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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.

http://www.bizreport.com/2010/07/rajar-20-british-smartphone-users-listen-to-internet-radio.html

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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.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=131461

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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.
Photos: KARLA RAMOO

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.

http://guardian.co.tt/features/life/2010/07/04/internet-growth-demands-new-ideas

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Slipping Digital Ad Revenue, Emerging Content Farms Present More Challenges for Struggling Industry

by Nat Ives
Published: June 28, 2010

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Look at newspapers’ share of digital advertising, the crowds checking out other kinds of news sites, or the prices that advertisers will pay for the competition. The conditions in digital media, essential to just about any future growth for newspapers, are getting worse for papers instead.

Bad  News chart
Enlarge
BAD NEWS U.S. newspapers’ digital ad revenue is not keeping pace with digital advertising as a whole.

Some of the challenges, as usual, are simultaneously offering new ways forward. Newspapers might want to overcome their unease, for example, and strike alliances with the content farms surging to grab newspapers’ audiences.

But newspapers have to move more quickly if they’re going to take advantage of the strengths they still possess.

Right now newspapers reach more than a third of web users, for example, but their share of all digital advertising is much smaller than that — and declining.

“It’s a tragic story if you look at it from a revenue perspective,” said Rusty Coats, who worked in newspapers’ digital operations for more than 15 years and recently left E.W. Scripps to become a consultant.

Slow growth
Newspapers’ share of digital ad revenue has fallen from 16.2% in 2005 to 11.4% last year and is heading for 7.9% in 2014, according to the new entertainment and media outlook from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The picture in dollar terms isn’t much prettier. With the worst of the recession apparently behind us, some newspapers are already selling more digital ads again. But it’s going to be a couple more years before newspapers as a whole start increasing their digital revenue, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. And their digital total in 2014 will still fall 16.3% short of its level in 2007, the pre-recession peak.

This is digital advertising, remember, where growth is supposed to come quickly. Digital’s overall total in 2014 will crush its 2007 level by 56.6%.

The riddle for newspapers, and perhaps the uncomfortable answer, lies in the continued demand for news.

“There’s no question that there’s demand,” said Alan Mutter, an independent industry analyst who sounded an alarm over newspapers’ share of digital revenue in a post on his blog Reflections of a Newsosaur. “The question is whether particular channels or sites can sustain their traditional share of the business,” Mr. Mutter said.

The cheap content factor
The big story about the news business these days, as a matter of fact, revolves around companies that generate news and information using big networks of cheap freelancers. They include Associated Content, which Yahoo bought last month for about $100 million; Demand Media, which is reportedly considering going public this summer; Seed, where writers, photographers and others can submit their content for publication on AOL; and Examiner.com, which says it has 40,000 freelance “Examiners.”

They’ve already got big traction with readers. Examiner’s sites got more than 14.4 million visitors in May, according to ComScore — more than the 14 million people who visited all the McClatchy newspaper sites combined, or the 13.4 million people who visited MediaNews sites, or the 12 million who visited Hearst newspaper sites.

AOL and Yahoo have separately been staffing up their original blogs and news sections; Yahoo is currently advertising for a blog editor for Yahoo Finance, who will report original stories plus hire a team of bloggers. And sites that aggregate local content are also mixing things up. Last year MSNBC.com acquired EveryBlock, giving it a new ability to horn in on newspapers’ role as local information centers.

RUSTY COATS: Consultant who worked in digital operations for  papers for 15 years.
RUSTY COATS: Consultant who worked in digital operations for papers for 15 years.

Newspapers have, meanwhile, been cutting reporters, thinning the distinction between their products and those of their rivals.

Advertisers also seem to see a diminishing difference. The gap between newspapers’ high ad rates online and other news sites’ prices is apparently shrinking.

Newspapers still on top
Newspaper sites still typically command much higher rates than most of the internet — collecting $6.99 for a thousand impressions in April compared with $2.52 across the web as a whole, according to a recent ComScore report. That’s partly because advertisers trust newspaper sites to provide safe, sober environments for their brands and partly because marketers want newspapers’ authority to rub off on their ads.

But general news sites — everyone from MSNBC.com to Yahoo News to Examiner.com — don’t trail newspaper sites by much. General news sites got CPMs, shorthand for the cost per thousand impressions, of $6.14 in April. And newspaper sites’ CPMs have held pretty flat since April 2009 while general news sites have been able to increase their rates, ComScore said. That’s good news for the news itself, setting aside the varying quality among providers, but another worrisome sign for newspapers.

The ominous indicators, however, suggest some tactics that newspapers might want to prioritize. Advertisers are warming to competing news sites because they’re finding a better combination of scale and ad technologies like targeting, observers said.

