Welcome to Market Revolution's blog

Thank you for visiting Market Revolution's blog.

We live and work in exciting times - revolutionary times. Technology continues to recast the media industry.

The extraordinary advance of affordable personal digital technology and the stellar rise of social networks are both distrupting and transforming the media market making this a unique moment to be involved in the convergence sectors we focus on.

This is also our place to ruminate and comment on the world as we see it, we hope you enjoy and please join in.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Who needs an iPhone when....

Nokia is selling a $24,000 Ferrari Vertu telephone!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

More facebook

While not wanting the Market Evolution blog to become the facebook blog, a couple of additional thoughts on the future for the ravenous commercial beast which Facebook is hurtling towards becoming.

A tie up with Microsoft or google remains on the cards, with both businesses chomping at the bit to get a piece of the action. The strategists at myspace must be working all hours to work out how to regain the high ground they occupied, before Facebook steals all their thunder. Interesting strategic question for them to answer - how do they differentiate their offer in this market - what's the "sticky" content/application they need to launch to win back their audience?

The second thought is about the personal data each individual posts on Facebook, with Facebook currently looking at how to commercially exploit this information. My view is that if it's used invisibly, for targeting ads/products/services then this is smart and will not cause any reaction from customers. However, if this is blatantly and insensitively done, and people feel that they are being "data-raped" then wait for the bad reaction. Even though its a free service, if they get this wrong and upset people, then it could be a different story.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Facebook powers to top dog in UK

Facebook has overtaken News Corporation's MySpace site as the highest-traffic UK social networking site with 6.5m unique users last month, according to data published today by Nielsen//NetRatings.

This tallies with what our survey said (see post below) where our Periscope insight community reported that Facebook was the social networking site that was growing fastest and by miles.

We arent therefore surprised that its made it to top dog (officially) but we are taken aback by how quickly. This from Nielsen//NetRatings again - since October 2006, Facebook has rocketed from 448,000 unique users in the UK to 6,506,000 during August 2007.

Well done to the Facebook (uk) team.

Its also reported today (New York Times) that Facebook has a value of $10 - 13 bn - WOW wow wow!

CEO founder is (one rich) 23 year old!

Quote for the Day

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

Winston Churchill

Monday, 24 September 2007

Death of a great

Got a spare 90 seconds?

If so click below and enjoy the late great Marcel Marceau . Video courtesy of telegraph.co.uk.


Politics - in a nutshell

On day one of the Labour party conference I thought this was a great, sobering and truthful quote:

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Creeping integration?

There is no doubt that Daily and Sunday Telegraph are moving towards a 7 day operation. Todays appointment of Damian Reece as business head across both titles and telegraph.co.uk is further evidence that integration is not coming its already well underway.

Do we as readers care?

No - as longer as the efficiencies and cost savings are re-invested in continuing to improve the quality of the product, delivery and services.

Yes - if it results a bland, homogenuous, one look and feel newspaper.

Who is next The Times and Sunday Times?

web 2.0 confused?

With all the publicity and market hype surrounding web 2.0 we thought it would be helpful to provide plain english explanations of some of the major themes and parts of the whole social media revolution.

So click on the titles below for easy plain english explanations:

Social Networking in plain english

Wikis in plain english

Social bookmarking in plain english

We hope you found these explanations useful (we did)

We will be adding more as we find them so be sure to check for updates.

iPhone coming to shops near you in UK

The Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs, today confirmed that the company's much-hyped mobile handset, the iPhone, will go on sale to British customers on November 9th.

At a press conference held at the company's flagship London store, Mr Jobs announced that the iPhone - a mobile with built-in iPod and internet capabilities - would be available for £269, plus the cost of a contract.

He also confirmed, as expected, that the sole operator in the UK will be O2 and available in CPW stores.

So its on its way.

Will you buy it? - lets us know

Monday, 17 September 2007

Can you believe it?

8% of Britons who watch adult content on line do so at work!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The London freesheet war continues

The NRS figures are out for London Lite and the LondonPaper, and the war of words is underway between the east end Wapping boys and the West End sophisticats.

Greenslade, on mediaguardian, makes many good points as usual. Key here for me is that the base sizes on the titles are 231 and 250. About the same size as a Weatherspoons crowd on a Friday lunchtime. Not great to get any reliable and detailed profile information.

