Archive for July, 2010

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New figures from RAJAR show that 20% of smartphone owners in the U.K. are using their devices to listen to the radio.

by Helen Leggatt

The RAJAR easurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services (MIDAS 6) was conducted in June this year. It found that 20% of smartphone owners in the U.K., or 1.4 million people, have downloaded a radio app.

“The latest MIDAS survey allows us to track the changing behavior of people who use their mobile phones to listen to the radio,” said Christel Lacaze, a research manager at RAJAR.

“With smartphones fast growing their market share, a greater number of mobile phone owners are able to listen to the radio via their phone using a mobile Internet connection rather than an FM signal, giving them access to richer content on the go.”

The research shows those who did download a radio app did so to listen to the radio via the Internet, or download podcasts, or simply to listen to the radio using their mobile phone. The survey also found 31% of adults have listened to the radio via the Internet, up slightly from 29% since the previous survey seven months ago, and 15% have heard of WiFi radio.

Around one in four people have used “listen again” services however 71% said those services had no impact on the amount of live radio they listen to, down from 74% in November 2009.


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Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, Business Communications ROI

Most Jamaicans would consider that we are above all trend-setters – leaders in all things good, bad and ugly. Overall our approach to life and work (when we can afford to) has been generally along the lines of ‘if-a-egg-we-inna-de-red’.

When it comes to our business practices and management though we are more staid and conservative — sticking very closely to the blue-print of command and control. Every bit of corporate communication will therefore drop sanitised from the executive office of God 2.0 like manna from above but definitely not as nourishing to the body or soul.

Management by and large has a great fear of ceding control of the means of communications. In the workplace he who controls the information usually has great power. Have you ever noticed the swagger on some CEOs and management higher ups — who are in the know? Memos are dispatched with finality from the ‘top dog’ and most announcements come from him or her. There are employees who would kill (some do) to be near the seat of this fount of control. Others prefer to create their own ‘knowledge-base’ which the rest of us call, quite rightly, gossip, lies and rumour.

Which leads us to the phenomenon of social media and why some companies’ management seem to be afraid of using it. Not wanting to slap an ‘all-you-can-eat’ label on the technological buffet that is social media, I prefer to describe it as participative media that uses web-based technologies or social soft-ware. A few year ago David Teten defined social soft-ware as “web sites and software tools which allow you to discover, extend, manage, enable communication in, and/or leverage your social network.” He included blogs, social network sites, virtual communities, relationship capital management software, contact management software, and others.

Social media is a free space that allows people to talk across social and other artificial boundaries – including those of job title. It does not exist as a result of information being fed from the top and trickled down to us peons below. It is not a medium over which any management team or Executive committee has any control. Social media is a wide open space in which everyone can participate and for businesses this is a new ball game. In the same breath, just as how the mini-skirt might not be the best fit for women, nor Speedos for all men, let’s make it clear, not all aspects of social media is relevant, useful or profitable for every businesses. For sure most retail businesses stand to benefit from using social media as a way of staying in immediate touch with their customers. You can, for example solicit new product ideas from a FaceBook fan base or send out new information and get quick feedback from your Twitter followers.

Many businesses here and abroad are social media shy. They say hurtful things about its usefulness in part because of their fear of losing control of the reins on their brands. Further they seem to prefer to not know what people are saying about their brands – where ignorance is bliss – ‘ tis folly to be wise, they think.

I love to talk with people who are passionate about their subject. Ingrid Riley is a social media guru and speaks feelingly about her love. “Some businesses are afraid of it because they feel as if they will lose control of their brand, they are used to the old traditional media which does not have the immediacy of the feedback that happens in the space of social media”, she says. Ingrid is an advocate because she feels that it is a medium around which companies can engage their customers, build a community around their brand and share information. Island Grill and Flow are two of the Jamaican companies who seemed to have embraced and positively used social media as a proactive part of their communications strategy. Even if the feedback is not what you would like it to be because there will always be your chronic complainers, narcissistic attention-seekers, your wiseacres and those who never met an evil thought they did not like to share. But at least you will know that they are there and find effective ways of dealing with them – which does not always entail giving them free-stuff.

Companies should be careful before they jump into the social media sea because just like any wide body of water, you need to know its depths and the sharks that might lurk beneath. Don’t jump in a set up a FaceBook page or start Twittering as if your life depended on it before you do your research. For example, Ingrid cautions that companies go on line and see and hear conversations about their brands. Do your customers really like you or are they just waiting around for a company with a better product/customer service to replace you? The news after you do your research might be hard to take and you might need a good strong drink to make it go down easy and some even stiffer tonic to share it with management. But now is not the time to be a wimp – man up and do the research. Social media is not going to go away – it might never replace the traditional means we use but it can be used to bolster their usefulness.

Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, (MBA, ABC) is a Business Communications Consultant with ROCommunications Jamaica, specialising in business communications and financial publications. She can be contacted at: yvonne@rocommunications.com. Visit her website at http://www.rocommunications.com and post your comments.

