MEDIA: Apple is going to hand over ad sales for the app to Comcast’s NBCUniversal* in an exclusive deal that starts in January. Publishers who put content on the app can still sell their own ads and will keep 100 percent of the revenue from any ads they sell. The new deal means that NBCUniversal, instead of Apple, will sell any remaining ad inventory. As before, publishers will keep 70 percent of those sales. In a note to her staff, NBCUniversal sales boss Linda Yaccarino said her organization would create a dedicated sales group for the app.
ECOMMERCE: On the e-commerce side, Amazon AMZN, +4.12% is well-positioned for the fourth quarter, but could feel the pinch from a highly promotional holiday season. “Based on what we’ve seen so far, we think this fourth quarter is shaping up to be an excellent one, with revenues likely growing at least 22% as the company reaps some nearer-term benefits from its protracted investment program,” Moody’s wrote in a note published Monday. Still, the e-commerce giant will have to deal with a holiday shopping season rife with discounts.
BRAND: Marchionne's no fool. His customers -- many of whom own more than one Ferrari -- doubtless feel exactly the same way. The trouble is, even the tastes of old, rich folks change. The Blackberry was indispensable until it wasn't.The combustion engine has already lost one advantage over electric cars: speed. An upgraded Tesla Model S can accelerate to 60 miles an hour in just 2.5 seconds, the same as Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari's LaFerrari.
ECOMMERCE: It quickly became clear that we needed to do things differently. And so, we did one of the scariest things imaginable for a startup about to run out of money: we stopped everything, and we went into a hole to regroup. What we did in those next two months changed the story of our company forever. Today, more than 250,000 people read our content each month, more than 5,000 customers trust us with their business, and we’re generating nearly $5 million in annual recurring revenue.
BRAND: Any change to a product requires extensive testing before putting it on the market, said Benjamin Chapman, a food safety specialist and associate professor at North Carolina State University. Because customers reported reactions to Soylent so soon after eating, it likely has to do with a component of an ingredient, he said. Food companies must test a variety of factors when altering a formula, including the new ingredients themselves, the amount used of each, how they react with other ingredients.
BRAND: Multicultural millennials make up nearly half of the demographic. And new research from Buzz Marketing Group sheds light on media, tech and shopping trends coming from this segment. "When it comes to loyalty, multicultural millennials give as much as they get," said Buzz Marketing Group CEO and founder Tina Wells. "They know what they like, and aren't shy about sharing that information with their friends and contacts.
DATA: Start with a problem-finding mindset, where you loosen the definitions around the problem and allow people to see it from different angles, thereby exposing hidden assumptions and revealing new questions before the hunt for data begins. With your team, think of critical questions about the problem in order to fully understand its complexity.
BRAND: In addition, Scott has fronted campaigns for brands such as Puma (he was in Rihanna’s Fenty advertisements) and Alexander Wang. In fact, he helicoptered into Wang’s latest fashion week afterparty. Since the visuals he releases to his music include a touch of fashion emphasis.
VOICE FIRST: Viv was co-created by Dag Kittlaus, who ran Siri before Apple bought it. Samsung needed AI and a virtual assistant product to compete with Google (its frenemy) and Apple (its nemesis) going forward, while Viv probably needed more capital and resources to realize its ambitious vision. It may turn out to be a devil’s bargain for Kittlaus and his team; they may never be able to bring the product experience they envisioned to market.
BRAND: There are various ways a corporate name can seem apposite. In the case of existing words, connotations are crucial: a Corvette is a light, speedy attack ship; Tesla was an inventor of genius. Made-up names often rely instead on resonances with other words: Lexus evokes luxurious; Viagra conjures virility and vitality. Bad names bring the wrong associations to consumers’ minds. In the nineteen-eighties, United Airlines tried to turn itself into a diversified travel company called Allegis.
ECOMMERCE: In fact, Yeom says that Hollar’s shoppers spend more than double the typical basket size at brick-and-mortar dollar stores, as its average basket size is around $30 to their $15. That means Hollar customers are buying around 10 items per order. This is what led the shop to achieve over $1 million in sales in under six months, and see double-digit growth every month since.
ECOMMERCE: The very first thing that will have a decisive impact on your website’s visitors is visual appeal. These days, it’s all about attracting customers with nothing short of mouthwatering web design. However, it is also important that the web design is in line with your company’s branding so that from the moment they land on your e-commerce home page they know what your company is all about.
Graphic of the Week: Dualing Market Caps
Take a look at Apple's most recent partnership (with NBC Universal) in the proper context. Alphabet continues to pursue the voice first industry with Google Home, while also beginning to succeed in the hardware market (see: Pixel). This, on top of an ad industry that - along with Facebook - captures 85% of all digital ad growth. Apple had to get serious about pursuing an ad network (online and streaming) and they have begun to lay the groundwork for it.
Relevant Links: (1) on NBC Universal and (9) on Samsung's Viv software.