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Smartphone Sales To Stall In Russia

Bloomberg Business

(Bloomberg) — Smartphone sales in Russia are set to stall this year as Apple Inc.’s iPhone volumes decline while households bear the brunt of the blowback from the Ukraine crisis and falling oil prices, according to researcher IDC.

Sales of devices surged 46 percent last year in the country to 27 million smartphones and will remain at that level this year, Simon Baker, a Moscow-based analyst at IDC said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We expect Apple volumes to drop after the boom.”

Apple doubled iPhone shipments to Russia to 3.25 million last year, garnering $2.14 billion in sales, according to the researcher’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.

While Samsung Electronics Co. remained the market leader, shipping more than 6 million smartphones last year, its revenue share was overtaken by Cupertino, California-based Apple.

In the fourth quarter, when Russians rushed to spend their tumbling rubles on big-ticket items including premium handsets, iPhone sales reached $827 million, or a record 46 percent share in the Russian smartphone market, versus Samsung’s 18 percent slice, according to IDC.

“Cheaper Android handsets will undoubtedly do well this year as consumers cut outlays,” Baker said, declining to comment specifically on Samsung. Lenovo Group Ltd., LG Electronics Inc. and Sony Corp. increased their share in Russia last year, according to IDC.

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UK startup Clippet targets millennials with audio news to go

DigiDay

Clippet News has emerged as the U.K.’s first serious contender offering on-demand, audio news for young mobile audiences.

The London-based startup was launched in September and comes with an impressive pedigree: James MacLeod, grandson of Rupert Murdoch, is a co-founder. Each day Clippet offers a selection of 10 news stories digested into one-minute audio clips. It is an interesting twist on the current vogue for daily news digests, such as Yahoo News Digest, NYT Now and others.

The further, perhaps inevitable, twist: Clippet is going after millennials. Its team of six journalists are all under the age of 28. Young, often regional newscasters stand in contrast to the typical tone of British radio news bulletins. Eventually, it’s planning to pursue content syndication and sponsorship deals to turn a profit.

 

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The State of Digital Marketing

Econtent

Ask 10 consumers to define “digital marketing” today, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. Some consumers may reference irritating browser pop-ups and spam, while others will cite YouTube tutorials and email newsletters. No matter what form it takes, digital marketing is only going to increase–especially in a world where ad-supported free apps and content are more popular than ever.

For George Schildge with Matrix Marketing Group, digital marketing in 2014 and beyond means creating a more connected customer experience via marketing that makes use of every electronic device imaginable to engage stakeholders. “In the past, digital marketing was disconnected. We had sales force automation and email platforms, but the systems weren’t connected. Today, we are beginning to see a full-blown marketing backbone where marketers have greater visibility over consumer habits,” says Schildge.

Consider that marketing leaders will, by 2019, spend more than $103 billion on search marketing, display advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing-exceeding their spend on cable and broadcast television advertising combined-according to Forrester Research. Additionally, a greater majority of industry professionals are taking digital marketing more seriously. Results of a new survey by Demand Metric found that 91% of marketers indicated that digital marketing was “important” or “very important.”

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2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

MediaPost

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, e-mails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is via dark social. Further, a whopping 91% of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72% of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either e-mailing or texting the information.

There are a significant number of conversations — and more importantly, potential intent — from a marketing perspective that is simply being ignored and untapped. Currently, there’s an over-reliance on retargeting. Dark social could represent an opportunity to bring balance to the equation.

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Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending

The New York Times

A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.

To drum up more attention, the team changed the picture’s background to a holiday theme and added “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” in big lettering. But then, instead of posting the image to BuzzFeed, the team uploaded it to Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.

The image then took on a life of its own. Mr. Johnson quickly embraced the joke, reposting the picture to his own Instagram account. Nearly 390,000 people indicated they liked the post, and the image became the top topic of conversation on the message board site Reddit.

“We didn’t pour gas on it. We didn’t post it to the home page,” said Summer Anne Burton, editorial director of the 10-person BFF team at BuzzFeed that is dedicated to posting photos and videos to photo and messaging apps. “We just stuck it on Instagram and it took off all over the place. That’s the dream.”

BuzzFeed’s tactics could also offer a glimpse into how some personal messaging apps like Instagram, WeChat and Snapchat — already used by millions of people sharing text or images among friends — will be used in the future.

