Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spotify in NZ

Spotify is an online music listening service that may change the way we consume our music in NZ. The application is simple and easy to use which can be installed on a computer or device with internet access.

What separates out Spotify from products that offer similar services is that it has secured its contract with record companies, making it legal. It has also included a social aspect where it can connect your Facebook/Twitter account to the application. Now you can see which One Direction song that old mate Bobby Bob is listening too or even send Bob a song to listen to.

First launched in Europe in 2006 it has amassed over 10 million users and is soon to hit the Australasian market. For New Zealanders the uptake shouldn’t be an issue, it would be the mobile data plans that would hinder maximum potential.Spotify bridges that gap of pirating music and paying for music closer together, record companies would be insane not to sign up as it’s a another revenue stream.  From a consumers perspective all is not for free as there is opportunity to advertise on this platform and consumers will see the brunt of this. However you can pay per month to get Spotify’s premium product which will allow you to access it on a mobile device and see no advertising.

Spotify launched on the 22nd of May here in NZ and discovered some handy features:
  • Apps
  • Friends list
  • Playlists
  • Radio (to connect artists with similar artists)
  • Importing your local content from hard drive onto Spotify

I’ve had a bit of fool around on this and it has somehow become part of my life, goodbye iTunes and illegal file sharing. As everyone has different personalities in our office I thought it would be good to see what music inspires us in our day to day work. I have compiled a playlist of PHDiQ’s pickup tracks - which you can subscribe to “PHDiQ Work Out Songs” to experience our full emotions.
  • Anna Woods: “Back on the chain gang” – Pretenders
  • Polly Williams: “Dutchies” - Shapeshifter
  • Christophe Spencer: “Greatest American Hero theme”
  • Graeme Douglas: “I believe I can fly” – R Kelly
  • Brendan Hewitt: “Lightning Crashes” – Live
  • Mike Harland: “Call me maybe” – Carly Rae Jespen
  • Gareth Treacher: “Saved by the bell theme song”
  • Jane Crabbe: “Welcome to the jungle” – Guns & Roses
  • Ivan Atkins: “Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers
  • Shay Young: ”What makes you beautiful” – One Direction
  • Stephanie Sokolich: “Love Story” – Taylor Swift
  • Phillip Sue: “Juicy” – Biggie Smalls
  • Nikki Rogers: “9 to 5” – Dolly Parton
  • Craig Whitaker “Getting No Where” – Magnetic Man
  • Isreal Hartley: “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
  • Keila Bituin:”Raining Blood” – Slayer
  • Nick Sadler: ”Lovefool” – The Cardigans

Friday, May 18, 2012

Why I won’t be buying in the Facebook IPO

I was asked by a publisher recently where the most innovation would come from in the next three years.  My answer – it hasn’t been invented yet.  Sure, it sounds like a cop out, but  when you look at the exponential rate of change in the digital environment, predictions become unreliable and giants (even the mighty Facebook) seem less solid.

Consider these facts on the speed of adoption:

(the G+ reference is a bit of a misnomer – as Google migrated current users rather than building an audience from scratch).

So, if speed is anything to go by the current leaders should be invincible right?  Actually it could be their downfall.  George Anders describes it well in this post on Forbes.  He talks about something called the ‘liability of obolescence – a growing mismatch between an organization’s inherent product strategy and its operating environment over time’.

When ‘time’ becomes compressed, such as in the accelerating speed of change in digital, companies operating in that space have a much shorter natural lifecycle (AOL, Myspace, Bebo anyone?).  Sure there are companies that have survived, thrived even (Amazon, Apple), but will they be able to continue to adapt as the pace of change quickens? 

To look at it another way – the Pinterest example shows a subtle shift: from the social graph (who people care about) to the interest graph (what they care about) [paraphrasing Josh Constine, Tech Crunch].  It’s a distinction not many commentators have picked up, but an important one.  To look at the Anders example, where he pits Web 1.0 against Web 2.0 against Mobile – what happens when the change isn’t linear?  As it splinters into ever more directions, it gives more credence to  Anders’ thesis –

Those who own the future are going to be the ones who create it. It’s all up for grabs. Web monopolies are not as sticky as the monopolies of old.

So I won’t be buying in the Facebook IPO: the digital world order could be in for an overhaul sooner than we think

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Decade of Mobile

At least once every year for the last three years I’ve heard someone at a digital conference proclaim that “this will be the year of mobile”.  Their tone has always hinted that this will be an event in media planning that none of us will be able to ignore, akin to the moon landing or Sir Ed knocking the bastard off.  But then it’s never seemed to happen.  Instead it’s been more like Kanye West - a steady accumulation of content, audience and commercial opportunities. 

Nevertheless, and arguably unlike Kanye, there is no doubt that it has slowly but surely become an increasingly important media space for planners and clients to consider.  The challenge that remains is that there isn’t a great deal of market data around of the NZ market.  Sorry Roy Morgan, I usually love your data, but it seems hopelessly out of step for mobile when the answer to ‘how many people say they need a mobile phone to access the internet?’ is 7%. 

But last week InMobi, in partnership with Decision Fuel rode into town with a piece of research that delivered some quite interesting insights (albeit from a sample size of 500 users… coincidently, about the same sample that dictate TV ratings). 

So, a few numbers that no one has delivered before;
  • Of 6.2hrs media consumption, 114mins are via a mobile
  • 53% of market are using their phone while watching TV
  • 65% using phone while lying in bed
  • 23% using to access social Media
  • 21% using to access entertainment
  • 7% are using to shop

This OurMobilePlanet tool has also recently come to my attention (thanks Mitch Campbell and nzh).  About as accurate as any other tool on NZ market about penetration (ie, take with grain of salt), but least it’s fun to play with.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wake Up - Its 2012

The team at Blackberry Australia have learned a very valuable lesson this week. Their Wake Up Australia  teaser campaign generated such a high level of interest and intrigue that they had to out themselves over a week before their big reveal – which is still set for 7 May (countdown clock still ticking down).
It seems they planned three week teaser campaign. Three weeks! That’s, like, a lifetime in the digital world. According to my five minutes on Google - in three weeks:
-          14.7 million people join Facebook
-          1.8 million hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
-          2 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube
-          3.7 billion tweets are tweeted
-          151 million photos are uploaded to Flickr
-          1.7 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook
In the age of social networking news travels fast. Very fast. And we would all do well to remember this when planning campaigns and activations even if they aren’t strictly digital.