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.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

BP - profits an outrage

I never thought that I would find myself thinking let alone writing this but am I alone in thinking what an absolute outrage it is that BP profits have risen 148% whilst we have suffered 'at the pump'.

BP has seen its latest quarterly profits more than double, buoyed by record high oil prices.

Reporting its results for the three months from July to September, BP's replacement cost profit totalled $10bn (£6.4bn), up 148% from a year earlier.

Isnt it about time that 'utilities' stopped making out at our expense? BP leads the way, but the supermarkets, the power companies and the water companies are all just as bad.

Windfall tax?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Is DAB the new Betamax?

We take a broader view of media than just the traditional inky papers, and Digital Radio is in an interesting place at the moment.

Launched to a fanfare of digital trumpets, DAB heralded a brave new world of commercial digital broadcasting, where content would be king and consumers would have a wealth of radio pleasure at their fingertips, in crackle free high definition clarity.

Well, that was the thinking anyway. Media companies saw an opportunity to take the analogue advertising funded model and place it on a digital spectrum, drive up their audiences through a technologically better offer, and watch the money roll in.

Only, it's not happened. At all. With Channel 4 pulling out of their digital radio consortium at a cost of a rumoured £10m, along with the bloodbath in the advertising market predicted for 2009, where does that leave digital radio?

Let's pause for a moment and look at this from the consumer perspective. Cost of technology has come down, but it's still £50+ for a DAB radio. The signal is clear, but actually not as good as promised, and the time lag means that you need a house full of DAB radios to move from room to room without having a problem with FM synching. You do get a nice display on your radio though, which tells you which station you are listening to. We had this at home in the 1970s though, it was a little sticker which you placed on the front of the radio on the FM frequency it applied to. Not digital, but just as effective.

The controversial (though obvious) prediction for the future of DAB is that there isn't one. It'll go the way of Betamax, the Sinclair C5 and the Sega Dreamcast, replaced by better technology which consumers actually want. The future is a combined FM, DAB and internet radio, giving the consumer access to internet radio broadcasting from around all the world.

I have an internet radio, it works off the home wifi, and I can pick any country in the world, and any genre of station, literally tens of thousands of stations at my fingertips 24 hours a day. Venezualan Jazz? Not a problem. Talk radio in New Zealand? Choice of 3 (though all of them are awful and remind why I was happy my relatives decide to emigrate there). As an aside, not quite sure how a local New Zealand radio station can commercialise my "ears" and charge advertisers, but I'm sure it's on their to-do list as I type.

DAB is dead. Spread the word, the internet has claimed its next victim.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

iPhone - monumental growth

Apple managed to sell 6,892,000 iPhones in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2008. They sold just 1,119,000 iPhones in fiscal Q4 of 2007.

Perhaps more interesting is they sold more phones in the quarter than RIM (blackberry to you and I!)

This makes Apple the 3rd largest mobile phone supplier in the world, behind only Nokia and Samsung (and followed by Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola, and RIM, in that order.)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Al Qaeda - more cash than the banks?

This won’t exactly be popular with the FBI, but the terrorist organization Al Qaeda is awash in funds. Anti-terrorism efforts to expunge Al Qaeda from the worldwide banking system mean it is sheltered from the rest of the world’s economic troubles. Al Qaeda’s principle source of funding is $800 million derived from the opium and cannabis trade. Its money-handling methods may be simple—they include moving cash by hand—but then isn’t it complexity that got Western banks into trouble in the first place?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Amazing fact of the day

facebook hosts 10 billion photos.

Wow thats a lot of photos. ok so we know youve got the photos but where are the revenues?

Like school boys infront of the head

Check out the drama behind the $250 billion US bank bailout.........

The chief executives of the nine largest banks in the United States trooped into a gilded conference room at the Treasury Department at 3 p.m. Monday 13th October. To their astonishment, they were each handed a one-page document that said they agreed to sell shares to the government, then Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said they must sign it before they left.

This is great isnt it 'youve been caught out and now its time to take your punishment - no ifs, no buts, no second chances'.