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CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow. It’s the largest of its kind in North America and takes place in Las Vegas January 6-9th. If you can’t attend make sure to follow our page with the latest updates on the innovative technology being featured.

Another year, and another CES is over. This year’s event featured every kind of gadget you could think of: Mini-PCs of varying shapes & sizes, personal Clouds and over-elaborate hard drives, questionable crowdfunded health gadgets and brain scanning things, expensive music players,microchips for smartcars, Bitcoin, weird hats and all sorts of 3D printers. There was also wearable tech for fitness freaks, fashionistas, animals and people who like modularity, as well as a whole range of VR/AR-based headsets on show: the Avegant Glyph, the Razer OSVR and the Seer fromCaputer Labs.

Announcements from the show included Intel’s promise to spend a hefty $300 million to increase diversity of its workforce, while BlackBerry is looking to muscle in on the Internet of Things andWearables. Also Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie – the only guy bigger than Shaq – was in attendance.

Outside of CES, BlackBerry has teamed up with Boeing to create a “self-destructing” smartphone for spies. It probably won’t explode Mission Impossible-style, more likely just to wipe the device if need be.

View a slideshow of the 10 best business gadgets

ces smart board CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

Smart home trends that took CES by storm

Front-facing Oculus Ocular Projection

Witricity’s wireless charging beams power through wood, stone, and even your head

OfficeIQ adds sensor intelligence to your standing desk

HomeKit Compatible iDevices Switch lets you control your house with Siri

For more videos and written reviews of CES exhibits, click here
Check out photos from IDG’s client appreciation party at the Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas: http://on.fb.me/1FQYdoj
For videos of volunteers jumping 108 stories off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas while being GoPro-ed, click here

This One Number Shows How Advertisers Are Wrong About Social Media

Time

Companies like McDonalds, Apple, and Ford all have something in common: They make and sell physical stuff, be it Big Macs, computers or cars. So if you’re considering investing in one of those companies, the first thing you might look at is how much stuff it’s been selling recently — an easily-determined metric that’s a decent representation of a company’s success.

But social media companies like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat don’t make their money by selling physical stuff. Instead, they make it by selling space to advertisers.

As with all advertisements, digital ad space is more valuable the more it gets seen. And one of the key metrics advertisers use to determine how much they’re willing to spend on a social media company’s ad space is Monthly Active Users, or MAUs.

MAUs are simple enough: Every time you log on to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and so on at least once a month, that platform gets one MAU.

That interest in MAUs has extended to Wall Street, where investors have come to view them as the be-all, end-all metric for judging a social media company’s potential to make money. MAUs are popular with investors and other market-watchers because they’re easy to calculate, digest and compare.

But a number emerged this week that should make us all question the MAU as the holy grail of social media metrics: 50 million. That’s the number of MAUs racked up last year by MySpace, a social media network you probably haven’t used since you signed up for Facebook. While MySpace used to be a reliable presence in ComScore’s annual list of the 50 most popular sites on the web, it hasn’t made an appearance there since 2012, when it ranked 46th.

Sure, MySpace’s 50 million figure doesn’t touch the numbers boasted by its onetime rivals: Facebook has 1.27 billion MAUs, Instagram 300 million, Twitter 284 million. But it’s still doubtful that figure is truly representative of MySpace’s shrunken userbase, even if the site still has a small but thriving community thanks to its efforts in music and video.

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2015 begins with publishers hoping for big improvements in digital subscription sales

Talking New Media

New Year starts, as always, with CES – but Macworld has been put on ‘hiatus’ and the value of big trade shows is being questioned by tech firms

Welcome to 2015! Here in Chicago it is -6F (-21C), here is hoping it is much more pleasant where you are!

CES2015 icon 2015 begins with publishers hoping for big improvements in digital subscription salesThe New Year means iTunes Connect is open and new and updated apps are being released into the App Store. It also means that CES is about to begin in Las Vegas. CES used to be an important event (it is still a big one) but many tech companies have long since learned that these early year trade shows may not be the best time to launch new products. Apple, for instance, pulled out of Macworld long ago and realized that if they are going to have a blow out fourth quarter of the year (their first quarter) they need to introduce new products in September.

