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Empire Building at Google? April 14, 2007

Posted by K.C. in advertising, allances, Marketing, media, Merger.
5 comments

Recently, Google purchased DoubleClick, an online advertising company, for $3.1 billion. This is yet another large purchase from Google who paid half of that for YouTube last year. DoubleClick is one of the top online advertising companies who specialize in software for display advertising and has close relationships with various web publishers. For some time now, Google has had its eyes on DoubleClick because of their success in display advertising. Display advertising is essentially the picture ads on the banners and sides of websites. While Google is also an expert in online advertising, they have not been able to capture every aspect of online advertising. Google’s advertising strengths lie primarily upon small text ads that pop up when a user completes a search.

 DoubleClick’s strengths on the other hand, “…lie in flashy banner ads and, more recently, video ads that are more like high-end magazine or television ads.”  

 Purchasing DoubleClick means that Google will be able to track user patterns much more closely in an attempt to produce smart ads that are based upon a user’s interests and search habits. As usual, analysts argue that $3.1 billion may be excessive but DoubleClick had similar offers from Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo, its closest rival.

 

In the eyes of internet users, online advertising may seem ineffective but with this large purchase of DoubleClick, Google may know yet another thing we don’t.

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Don Imus April 11, 2007

Posted by collage9 in Idiocy, insipid, media.
1 comment so far

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, Don Imus, a radio host, made some very racial and sexist remarks directed towards the Rutger’s women’s basketball team recently. He even went as far as to call the girls “hos” and said that they looked more like an NBA team than a girls college basketball team. Imus’ show is aired on CBS Radio and can also be found on TV on MSNBC through NBC Universal. After the recent remarks, CBS and NBC have decided to suspend Imus for two weeks starting next Monday. Imus has apologized for his comments and said that his show is meant to be funny and sometimes they take it too far, and this time, they took it way too far. I’d say so. It makes me wonder if this two week suspension is enough. Many have called for Imus’ firing and want him off the air completely. Although I’m not sure this is the right choice either. Do you think that CBS and NBC did enough in their punishment of Imus? Major corporations like CBS and NBC have to worry about their image and their integrity. If other people think the punishment is not enough as well, will it have a harmful effect on the two stations? I’m curious to see how this situation plays out.

Microsoft Xbox 360 March 28, 2007

Posted by Charley S in innovation, media, Technology.
3 comments

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8O538L01.htm

The video game industry is a very competitive market.  Manufacturers don’t make money on actual console sales, they have to make all of their profits on the games that are sold at ridiculously high prices now approaching $60.  Realizing this, Microsoft with its Xbox 360 has moved to take advantage of this trend.  Through Xbox live, owners of the console can download movies, tv shows and complete games to play on the Xbox.  This program has been an unparalleled success, so much so that now Microsoft is releasing a beefed up Xbox system that has 100 more gigabytes of storage space for music and movies. 

What we are witnessing here is the increased trend towards technology combining into more integrated systems.  We’ve discussed the trend in cell phones that are now practically computers on their own, however the trend is evident in the video game arena now.  For companies like Microsoft and Sony this is a way for them to increase profits at very little cost to themselves because they are not enduring any of the creation costs of the media they sell and are basically acting as a middle man between media companies and consumers.  You can already link up your Xbox to your computer and tv, what’s next?  Before you know it alarm clocks, cell phones, stereos, game systems and refrigerators will all be linked together.  Microsoft is currently in the lead compared to rivals Sony and Nintendo when it comes to online content and as such they will probably enjoy considerable first mover advantages.  In addition, being the giant corporation that Microsoft is, I believe that they will be able to capitalize on this advantage and sink the necessary capital into this program to achieve market domination.

Hate Static on the Radio? March 25, 2007

Posted by K.C. in Auto's, Manufacturing, media, Technology.
4 comments

Radio broadcasters and audio tuner companies are finally using digital Radio, a new type of radio technology. The technology is called HD radio, not an abbreviation for High Definition, was developed by iBiquity Digital Corporation and was introduced about three years ago. Compared to analog radio, which is currently broadcast, this new radio technology will supposedly produce much better sound quality without any static interference.

In its first introduction, the high cost of implementing the new technology deterred radio stations and audio component manufacturers from introducing the technology to consumers but because of a recent drop in costs have began to adopt it. When HD radio was introduced, broadcasters were hesitant to adopt the technology because of the high cost consumers would have to pay for the new HD head units (car stereo). However, prices have dropped and companies now offer HD head units for around $200 and installation is comparable with satellite radio conversions.

Aside from the quality of sound from HD radio, what is interesting is the fact that no subscription is needed to receive HD stations and most large radio stations offer or will soon offer HD radio broadcasts. Furthermore, HD radio broadcasters can also offer several different broadcasts on the same frequency. This will therefore allow radio stations to target several niches of listeners and give their audiences a choice of several different broadcasts. However, thus far only BMW has announced they will offer HD radio tuner options in their cars.  

Do people see this as a viable alterative to satellite radio? Can HD compete with Sirius/XM radio?   