Allegedly there were some whinges (partic about executive pay curbs - can you believe that!) but they all signed.

Excellent work

Monday, 13 October 2008

obvious humour - but funny anyways

Please click on image to enlarge

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Who would have thought?

Economic slowdowns are hard and for many this will be the first they have ever experienced and it will be quite a shock. Some one asked me today how my sector (media) was holding up and I (after a brief pause) was able to say 'well my sector has been in an economic slow down for some time now so this whilst hard isn't so terribly hard for us (so far)'.

That's quite a thought really. In many ways it quite reassuring to find many of sectors that were allegedly performing so brilliantly to now find themselves in the doldrums (or worse).

I thought Peter Preston nailed it so brilliantly on his piece in The Observer last Sunday. He basically said that newspapers having been the punch bag for bankers for so long were now more resilient and more profitable than banks........Read Peters piece here in full. Its fun. Click here to read.

Whatever happened to those nice people at Ocean Finance?

When the UK's largest banks are having to consolidate all their loans into one new affordable monthly payment, who do they call?

These are odd times we are living in, to use an understatement of Titanic proportions. We've been commenting over the last few months on the current crisis as it unfolded. Did we predict this was on the way? Yes. Did we predict the scale of it? No, nowhere near the extent that the last 10 days have witnessed.

Today's Sunday papers have done what they do best, taking a considered and in-depth view of the current situation. They have also been hamstrung by the speed that the World is having to move, as I type, 4 of the 5 largest UK banks are working out just how much taxpayers' money they need to stay afloat. £35 billion is the current figure being bandied around, but by the morning, who knows how large this will be.

Taking counsel from my peers who are working in the media sector, in finance, and in the legal sector, there seems little cheer. Deckchairs are being arranged as the iceberg moves rapidly closer, as everywhere there is paralysis and financial confusion. When one of my good friends was personally responsible for 1% of all the mortgages granted in the UK last month (by value) then the world has truly been turned upside down.

The trouble with this meltdown is that technology has linked everyone across the Globe. We have no transparency or clarity, which is generating digital panic, which occurs everywhere, all the time.

Personally, I have absolutely no idea whether there is light at the end of the tunnel. And if there is, whether it is just an oncoming train. I cling on to the advice given by my favourite lawyer. "The sun will carry on setting, and carry on rising, and the world will keep turning. Everything else is mere detail, which you mostly can't control".

Odd times indeed.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Our banks, 44th safest in the world? Really?

Our banks, 44th safest in the world? Really?

Thanks to Tony Bonsignore | 08:35:42 | 10 October 2008 for this

If you worry about our banks being up the solvency creek without a capital paddle, then you should see what the rest of the world thinks of them.

According to the latest World Economic Forum survey, UK banks were deemed only 44th best in the world in terms of their soundness.

On a scale of 1 to 7 - with 1 indicating ‘insolvent and may require a government bailout’, and 7 representing ‘generally healthy with sound balance sheets’ - Britain apparently scored 6.0.

6.0! A great score in figure skating, certainly, but a poor-to-rubbish one for banks in a developed, G7 economy.

Just listen to the banks immediately above the UK in the list: El Salvador, Peru, Lithuania - even the United States, for goodness’ sake.

No offence meant to these great nations, of course, who if they ever read this would probably be mortified to hear their banks mentioned in the same breath as our broken behemoths.

Of course this survey was undertaken well before the recent blow up, which may account for Ireland’s bizarre positioning at number 9. And before you ask, Iceland comes in at number 36, a full eight places ahead of the UK.

So then, is the rest of the world right to consider our banks a little less safe than those in emerging Latin America or Eastern Europe? Indeed, are they even that safe any more, given this week’s events?

On a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being ‘solvent and healthy’ and 1 being ‘in a terminal state’) - where would you now place our banks

Image of the day

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

How to take a great message and communicate it really badly

This is a real email, sent to key decision makers and clients by this organisation.

There's some really interesting news here, but its power is muted and stifled by the delivery. Have a read, and see how good you think it is......

