Sky Songs: First Take

Finally we get to see some fruits of the labour of the protracted negotiations between the UK music industry and the ISPs.  Sky’s long mooted service - Sky Songs - will go live on the 19th October with content from all the majors, powered by Omnifone  In doing so Sky brings three major assets to the table:

  • a scale of marketing clout and expertise that other music subscription services could only dream of
  • proven and deep understanding of packaging and marketing entertainment products
  • a large installed base of premium customers to target


At launch the service is to be marketed to all UK broadband customers rather than explicitly to Sky customers. This gives a wide addressable market, but it does mean that two other key assets are currently untapped:

  • bundling this offer with Sky TV packages
  • integration with Sky’s hardware


Sky does though, leave these as distinct possibilities on the road map, which is very wise as they could prove to be the secret sauce that could make Sky Songs a success.


Sky also do one other very smart thing that will stand them in good stead: they enable customers to ‘dip in an out’ rather than locking them in to a year’s commitment.  This is added to competitive pricing:

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Coolhunting with Teen Social Networkers

Davidcard[Posted by David Card]

follow me at davidcard

Two-thirds of online teens surveyed said they tell friends about
products — that's almost twice as many as adults — and more than 70% of
teens use social networks regularly.

So it's critical for marketers to
understand how to best use social networks to reach teens and to help
them spread the word. Forrester created a new audience analysis framework based on what teen social network users said were their motivations for using them. It turns out they use social nets for both communication and entertainment. (For teens, communication is entertainment.) Compared with adults, there are more entertainment-driven teen social networkers.

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Why Do Businesses Put Up With Dubious Quality Research Panels?

Now that solutions are finally available to "clean up" panels, will buyers at last insist that providers use them, or will a myopic focus on price continue to be the rule when on-line sample is used?

The use of online panels for market research was highly contentious at one time. Traditional researchers thought that they would be prone to the same problems as traditional off-line panels: filled with respondents that are not representative of the general population motivated by the desire to earn money taking surveys.

Despite these misgivings, online panels have taken off in the US (and are coming on strong in Europe.)  Why? Because they allowed research to be conducted in one third the time at one fifth the cost. This allowed buyers to say to themselves, "ok, maybe its not quite as project-able, but give the savings it's worth it." Also, many panel vendors claimed to be doing something special to ensure that their panels were better, and indeed several of them did.

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The Data Digest: Europeans' Device Adoption Shows Strong Growth For HDTV

Reineke Reitsma [Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

Laptops and flat-panel TVs have seen the strongest growth over the past two years in absolute terms. Data from our Technographics European surveys shows that laptop penetration increased from 26% of households in 2007 to 38% in 2009, while flat-panel TVs more than doubled from 16% to 34%. Flat-panel TVs also rate highest on consumers' wish list. Seven percent of Europeans intend to buy a flat-panel TV in the next six months — mostly as a first-time purchase — making it the fastest-growing household device among Europeans.

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Help Shape Our Upcoming Marketing Leadership Research!

One year ago, our panel of Marketing Leaders told us they were dissatisfied with their current media strategies: 71% had a hard time measuring the effectiveness of their media allocation, and 52% were struggling to drive a fully consumer-centric media plan.


How have those trends changed in just one year?


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Infographic (or infovideo really): Did you know?

Reineke Reitsma [Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

Interesting visual presentation showing how technology developments have changed the world (and consumer behavior).


International Kindle: Amazon's Holiday Play

As you've likely heard by now, Amazon has announced a price drop of the Kindle 2 to $259 and the launch of an international Kindle that will run on AT&T and partner networks in 100 countries. Here's our take:

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Amazon Kindle launches globally, sort of

Today, Amazon have launched a new Kindle that they are marketing internationally. Prior Kindle models were limited to use in the US. Key details:

  • Big promotion in the centre of the front page of Amazon sites in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.
  • Only for sale on and priced in USD at $279 (i.e. a $20 mark-up over existing Kindle2). Promotions above have links to Amazon's US site to buy.
  • Books are also for sale only via and are also priced in USD (at least for now).
  • This is the first Kindle that uses a GSM-standard mobile phone radio -- rather than CDMA -- for wireless downloading of books, sync of reading position with other Kindles and the iPhone Kindle app (i.e. to drive Amazon's Whispersync consumer cloud service).
  • Uses AT&T's mobile network and AT&T's global mobile roaming partners for Whispersync.
  • When outside the US, Kindle owners pay an additional charge for each book downloaded, currently USD1.99 per download. I imagine this also includes downloading PDFs via the email to Kindle conversion process and downloading small items like blogs or newspapers.

I'm frankly astonished that Amazon is marketing the above product internationally so strongly. Instead, it looks like a great fit for US residents who want to own a Kindle that works both in the US and when they travel abroad. Or, Amazon could have chosen a much softer and lower key international promotion on their various global sites.

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eReader Holiday Outlook: Forrester Ups Its Projections By 50%

Today we launched a new report, "Forrester's eReader Holiday Outlook 2009" (full version available to Forrester clients here), which updates our projections for eReader sales in 2009 and 2010. The data in this report comes from Forrester's consumer surveys as well as interviews with vendors and retailers.

E Ink recently announced that its 2009 revenues to date were up 250%, and were exceeding its earlier expectations. We, too, are observing the eReader market growing faster than we had expected: We published a report in May, "How Big Is The eReader Opportunity?", that pegged 2009 US eReader sales at 2 million. Our new report ups that projection by 50% to 3 million for 2009, with 30% of 2009 sales occuring in the holiday season of November and December.

There are a number of reasons why eReader sales are growing faster than we had expected, which we detail in the report, including falling device prices, more content availability, better retail distribution, and lots and lots of media buzz.

All these dynamics will compound to fuel more growth next year, and we expect more changes in the market that could push eReader sales beyond 6 million in 2010, bringing cumulative US sales to 10 million by year-end 2010. To get our full perspective on what will happen next year, you'll have to read the report, but here are a few highlights. In 2010, we'll see:

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Yahoo! Takes Baby Steps Toward Much Needed Search Improvement

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

Yesterday Yahoo! announced enhancements to its search advertising business and consumer experience.  These enhancements include the following:

  • Enhanced reporting -- Advertisers will now be able to see how their search ads are performing on compared to partner sites also serving Yahoo! search ads

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