When Michael Hayes, a former newspaper pro who’s now a digital-media buyer as executive VP and managing director at Initiative, wants to target an auto dealer group’s ads to local consumers actively shopping for cars, he usually goes to big, technologically advanced players. “In that case we geotarget, and we do that by and large through the portals, large networks and so on,” he said.

“I would think that the general news sites might be more adept at some of this targeting technology,” said Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of ComScore. “And they have a big platform.”

There are ways for newspapers to compete better on those fronts. There are many ad networks that include newspapers and offer ad targeting, for example, but there actually might be too many. A smaller number of big newspaper networks — say two or three instead of 40 or more — would give newspapers better pricing power, said Mr. Coats, the former Scripps executive. They could still pitch the halo of newspapers’ authority and offer enough scale for good targeting, but without fighting another 30 similar ad networks with newspaper inventory in the process.

Time to partner up
And if newspaper budget cuts have reduced the quality of their news product, they may be able to buy some time by partnering with the high-quality nonprofit news providers that have sprung up — often staffed with former newspaper reporters.

Some papers are already doing just that. The New York Times has teamed up with the Bay Citizen for The Times’s Bay Area edition and the Chicago News Cooperative for its Chicago edition. Articles by ProPublica, the nonprofit led by former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Paul Steiger, have already appeared in papers including the Arizona Republic, Orange County Register, Virginian Pilot, Las Vegas Sun and the Philadelphia Daily News.

MICHAEL HAYES: Former newspaper pro who's now a digital media  buyer.
MICHAEL HAYES: Former newspaper pro who’s now a digital media buyer.

“We as an industry have had to cut so much on the expense side that some of our journalistic local impact has been hurt,” Mr. Coats said. “If you can shore that up while you get into the art of deep transformation with your sales staff, selling in this new environment, getting out of this attitude of entitlement, then I see that as win-win.”

The same holds true for local aggregators, where again newspapers are already showing some willingness to explore. Boston.com, the Boston Globe’s site, includes YourTown sections that combine original Globe reporting with elements like outside contributions, town announcements, and tools to pay municipal bills online or see trash pickup schedules. The New York Times Company has already signed a deal letting it use technology and content from a local aggregator called Fwix. And The Knight Foundation just awarded a $458,625 grant to be divvied up among The Boston Globe, Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri and the software nonprofit OpenPlans to explore providing block-by-block news and information.

It will be less comfortable to collaborate with the content farms, but that’s looking more imperative as time goes on. “If local newspaper sites can’t cover local newsworthy events, whether it’s sports or otherwise, the consumer is going to find it somewhere online,” said Mr. Hayes, the digital-media buyer at Initiative. “And, therefore, ad dollars will flow there. And that will hurt small local newspaper sites.”

Last April USA Today started using Demand Media, a company that doesn’t like the term “content farm” but draws content from a huge pool of freelancers. Demand is providing the content for USA Today’s new Travel Tips site online.

There’s more concern about the quality of content farms’ contributions. Former New York Observer editor Peter Kaplan told Ad Age this month that publishing content from some of these sites is like “sending unchecked meats out to the public.” But content farms are coming for newspapers’ readers one way or another; maybe there’s a way for papers to do something more productive with the model than giving it the stiff-arm.

Newspapers’ continued stores of strength enable them to innovate if they’re willing, said Mr. Mutter. “Their unfair advantage is that they are stellar brands in their markets. They also do still have comparatively enormous ad revenue even in their depleted states. They have almost always the largest source of knowledgeable content creators in a market. And most operate a pretty respectable profit.”

original source http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=144684

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Marketers looking to communicate with students might want to take a look at the results of a recent study that shows smart phones, not computers, are their entertainment and communication tool of choice.

by Helen Leggatt

Almost half (49%) of mobile communication carried out on college campuses is conducted via smart phones, found Ball State journalism professor and director or the University’s Institute for Mobile Media Research, Michael Hanley.

Nowadays, computers are for studying while entertainment and communication take place via handheld devices. Mobile phones are used by just about every student (99.8%) and text messaging has overtaken email and instant messaging. While 97% of students send and receive text messages, just 30% use email and 25% instant messaging.

“The use of smart phones by college students has nearly doubled in one year, and along with it comes heavier Internet use and an increased desire to use mobile commerce like coupons and incentives,” said Hanley. “In nearly all mobile content categories, smart phone ownership is driving increased consumption and usage of mobile technologies.”

According to a recent article by eMarketer, more students are reporting seeing mobile ads this year than they did in 2005. However, their reaction to mobile ads isn’t positive. Over 40% found them annoying while just 1.2% was happy to receive ads.

In fact, nearly 30% were less likely to purchase a product after having received an ad via mobile phone.

Their reactions to mobile advertising go to show just how “personal” students perceive their mobile phones to be and how much more innovative marketers need to be to engage this demographic in this private space.

http://www.bizreport.com/2010/06/college-students-favor-mobile-phone-comms-over-computers.html

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