Dear :
I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you my excitement about our plans for mobile media measurement. As you may recall, we acquired M:Metrics, the leading mobile media measurement company, last May and have been tirelessly working to expand our mobile measurement and integrate M:Metrics’ mobile data into the comScore product suite.

In less than five months, we have fully integrated the M:Metrics data collection within the comScore infrastructure to leverage the scale and power of our platform. Data from the M:Metrics panel of metered smartphone users is currently viewable in the Media Metrix interface. On October 20, you will see the rest of the M:Metrics product suite side by side with PC web audience measurement within the MyMetrix interface, but that’s just beginning. Allow me to elaborate:

Expanding the World’s Only On-Device Mobile Behavioral Measurement
Always a leader in innovation, comScore has achieved another first in the measurement industry as the only firm to provide direct behavioral measures from the mobile device. For the past two years, M:Metrics has been metering mobile Internet usage on smartphones in the United States and United Kingdom. We are planning to dramatically expand this service in 2009 by adding the measurement of additional platforms, such as feature phones, the iPhone and BlackBerry. We have also committed to expanding the size of our metered panel to 5,000 by the end of the year, and 10,000 by the first half of 2009. This will allow comScore to provide reliable audience data for hundreds of mobile Internet sites, including metrics such as UV’s, page views, day of week, day part and session length. All of these data will be available in the MyMetrix interface and classified according to the comScore web dictionary.

Convergence is Power: PC/Mobile Overlap Panel
The recurring question for advertisers considering the mobile medium has been, “What is the incremental reach of mobile?” In the next two months, we plan to release data on mobile and web usage collected from the same people. Furthermore, we will have the first panel of people who have opted in to behavioral tracking on both their mobile phone and PC, by the end of the year. This panel will for the first time provide clients with a clear, behavioral-based view of the true reach of properties across both the PC and mobile channels. In addition to understanding the incremental reach of sites, we’ll also help clients compare mobile and online browsing behaviors, providing insight into sites and categories that have significant overlap versus those that have truly incremental users on one platform or another.
In the meantime, we have expanded our mobile survey to measure the audience for more than 300 mobile Web properties. These data are being collected in November, and will be available in the early part of December.

Leading in Innovation: Mobile Advertising Effectiveness
We are continuing to solidify our leadership position in behavioral measurement in the digital space by moving toward reporting on mobile advertising effectiveness using comScore’s patented on-device meter and by integrating mobile metrics across the comScore product portfolio, specifically Ad Metrix, Brand Metrix and Plan Metrix to enable true, behaviorally based advertising effectiveness metrics. Ultimately we’ll be able to provide our clients with the ability to measure the impact of advertising across both the mobile and online channels based on behavioral metrics, providing a true ROI measurement that the market has been requesting. Similar to the online advertising industry in the early 2000’s, the mobile advertising ecosystem needs independent, third-party measurement of traffic and advertising effectiveness to provide advertisers with the metrics necessary to continue to expand their mobile advertising spend.

We anticipate that clients will require additional support as we enhance these exciting new products. To ensure that we provide excellence in customer service we are immediately deploying a dedicated client service team that is fluent in all comScore and M:Metrics offerings. If you are interested in learning more about comScore’s mobile products, please contact your account manager.

Thank you for allowing me to convey my enthusiasm about our mobile product roadmap. We appreciate your support in our pursuit of innovation in digital media measurement.
Dr. Magid Abraham
CEO, comScore, Inc.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Power blogging?

Its been quite widely reported this evening that Robert Peston's (BBC business editor) blog caused a massive sell off in banking shares today.

Mr Peston reported in his blog this morning that the heads of the UK’s largest banks had approached the government for a capital injection of up to £45bn ('Banks ask chancellor for capital').

The story has been hotly denied by the banks but the damage was done....

We dont know whether it was Robert's blog that triggered the sell off but even the suggestion that it was recasts blogs as a powerful medium with the potential to cause considerable repercussions

Monday, 6 October 2008

How old do you have to be before you are brand conscious?

My 6 year old wants an iPod.

Not just any MP3 player, but an iPod.

He's 6 and brand literate already. Slightly scary to see the power of advertising on one so young.