CES isn’t the only big early year trade show, of course. Mobile World Congress is in early March (in Barcelona, of course).

But 2015 will be a year without Macworld as IDG announced last year that the show would go on ‘hiatus’.

“The show saw a remarkable 30 year run that changed the technology industry, provided an important forum for Apple developers to bring new companies and products to market, delivered world class professional development to Apple product enthusiasts, and fostered the development of one of the most dynamic professional communities in the tech marketplace,” the IDG World Expo wrote.

Macworld was hurt not only be Apple’s decision to pull out, but also by the decline overall of the personal computing business. IDG tried to adapt, of course, but the excitement of the PC business has gone, not to return.

The problem for these shows remains that trade shows often are scheduled for the early part of the year, no matter what industry you are talking about. As the publisher of a transportation construction magazine, January through March was the busy time for trade shows, generally held in Las Vegas, New Orleans or Orlando. There were (and are) trade shows later in the year, but they often feel more like conferences (such as Adobe MAX).

For those who write about digital publishing, there is really no trade show or event that can’t be missed. The year remains filled with breakfasts, lunches, and award events created by the trade publications in lieu of making a profit on their trade magazines. Publishing pros like to network, eat and drink, and so there is no stopping these things, I guess.

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Top 10 tech stories of 2014

ITWorld

Backlash! Disrupting the disruptors

Blowing up entrenched business models and picking up the profits that spill onto the floor is a time-honored tradition in tech, these days known by the cliche of the moment, “disruption.” This year everyone was trying to push back against those upstarts, whether by buying them like Facebook did, reorganizing to compete with them like HP and Microsoft have done, or just plain going out against them guns blazing, as it seemed that every city and taxi company did with Uber.

European courts fought the disruptive effect Google search has had on our very sense of the historical record. But meanwhile, legions of net neutrality supporters in the US spoke up to save the Internet’s core value of disruption against the oligopoly of a handful of communications carriers.

Here are our picks for the top stories of a very, well, disruptive year….

Marketing News Roundup: Facebook News Feed, Personalisation & Email Still the Most Effective Tactic

IDG Connect 0811 Marketing News Roundup: Facebook News Feed, Personalisation & Email Still the Most Effective Tactic

These are my top pick of marketing stories from the last week. I will be focusing Facebook’s update to its news feed, what data marketers use for personalisation and email marketing still the most effective digital marketing tactic.

Update to Facebook News Feed

Facebook has announced that it will be making changes to its news feed so users will see less promotional content. Mentioned in a recent blog post, the company is responding to a survey it held of users. The findings found that Facebook users view the news feed too promotional with a lack of context. And with Facebook’s declining popularity it’s important for the company to listen to its users.

But what does this mean for business page advertising? By eliminating the advertising from its news feed, advertisements will just appear on right column of any page on the site and in the right column on the sites search results. In its blog, Facebook says that Pages will still be important as ever. It also plans to increase its investment in Pages by building new features such as messaging, customised industry pages and video and photo content.

Marketers Use Personal Data for Personalisation

Personalisation is becoming a popular topic amongst marketers. As vast amounts of content is being continuously produced, marketers have begun to see the need to personalise. Over five in 10 marketers agree that the ability to personalise content is a fundamental to their online strategy according to Econsultancy’s recent report.

The report found that 65% of marketers are using personal data such as name, gender and location to personalise their web experiences. Which isn’t surprising as this is the most common personalisation seen across web content. Other forms of personalisation marketers are beginning to adopt is user preferences (45%) and purchase history (38%).

The report also discovered which personalisation has the most impact on ROI. This showed that while personal data is the most commonly used personalisation, 70% of respondents find purchase history has had the biggest impact on ROI.

This demonstrates that while marketers are using the common types of personalised content this always doesn’t mean it’s the best. It could be considered that consumers expect basic personalisation from their web experiences but its marketing’s job to enhance the experience by offering additional personalisation.

Check out our recent top tips blog post to help create an effective personalised marketing campaign.

Email is Still the Most Effective Type of Digital Marketing

While there has been many digital marketing tactics added to marketing’s tool belt, email is still seen as the most effective digital marketing type. In fact, 54% of marketers see its effectiveness in Ascend2 recent digital marketing strategy report

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