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CARIBBEAN multiservice provider LIME expects to launch triple play packages in a matter of months, LIME chief executive David Shaw told BNamericas.

The E in LIME stands for entertainment, but has been lacking since Cable & Wireless Communications (LSE: CWC.L) rebranded its 13 Caribbean units as LIME in mid-2008.

“For the media expertise we will be partnering with a couple of specialist outfits, but C&W will of course be responsible for the bulk of infrastructure,” Shaw said, without specifying how many markets would be included in the initial launch.

LIME already provides mobile service in all 13 of its markets and should in theory be able to ramp up the offering quickly to quadruple play, an idea that “certainly has some leverage,” according to Shaw.

“The TV delivery technologies we’re working on include fixed line and free-to-air mobile.”

Jamaica, LIME’s largest market, already has triple play from the Columbus Communications unit Flow, and mobile heavyweight Digicel is expected to roll out triple play, and quad play over the mobile WiMax offering that is scheduled for imminent launch.

100 per cent NGN SERVICE

In a roadshow organised recently by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) to promote ICT development in the region, LIME chief commercial officer Milton Brady highlighted the group’s plans to achieve geographical expansion and transform its regional network over the next five years.

On the latter point, Shaw said the current priority is to upgrade the backbone to match the growth in data traffic, both within the Caribbean and as a result of the sub-region being a major gateway between Latin America and the US, as well as migrating from legacy infrastructure to an NGN architecture. C&W believes LIME St Vincent will be possibly the first place in the world where a legacy incumbent operator will have migrated the entire population to the NGN.

LIME expects this status to be achieved next month, since the only remaining tasks are migration of the last few consumer lines, the second of LIME St Vincent’s two international circuits, and all four of the national circuits.

The key benefit of this arrangement is that broadband provisioning can potentially occur almost in real-time, rather than a matter of days as is the case today, he added.

LIME does not want to migrate its markets to NGN so swiftly that it causes disruption, and Shaw sees the medium-term goal as having the regional operation “predominantly” NGN with a small amount of legacy technology still running, while 100 per cent NGN migration across the board would take more than five years.

The Caribbean has a relatively dense network of undersea cables, but in terms of transport capacity, a key development for LIME will be the completion of its US$35 million “East-West” cable, which will provide an eastward route from Jamaica to the US, via St Croix and British Virgin Islands, to compliment the westward route that LIME Jamaica depends on today, connecting to the Maya cable system off the Central American coast. The East-West cable is due for completion early 2011.

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Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are now going after the big media prize: billions of worldwide TV advertising dollars.

A new “Social TV” report from media researcher Futurescape says the next leap in the social-marketing world is pursuing the business of “social television,” tapping into an $180 billion worldwide ad market.

The research company says Google TV and other connected TV systems will put Facebook and Twitter targeted ads on TV screens.

Futurescape predicts the next wave of TV’s transformation will come from social recommendations and other consumer tools to find new TV content. The global TV business is projected to be a cumulative $250 billion by 2014.

Social networks are dramatically changing marketing of TV shows. “Facebook and Twitter buzz affects TV ratings, while broadcasters that use the social networks for viewer engagement are effectively sharing their audiences with them,” the report says.

“One of the main commercial goals is to be the real-time conversation service that runs alongside major live viewing events, such as the Super Bowl or the Oscars,” adds the report. “Such conversations are already increasingly integrated on broadcasters’ Web sites, via Facebook and Twitter social plug-ins.”

Television content owners — and TV set makers — are moving in this direction, says Futurescape. “The television is already becoming a social device, as Google TV, Yahoo Connected TV, CE manufacturers and pay-TV operators race to connect TV sets to the Internet.


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Published: 4 Jul 2010

Miles Abraham, the digital strategist
who spoke about the digital world at
the Caribbean Internet Market Summit
held at Crowne Plaza.

Try it! If you want your business to thrive in this advancing digital world then you must come up with new ideas. Miles Abraham, speaker at the Caribbean Internet Market Summit held at Crowne Plaza on June 26, takes this position. “Try cool things. Come up with cool ideas,” he said. Abraham told the participants to prepare for change as he predicts that by the end of this year more than 40 per cent of T&T will have access to the Internet. A digital strategist, Abraham said in 2006, 10 per cent of T&T citizens had Internet access.
“Technology is moving ahead so quickly,” he said. He shared many videos where companies used the popular Youtube network to advertise their products.

Also, one of the videos he shared from another source, predicted that by the year 2020, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube will become the main media of advertising. Abraham said, “A phenomenon is just an idea that nobody owns as yet.” Participants also shared concerns that many Web sites in T&T do not allow interaction, such as comments and questions about their products. Inspirational speaker, Dr Ken Onu shared simple tips for people to achieve their goals. Two of them were to believe in one’s self and know what one wants. “The enemy of focus is having too many choices,” he said. The Summit ends tomorrow.

Dr Ken Onu, left, shows the audience what lack of focus causes during his presentation at the Caribbean Internet Market Summit held at Crowne Plaza.


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