Google gets Sued March 23, 2007

Posted by wilson7 in Internet, media, Technology.
4 comments

I thought that it was ironic that we were talking about places where people watch movies or clips on the internet then I found this article. Viacom Inc. sued the video-sharing site YouTube and its corporate parent, Google Inc. seeking more than $1 billion in damages on claims of widespread copyright infringement. Viacom claims that YouTube has displayed nearly 160,000 unauthorized video clips from its cable networks, which also include Comedy Central, VH1 and Nickelodeon. This is the biggest confrontation between a major media company and the video sharing site owned by Google. The lawsuit came nearly six weeks after Viacom demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 unauthorized clips after several months of talks over licensing arrangements broke down. YouTube agreed at the time to comply and said it cooperates with all copyright holders to remove programming as soon as they’re notified, but since then, Viacom has identified more than 50,000 additional unauthorized clips. What do you think about the lawsuit? Do you think that Viacom has a legit reason to sue YouTube?

 

Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material protected by intellectual property rights law, specifically copyright law, in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner’s exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement

 

Other media companies have also clashed with YouTube over copyrights, but some, including CBS Corp. and General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal, have reached deals with the video-sharing site to license their material. CBS Corp. “We will certainly not let this suit become a distraction to the continuing growth and strong performance of YouTube and its ability to attract more users, more traffic and build a stronger community,” Google said. Personally, I use YouTube everyday and I think that they have a great selection of material that an individual can watch on their. I wonder is it too late for YouTube to reach a deal now.  

Business Week’s 50 Top Performers March 20, 2007

Posted by Stephanie in Customer Service, Finances, innovation, Internet, Manufacturing, media, pharmaceutical, Public Interest, Retail, Technology, telecommunications.
2 comments

 

Business Week recently announced its yearly 50 Best Performers article in the March 26, 2007 edition of the magazine. When first looking even at the title of the article I was skeptical about how these companies were selected. It seems impossible to compare every company in every sector and rank their performance. I was pleased however to find their criteria for making the selections seems to be as fair as possible.

Financially they use specific criteria and what they look for in companies when making this list. The two principal financial figures Business Week uses in its analysis are average return on capital and sales growth over the past 36 months. They also consider the importance of examining sectors separately, as factors within one particular sector may inflate or deflate the appearance of a company’s performance unfairly.

Specific quotations I highlighted when reading the article regarding what BW determines as strategies for success:

“…rewriting the rules of engagement in their industries.”

“…a deep understanding of customers, a competitive advantage that has enabled them to sell more good and services than rivals.”

“…work hard to anticipate and head off potential problems well before outsiders are even aware of these looming challenges.”

Details about all 50 companies are included in the compilation of roughly 40 pages of discussion. One particular company I had not heard of before, ranked 31 is Stryker. The company manufactures artificial joints, such as knees, shoulders and hips. Part of their success is due to the baby boomer generation who show no signs of slowing down in retirement even as natural aging takes is toll. Anther interesting aspect of the company is its preparation in changing CEO’s. As the current CEO, John Brown is planning on retiring, COO, Stephen MacMillan has had roughly 4 years to shadow and plan the transition. Both the process the company has developed for the transition and the mere fact that the CEO is not being forced out of the company it seems are two incidents not seen as often anymore.

I am still hesitant to agree that companies covering the full spectrum of all organizations and industries can not only be compared but ranked in a hierarchy. Business Week does an excellent job at attempting this challenge but I feel that some subjective factors weigh into the decision, especially between close rankings, say between spot 8 and 9.

 

1 Google

2 Coach

3 Gilead Sciences

4 Nucor

5 Questar

6 Sunoco

7 Verizon Communications

8 Colgate-Palmolive

9 Goldman Sachs Group

10 Paccar

11 Amazon.com

12 Cognizant Technology Solutions

13 Avon Products

14 Varian Medical Systems

15 Bed Bath & Beyond

16 CB Richard Ellis Group

17 Robert Half International

18 Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings

19 Adobe Systems

20 EOG Resources

21 Sempra Energy

22 Sherwin-Williams

23 Lehman Brothers Holdings

24 Rockwell Collins

25 IMS Health

26 Allegheny Technologies

27 Oracle

28 Starbucks

29 Moody’s

30 PepsiCo

31 Stryker

32 Best Buy

33 United Parcel Service

34 Apple

35 T. Rowe Price Group

36 Valero Energy

37 Constellation Energy Group

38 TJX

39 Morgan Stanley

40 Paychex

41 Coventry Health Care

42 United States Steel

43 United Technologies

44 Hershey

45 Black & Decker

46 Synovus Financial

47 Linear Technology

48 AT&T

49 XTO Energy

50 PNC Financial Services Group


I lost my car keys! Nissan’s New Marketing Campaign March 20, 2007

Posted by K.C. in advertising, Auto's, Internet, media.
3 comments

           Recently, Nissan North America began a campaign to promote its next generation car technology, particularly the new push-button ignition system that will soon be available on most of its cars. Nissan is attempting to use a different style of advertising that will target only a specific niche of consumers. Unlike previous Nissan advertising, their campaign will not be mass marketed on traditional media outlets. Instead, Nissan will be loosing car keys at clubs, bars, and concerts in hopes of targeting a more “in” young crowd. The keys will be on a key chain that include actual metal car keys, a card that says,

