Friday 23 August 2013

Microsoft's 'Crazy Steve' to retire. Here's the video that explains why he's called crazy.

Want to know why he's called Crazy Steve Ballmer? Have a look at the video above. If it's not playing, you'll find it here

So there you have it, the CEO who gave me more blog space than any other, is about to retire at 57 and "within 12 months" or, "when a successor is found". Whichever is quicker. 

Microsoft's "transition" (according to them) to "a device and service company", meant if he didn't go now, they wouldn't have a CEO longer term to oversee this "new direction" (their words).

"Crazy" Steve Ballmer.

I wrote about the awful practices at Microsoft on his watch exposed by Vanity Fair here and again here

The poor performances and launches here

And at the time that he slammed the Iphone never mind, as you'll see in my blog, his dismissing of the Android. If it's not playing it's here

Still, as you'll see from the top video on this blog, he'll be missed in his own way. Seemingly though, perhaps not by the markets.

Following the announcement today, shares have jumped. 
Up 9%.

Thursday 22 August 2013

And then along comes Nike and just does this.

Sorry, Advertising is dead and over. Then along comes Nike and produces a spot like this. If it doesn't play, go here

25 years of 'Just Do it' and one terrific piece of work. Wieden+Kennedy AGAIN (see my Honda blog later) and look at Serena Williams or better still, the genius that is, LeBron James.

But this video would make you just do it. With Nike.

Extraordinary. Short Blog. Speechless.

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Online video produces good original content. And Netflix have 14 Emmy nominations to prove it.

Online video isn't just YouTube or streaming old editions of old shows, but an opportunity to create top-end content. Online video is creating programmes and the 65th Emmy Awards, the bastion of traditional TV, proves it.

Netflix is actually spending its money generating productions for exclusive content so that's no bad thing. They're getting a unique proposition in doing this by providing viewers with something no one else has - really good content they've made themselves.

Netflix has received 14 Emmy nominations for three series which they created, they produced and were broadcast exclusively on Netflix. It's the first time ever, online has been nominated.

The very excellent 'House of Cards' got 9 nominations, 'Arrested Development' got 3 and 'Hemlock Grove' got 2. 

The Awards are on September 22nd and no doubt a win, will further bring audiences to Netflix in order to view the award-winning series. 

Which of course you can only see on....Netflix.

Monday 19 August 2013

Publishers, Music Companies, Mobile Companies and more are being rescued by internet companies they tried to stop.

All the talk of the Internet wreaking havoc on traditional media companies is changing. In fact, it's helping them!!

I've stolen this from a great Article in the current August 17th edition of  The Economist (cover above) which is well worth the read, called "digital pennies pile up at last".

The reputable PWC reckons revenue for online media and entertainment will rise by 13% each year for the next 5. So the web is growing the entertainment business.

Music, which record companies legally, stupidly, fought internet pioneers for years, is actually showing +.2% growth - the first time it's growing in a decade. Which means the internet increases royalty payments to....the very same record companies! 

And that's their IFPI trade group numbers. So the web is coming to their rescue as their CD and DVD sales collapse.

Online radio and music streaming (Spotify etc) brought in a billion dollars in 2012. 

Mobile phone companies are benefitting too, by selling data to access these services whilst their call rates are going into a death spiral. 

YouTube are now paying small copyright fees too on music downloads.

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are of course buying rights to stream content online from traditional broadcasters. That's about 3 billion Dollars a year and rising. Online licensing accounts now for a third of the revenue growth at traditional CBS.

Book sales are growing again by about 14% per year on Ebooks means bigger profits for publishers and for authors. Yes, it has meant the death of bookshops but in return, accessibility to books is far greater especially amongst the young and far more of us are reading.

Digital newspapers subscriptions are working to a point too. The New York Times has nearly 700,000 (!) online subscribers. 

The surge in smartphones, in tablets, in ipads coupled with the extension of broadband speeds are driving this growth. EMarketer, a US research firm, thinks Americans will spend more time online this year than on TV. And because people want content, 'on the go', they're becoming more prepared to pay for it.

It's a fairly extraordinary turnaround that Internet companies are now becoming the saviour of traditional media companies such as publishers, record labels and TV broadcasters who tried so desperately to stop it. Instead of embracing it, encouraging it, because better access means higher sales, they were afraid of something they didn't understand.

They'd have sold more far sooner, if they had.

Ad revenue is bypassing Ad Agencies as it goes online. Like the book publishers, the record companies of old, Agencies are pooh-poohing it instead of selling it, embracing it. There's lessons here.

Like the peasant's in Lamb's essay, we know not how to roast pork, other than to burn the house down.

Interesting isn't it? 
You have to laugh though. Irony of ironies.