Friday, 27 September 2013

Breaking Bad ends Sunday. Here's a viral to remind you of the best bits. The most rated TV show ever.

The final, all-time last episode (called 'Felina), of Breaking Bad ends on Sunday. The photo above has just been released by the studio taken from the last episode.

Netflix expect to have it within 24 hours of the live broadcast.

It's been called the greatest TV series ever and certainly set the record as the world's most rated show ever. It has also driven Social Media in that it got a massive surge online being given a perfect '10' online.

Believe me, people are crazy about it and I've blogged about it before on September 18th below.

The penultimate episode had 6.6 million viewers live.

Mind you, it reportedly cost 3 million usd per episode, to make. 

So this YouTube viral is outtakes and emotional scenes which for fans, should be enjoyable. 

By the way, Walt dies. Maybe not.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Twitter's moving into Advertising by broadcasting 30 second TV spots.

Twitter is moving more into advertising notably in advance of its IPO. 

If Twitter can show real ways to generate revenue (current 2013 revenues expected at circa 500 million usd, a doubling of last year) it will help their float.

One way they're doing it, and talking to Ad Agencies about it, is to introduce the standard 30 second TV spot. They've been present at Adweek this week in NYC, a big traditional advertising get-together.

What they're suggesting is that advertisers broadcast their 30 second spot in the Twitter feeds of anyone watching the programme live online. So the ad would appear on TV as usual but also on second screens twitter feeds, simultaneously. Lovely idea.

It shows Twitter as an ally of TV which is a good move. TV Broadcasters could do the same in reverse.

With 200m active users sending 400m tweets a day, Twitter has been behind the door regarding advertising. But now, money counts especially in convincing investors of big revenue potential. A lot of Ad Agencies view Twitter as a Social Media tool rather than a medium in its own right. A lot of traditional Ad Agencies mind you, view everything Social as being tools.

Twitter have an Ad strategy that in my view, works.
But advertisers will find the money from their traditional TV budgets.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Flipboard raises 50 million Dollars. Value of 800 million. And it deserves it all.

My all-time favourite App? 

Flipboard and it's not an App, it's a thing of beauty, allowing you to merge and mash all your feeds into one "designery" space. This is top end design with relevant content that's really going upwards.

They've just announced they've raised 50 million us Dollars in funding, bringing the company valuation to about 800 million usd. 

Founded only in 2010 by Mike McCue, they have 85 million registered users which surprises me that it's so low....

Almost like a top-end magazine it aggregates news feeds with social media in the way you want it as "flippable" pages. It also allows you consequently, to create your own magazine and over a million have done that including 'Rolling Stone' and 'National Geographic'. That's a self-publishing dream.

But the long term play for Flipboard I think anyway, is deciding on what content to include and by that I mean, getting revenues from publishers who want to be included. If you own the App, you decide on what goes in.

With 85 million users it hasn't reached the critical mass of say, Twitter (800 million)....yet. But when it does, it will be a real player that it deserves to be. It wasn't that long ago (a year?) that they had 20 million users.

They've also gently started ECommerce with a 'click to buy' button working on a sales margin. That's going to be big.

It's the sort of news innovation coupled with top rate design and functionality, that is leading the way (although the current digital issue of 'Wired', is also something to behold).

And if you haven't got it, get it now.

Flipboard are getting the financial recognition at last.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Blackberry sells today. 4.7 Billion Dollars. OMG.

So Wow, they were able to sell Blackberry..for a 9 dollar a share price bringing in 4.7 billion us dollars. Extraordinary.

The buyer is Fairfax financial, a Canadian Insurance fund (Blackberry is Canadian too) who were also Blackberry's largest shareholder. Blackberry was, Canada's greatest star.

It has come after a weekend of speculation, notably by the excellent UK 'Telegraph', when Blackberry announced losses of almost 1 billion usd in Q2 and planned to slash 4,500 jobs with shares slumping by -24% on Friday last. 

Shares were trading at circa 8 dollars and I remember them at 138 dollars. 

It had officially put itself up for sale last month having hired PWC to help. 

Amazon and Microsoft had considered buying it previously but Microsoft's Nokia deal put paid to that. The BBM (Blackberry messaging service) is the golden egg with 60 million users although the once dominant company has really struggled against Apple, HTC and Samsung since 2007. 

Blackberry once controlled half of the US market (!), now that's under 3%.

The BBM service had one great advantage - as London rioters and drug dealers knew - it was hard to intercept. Hence it became popular with drug sellers and became known as 'Crackberry'.

It only shipped 2.7m of its latest Z10 phones out of a planned 6.8m although it sold 5.9m smartphones in Q2, well below expectations. Apple, for example, sold 37m and the Iphone 5S sold out online.... in 5 minutes.

Blackberry had slashed phone prices so effectively, they couldn't give them away. Its losses reflected a big write-down on this stock of unsold phones.

The story of the downfall of Blackberry (if you call a sale of billions a downfall) is that they stuck with a corporate market and a keyboard, largely ignoring connectivity to the internet as having value. When they realised their mistake, it was too little, too late.

Keyboards had their day, internet connectivity was king and the corporate market became a personal market. Executives choose their own phone for business and personal use, rather than a company bought phone.

It's a sad story in one way but ultimately a good story in that they've done well to attain a good price now. Or lucky to have a shareholder like Fairfax, prepared to protect their investment and obviously being cash-rich enough to do so.

Still. A once dominant brand like Nokia, bit the dust. Or has it?