The NRS is just not geared up to cope with the subtleties of the London media landscape, and media buyers and advertisers are being seriously short changed at the moment.

The solution is a London only media survey, robust, fast moving and actionable. It's on the way, more to follow on that shortly


Seems that Apple iPhone has fallen foul of the Asian cloners. The iPhone doesnt launch in UK until nov (see above), the black market for "iClones" is certainly taking off.

The phones cost a mere $270, which is still far below the iPhone's reduced $399 pricetag in US.

Here's an image of one of the more popular iClones, see if you can tell the difference.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

web 2.0 - spreading like a virus

Click below for a complete (at time of publishing) directory of web 2.0 sites.

Web 2.0 sites

Check out the brand names and the logos - wonderful!

Final thought: to think someone has backed these services!


Facebook is about to get serious in the UK, which is already its 3rd largest market, by opening an office in Soho Square, a mere stones throw from Market Evolution Towers in the heart of the West End.

Key stats from the article credited below - 5.2m unique users a month in the UK, 60bn page views a month (to give that some context, that's 10 page views for every single person in the world) and a target of 60M unique users a month by the end of the year - which would need 200,000 people a day to be signing up from this point.

Their stated business model is to be more like google (which the more cynical here would view as a big invitation to get round the table for talks)and position as a "utility" rather than a social networking site. Big things are made of the applications which can be developed and dropped onto your profile page, though most seem to be fairly inane so far as I can tell. But, the fact remains that Facebook believe that the momentum in the market is with them, and they are riding the wave with confidence.

A final thought, most cool things start off small, go through explosive growth as the mass market follow the early adopters, then fall back as everyone realises it's no longer exclusive and cool but instead its something that your dad is also doing. Riding the wave before the bubble bursts (to mix a metaphor or 2) is a challenge, timing an exit even more so. We will use Periscope to see how cool the brand is right now among users and non-users. Full article link is below.

Murdoch 'back to the future' Dow Jones bid successful

Confirmed today that there are no challenger bids for Dow Jones so Murdoch wins.

As written here before we think KRM's bid for Dow Jones is important. It's further evidence that whatever the threat from digital to media brands the opportunity is greater.

As said, before here, the opportunity for established media brands with quality values and excellent product is enormous in the digital economy. Established media brands will flourish online as consumers want the security of brands they know and brands they trust. Too much choice is often a bad and confusing thing in consumers minds.

That said its also evidence to the fact that success is largely influenced by scale. DJ will benefit from the cross platform audience reach and the pockets of News Corp.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Social Networking - at a glance reality

As part of Periscope Market Evolution's ongoing monitor of peoples' digital lifestyles we have just completed a look into social networking. It's surfaced up some quite interesting data.

The highlights from the UK online survey are as follows:

  • 34% of the sample currently use social networking sites which is lower than we expected
  • that said 25% of these are new so its growing fast
  • MySpace is the most popular site and but Facebook is the site growing fastest which is inline with the incredible hype its been getting.
  • average duration of time spent on site is 28 minutes which is 'sticky'
  • 15% visit every day which is 'sticky'
  • average number of profiles per user is 2.4 which makes users alittle fickle
  • looks like its an activity that is reserved for home with 96% logging on from home.
  • only 1% access through their mobiles!
  • most popular uses are just passing time, chatting with friends, looking at photos, and getting in touch with old friends so no real surprises there.
To see full presentation of the finding and what it all means please email toby@marketevolution.co.uk

Friday, 7 September 2007

London Free Dailies - cant give 'em away

One year on am I alone in noticing that a lot of Londoners are now rejecting the offer of a London Lite or a copy of The London Paper?

Its very visible that many many people are now saying no to the kind offer of a free newspaper. Have you noticed the frustration on the hand distributors faces as the job get harder and harder.

God knows how many copies go undistributed on a daily basis but it a safe bet that the 'returns' are high.

Singnificantly if Im even close to being right then it wont be long before advertisers and/or their media agencies start to question ad prices, product environment and so

So why the rejection?

Here are some possible explanations

1. Free just isnt enough - these papers just dont deliver.
2. Rising awareness of waste and pollution - we are all more aware of the need to be 'clean'.
3. Ive done my newspaper reading for the day and these papers dont add anything so I dont bother.
4. Im fed up having a paper thrust into my hands.
5. The Tube is too full and I cant read it.

When the two free afternoon titles came out we talked to consumers about their likes and dislikes perhaps it time to revisit the sample.

