, we found some robust solutions out there that are doing a lot to advance marketers' abilities to more accurately measure and buy online media.

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Take The Conversation Offline At Forrester’s Chicago Tweetup

Are you attending Forrester's Consumer Forum 2009? Do you
live in the

Chicago area? Do you ever wonder who you are talking to on Twitter?

On October 26, the night before Forrester’s
Consumer Forum
, Forrester will be hosting an Chicago Tweetup. Tweetups are low-key social
events where Twitterers can network and meet the people they tweet with. Anyone
can attend; it is an informal atmosphere that allows casual conversations.

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B&N Nook: Taking On Amazon Head To Head

eBook wars continue.

Tomorrow, Barnes & Noble (B&N) is expected to announce its own B&N-branded eReader device--the Nook, as the Wall Street Journal reported this evening. The device is expected to be wireless and touch-operated, with dual screens--a 6" E Ink display for reading, and a smaller color LCD screen for navigation, video, and...ads? 

In other words, the B&N eReader could be a Kindle and an iPhone put together. 

I knew from conversations with my own sources that this would be a cool device, but I didn't expect that it would be priced, as the WSJ reports, at $259. This puts the Nook competing squarely with Amazon's Kindle 2--most likely with a razor thin margin, if any, for B&N. To steal market share from Amazon and make up for lost time, B&N is pricing the Nook as aggressively as possible.

Getting the price right is crucial to success in this emerging device market. As we published earlier this year, most consumers expect eReaders to be $99 or less. But we expected something in the range of $399, which would make the device competitive with the other touch + wireless eReaders on the market, the Sony Daily Edition and the iRex DR800SG, both of which will be sold at Best Buy among other retailers. Pricing the Nook a full $140 below these other devices sends a strong signal that B&N is focused on Amazon, not Sony, as competition.

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XBox and Sky raise the bar for IP-delivered video

The link up between Xbox LIVE and BSkyB, announced earlier this year, goes live next week in the UK, and the jointly-funded ad campaigns are under way. From the live demo I’ve just seen, I’d say this raises the bar for internet-delivered video.

Users with an Xbox LIVE Gold account and a Sky subscription will soon be able to watch Sky’s live channels (such as Premier League football on Sky Sports 1 and 2, or Sky Movies) on their TV via their Xbox. This allows them to watch at the same time as similarly connected friends, with who they can communicate via on-screen avatars (in a virtual front room) or via their headsets.

It’s a fun, social way to consume content, and in an age of increasingly fragmented audiences reinvents the notion of TV consumption as an event. Even better, it supports and reinforces Sky’s fundamental principle that its high-end content is worth paying for, however you receive it.

One small gripe – there’s no obvious way yet of connecting via live text feed on-screen – inputting text onto a TV screen is still a hurdle for interactive products -  although Xbox does separately support Facebook and Twitter. Some kind of future link-up allowing users to send messages direct to their virtual on-screen friends from their laptop would be fantastic.

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Will In-Sourcing Kill Full Service Research Firms? Some Notes From CASRO:

I just returned from presenting at CASRO. The topic was "Will In-sourcing Kill Full Service Market Research Firms." It was a review of the major economically driven trends around quantitative and qualitative research and why many of the online tool vendors for market research have had good years, while many full service research firms have not.

I was a bit jumpy about presenting to the CASRO audience, since it is almost all market research vendors, and I knew that some (who supply the enablers of in-sourcing) would like my presentation, and others (who are exclusively full service) would be less happy. As it turns out, the audience was gratifyingly enthusiastic. Everyone recognized that the self-service trend was indeed making some permanent changes in the research marketplace, but that full service would continue to exist in a slower growth form. Those who were on the full service side of the house were quite interested in discussing how to harness these trends to their advantage.  

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Spotify: Comes With Music's Latest Threat

As I referenced at the end of my previous post, Spotify – the European streaming music service – has struck a deal with UK mobile operator 3, bundling the cost of their premium subscription into the phone tariff.  I’ve done a few press calls on the story today and the recurring question has been “where does this leave Nokia’s Comes With Music”.

 

Although the business model and value proposition are very different in many respects (thus suggesting risk of direct competition is low), there are also many similarities. Both offer unlimited music free to the end consumer, and now both are mobile. The distinctions between streaming and downloading is becoming increasingly irrelevant to end users (though rights bodies will continue to obsess about the distinction). The differences the consumer feels are of course what matters.  Given that CWM and Spotify have comparable catalogue, the key differences between fully subsidized mobile offerings will be:

 

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The Intelligent Approach To Customer Intelligence

Dave Frankland [Posted by Dave Frankland]

Follow Me on Dave Frankland

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Music Subscriptions wherefore art thou?

With paid music downloads falling far short of offsetting the impact of declining CD sales, next generation subscription services need to succeed if recorded music sales are ever going to come out of their nose dive.  There is certainly lots of supply side activity, with services launched or announced in the last year from, Nokia, Spotify, TDC, Sky, Virgin Media to name but a few. And the incumbents have been busy reworking their offerings (cf Napster’s new 50%-price-cut-with-MP3s play).

 

Music subscription services have a lot of history but not a huge amount of success, so what gives the current new crop any chance of survival, let alone success?  The key will be hiding some or more of the cost to the consumer and adding real value.  The bottom line is that many consumers are simply unwilling to pay for music and even fewer are interested in paying a monthly fee for it.  So success lies in making the services free or ‘feel like free’ to the end user, subsidizing the costs through savings to, or increased revenue from other core products.  TDC, the Danish telco, has pioneered this approach with its free-to-consumer service that is available only to its customers.  (A cynic might argue that Spotify is doing the same, subsidizing its free offering with VC funding!) 

 

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A Simple Way To Think About Attribution

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

My colleague Emily Riley** has written about attribution modeling -- the "new" approach to online measurement which tracks more than just the last ad clicked.  Emily's approach of "block and tackle attribution" gives marketers a framework for how to track value across both mainstay and social interactive tools.

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Marketers Struggle For Interactive Support

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

I'm just back from Dallas where I was part of the iProspect/Range Online client summit -- a one day event of mostly client stories (from a high profile list of marketers) about their successes and woes this year. Overall, I found the event provided a great pulse on present interactive marketer challenges.  But it was less rife with answers or solutions to these challenges.  Maybe that was by design as the

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