“If found, please do not return,” because the Altima “has Intelligent Key with push-button ignition, and I no longer need these”  

      The key chain also includes a short paragraph about the Nissan Altima, and a gas card that can be redeemed online for entrance into a sweepstakes and $15 worth of gas. Nissan used the True Agency who use guerilla style marketing and have been used for previous Nissan advertising campaigns. While the keys are fake, Nissan hopes to target consumers who are less influenced by traditional marketing campaigns and attract traffic to its newly updated website.

           

        This type of guerilla marketing is more prevalent in large cities where advertising space both, on the street and on TV and the internet is scarce. Personally, I think guerilla type marketing is very powerful and if I were to find a set of these keys, I would visit Nissan’s web site.     

The future of magazines March 7, 2007

Posted by Charley S in Internet, Manufacturing, media.
6 comments

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/mar2007/id20070307_564812.htm

This article in BusinessWeek describes the trend right now of how printable magazines are moving from print to online content.  The current way that magazines are distributed is extremely wasteful; over 50% of the magazines printed are not read at all and are either trashed or recycled immediately.  In addition, despite the launch of hundreds of new magazines each year the overall consumption of magazines in America remains constant.  New magazines are finding it harder and harder to remain profitable, even though many are extremely innovative and win all sorts of awards.  Many publishing companies are trying to milk the paper magazine while it still lasts by changing from a monthly to a weekly schedule, which quadruples the potential revenue from advertising.  Still, the trend to have all online magazines is unstoppable and eventually you will only be able to view magazines online.  To establish themselves to take advantage of this new trend, publishers will have to gain a new set of core competencies like internet website designers and graphic artists.  Publishers will have to combine these new people with the traditional magazine workers to make sure that they are profitable in the future.

Another topic that is touched on in this article is the issue of smaller magazines that may only have as few as 1,000 subscribers.  The author of this article contends that these smaller magazines will still remain in print because the people that read these types of magazines are very interested and committed to the magazine.  I desagree with the author because I think that costs will increase too much for small magazines to remain printed.  As the big publishers move to new online distribution methods, the old printers of magazines will either go out of business or will be forced to increase prices to remain in business.  Therefore, small magazines will not have the same number of printers to use  because in affect the large publishers were subsidizing the smaller magazines. 

CBS Cashing In March 6, 2007

Posted by collage9 in advertising, allances, Internet, media, monopoly.
2 comments

We all know about the excitement that March Madness brings every year, especially with the recent success of our basketball team in the tournament.  I know I’ll be watching intently as I do every year.  But perhaps this biggest winner in all of the excitement is CBS, which has the exclusive rights to televise every game in the tournament.  This year TV ad spending is expected to surpass $500 million, which would be a record high.  Everyone knows how big of a deal advertising is during major sporting events, and CBS is definitely cashing in. They also aired this years Super Bowl, which as we all know probably has the most sought after advertising spots on television.

Not only is CBS making money on the television advertising, but they are also beginning to air games on the internet.  Starting last year CBS decided to make available all games over the internet for free and the idea was a hit.  Previously, they had charged $19.95 for the service, but after deciding to air them for free the number of users watching sky rocketed.  The important thing is that the internet broadcasted games will feature different commercials than the television broadcasts.  Not only will companies be vying for the rights to television spots, but now also on the internet as well.  In addition to the internet broadcasts, CBS has also made a deal with DirectTV to create a Mega March Madness Package for $69 that will air every tournament game.  Basically, the company is making a killing off of the yearly tournament and are really the ones driving their competitors mad.

Britney in REHAB February 28, 2007

Posted by Bertan in humor, media.
6 comments

I know this has nothing to do with business or organization, but I was shocked to know that this star that we all hear about and either hate/love, checked herself in to rehab last week.. Yep, Britney Spears. They wanted to keep the location secret but of she was of course found, in California. Photos of her smoking and drinking were taken by the paparazzi.
One thing I found really interesting was, it apparently cost her around £40,000 to check herself into rehabitilation. Does that make any sense?? I don’t know maybe I am being naive but I feel that it should be a merit good funded by the government, or at least it should cost MUCH less than that to get your life back in order.
Another ridiculous but incredibly interesting rumor was that Britney shaved her head because Federline, her ex, threatened to get her hair tested for drug use, in order to gain custody of their sons. Another rumor is that Brit she went bald because she was suffering from terrible head lice, which is just gross.
Alright please don’t get me wrong, I have no interest in her life, but I just find it funny that the same girl who was claiming she was innocent and who was part of the mickey mouse club when she was young, ended up like this. Which goes to prove that star life is not that sweet.