We'll do that and let you have the results..........

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Site we like

I may be alittle late to discover content and news aggregators but we find www.netvibes.com so helpful

Check it out and sign up.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Its all about loyalty stupid

For many years I have wondered why media companies have not used loyalty programmes as a way of engaging and rewarding customers. Seems a bit of a missed trick given the competitive nature of the industry and the repetitive nature of the meduim.

Surely now is the time. Im sure newspaper readers would appreciate some organised recognition and generous (revelant) reward for their continued support of the meduim. Ditto tv, radio and so on.

As a specific example isnt it (finally) time for UK newspapers to cease with the senseless give aways and replace with thoughtful rewards programme that builds purchase frequency and strengthens reader relationships etc.

Maybe the reason for this missed trick is that there arent any loyalty marketing specialists out there? We know this isnt the case there are a few really great and intelligent shops out there. The real reason I fear is that building enduring relationships with customers requires thought, effort and long term committment.

Sound possible in a media company?

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Mind the gap - print revenues escaping faster than online can replace

Frantically trying to keep the bucket full, without being able to cover the huge hole in the side, continues in the US newspaper industry, according to an e-consultancy report (see below)

Print revenues (small long established competitive set) continue to shrink, while online revenues (competing against a much broader global competitive set)perform well, but not well enough to bridge the gap.

My view - you really have to keep up the focus on revenue streams from the customers who trust your brand. It's not rocket science in theory, but the number of media companies who are doing it well at the moment is small.

There's more to life than a website - talk to me directly with a relevant offer from a brand I trust, and you've got a good chance of making me open my wallet

Source: http://www.e-consultancy.com/news-blog/364145/online-newspaper-ad-revenues-rise-print-ads-fall.html

Online newspaper ad revenues rise, print ads fall

Ad spending on US newspaper websites continues to grow while spending on newspaper print ads declines, according to new figures.

Newspapers' online ad revenues increased by 19.3% year-on-year in Q2, according to the Newspaper Association of America, to a total of $796m (£395m) - their thirteenth successive quarterly rise.

But print ad revenues have taken a tumble, falling from $10.5bn in Q1 2005 to $9.8bn in Q2 this year.

The rise in online ad revenues has also not been enough to offset the drop in print ad spending. Total ad expenditure is down almost $1bn over the same period in 2006, a fall of 8.6%, the group said.

The big challenge facing newspapers as more and more people choose to read news online is whether online ad revenues will be enough to make up for the associated loss in newspaper sales and print ad revenues, and still enable them to pay for the cost of creating content.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Who owns the content?

The big football event of the weekend saw Coventry stay top of the league beating Preston at the Ricoh, live on Sky

However, the only place to watch the goals is on youtube, not on Sky.


Either youtube shouldn't be serving this, or Sky don't have the internet rights.

Confusing for us poor fans, all I want to do is watch the goal of the season from Michael Doyle, but I just don't know where to go to find what I want. Apart from the official club website, which is expensive in my view for what's on offer. I need guidance, I need to be informed, I need someone to tell me what the answer is.....

Tube Strike

A thought. If the 3 day tube strike goes ahead, and the millions of daily users don't get to see all the expensive media sites, particularly the fancy escalator TV screens, (which I think are very impactful) how big a refund will the media buyers/brand owners get back? And will TFL be able to recoup the money from the Unions? Or does Caveat Emptor apply here - you buy it but we never guarantee the size of an audience, or even any audience?

Super and Soaraway?

Newspapers are complex businesses in their own right, with many moving parts working in synergy to get a daily product out of the door and into 55,000 retailers every single day. That said, there are only a few levers to pull to increase revenues - mainly cover price, advertising revenues and commercial offers to customers.

News International are playing around with cover price again, with The Sun at 20p on weekdays to try and give the circulation a boost and keep it up over 3 million copies a day. 3 million copies a day is still a good result in one of the toughest markets in the world, but the cost in lost cover price revenues over a sustained period runs into the £millions and will be a drain on any business. Good sport brand TV campaign for The Sun at the moment by the way, well bought in that I've seen it 4 or 5 times, and well executed with a cut down version meaning I'm not bored of it yet.

Will be interesting to see how long the cover price stays at 20p, whether the Mirror will wait or react, and how well the audience perception of "best for sport" is cemented and increased by the marketing activity