This month saw the power players marking out their turf: Facebook
leapfrogged Google into pole position (at least on a couple of metrics
in the US), Microsoft pushed deeper into video players, the BBC gave
shape to the cut backs, and China and search went head to head in that
long awaited showdown. Everything's to play for as the online media
market matures, and the flurry of lawsuits over IP is another fixture on
As we head into election season in the UK, voters want to vote online
and every political heavyweight now wants to 'do an Obama', moving their
message through social media. Sadly neither voters nor politicians stand
any hope of getting their wishes this time around, and while the Obama
campaign is a case study in social marketing the Digital Training
Academy will be using for years, most of the tweets, blogposts and email
spam being thrown at British voters will remain quietly unopened thanks
to their wholehearted failure to apply customer insight and engage their
audience. Politicians are yet to learn the first rule of social media
strategies: it's not how loud you shout, it's how much your audience
want to listen!
And if your colleagues want to listen to their own Digital Intelligence,
then I can arrange a guest account. Just email me back and point them
Best from all @ Digital
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting
Data and statistics
Here are the latest stats and figures from the
UK audience reach for top 10 parent companies, February 2010
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, UK, February 2010
internet behaviour: UK
Monthly Internet use: key indicators for UK web users, February 2010
search terms: UK
Terms ranked by search clicks for the four weeks
ending 13th March 2010
sectors in France and UK
Sites ranked by market share of visits for the week
ending 30th January 2010
internet sites: France
Sites ranked by visits for the week ending 30th
online video content sites: US
Google users viewed on average 94 videos each during
the month of January 2010
online video content sites: US
Google attracted 136.5 million unique viewers during
the month of January 2010
budget: 50p broadband tax gets green light
Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced this year's
budget with plans for a major broadband roll out, funded by its much
anticipated 50p-a-month broadband tax. He announced super-fast
broadband for the majority of homes by 2017, funded by a £6 annual tax
on landline phones. The Conservatives have vowed to scrap the tax if
they win the next election.
Brown's digital vision: Super-fast broadband and a webpage for every
As the Election draws closer, the Prime Minister has
pledged universal super-fast broadband for all - coupled with a
personal webpage for every UK citizen to manage their government
transactions and access local services - in a bid to transform the UK
election: most Brits want online vote
More than three quarters of electors - 77 per cent -
would vote on the Internet if they could, according to a new survey
released today. The poll also found 56 per cent had visited political
websites - signalling a substantial interest in online politics among
voters. The survey of 1,000 people by social media consultants LEWIS
Communications was conducted to gauge public attitudes to the use of
social media and digital technology by political parties.
Data protection: New mandate for Information Commissioner, large
fines, new powers
New powers have been given to the UK government
department tasked with policing data protection, including the right
to issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of personal
data. Speaking at the DMA annual data protection conference, the
Commissioner talked of email and online marketing as sectors that have
forced the regulator to focus on the new types of data challenges,
giving a clear warning to the digital marketing industry to ensure
Online content: What will consumers pay for?
Consumers are most likely to fork over their cash for
online movies, music and games, according to a new international
survey looking into paid content. The findings, from Nielsen Online,
revealed that vast majority (85%) prefer that free content remain
free. However, the survey, which covered more than 27,000 consumers
across 52 countries, revealed some people are more willing to at least
consider paying for particular categories, especially if they have
done so before.
Quarter of 8-12 year olds using social networks despite age ban
Young UK internet users are creating social network
profiles despite being below the official age limit, according to new
research. Ofcom's annual Children's Media Literacy Audit for 2009
found that a quarter of UK internet users aged eight to 12 had
profiles on Facebook, Bebo or MySpace last year, research has found,
although the lowest minimum age set on any of the sites is 13.
Facebook 'overtakes Google' as most-visited site in US
Facebook has become the most-visited site in the US
after overtaking Google, according to new data from Hitwise. The
popular social networking page toppled the search giant after
accounting for 7.07% of all US web traffic compared to Google's 7.03%.
However, the research did not include other Google services such as
Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube.
Twitter lets users login from Amazon and eBay
Twitter has launched a new feature, called @anywhere,
that lets partner websites display its content. The tool is similar to
Facebook's Connect service, which lets people log in to other websites
using their Facebook details and interact with friends.
Initially, 13 sites will adapt the @anywhere service, including
Amazon, eBay and The New York Times. @anywhere will allow people using
Amazon or the New York Times to follow new users or share media
directly from the page.
ExactTarget buys Twitter app CoTweet
Email marketing firm ExactTarget has acquired Twitter
business app CoTweet for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2008 and based
in San Francisco, CoTweet is a Web-based collaboration platform that
allows companies to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single
Twitter to launch hashtag-based ad platform next month?
Twitter is testing a hashtag-based ad platform that
might be launched in a few months, according to a news report. The
move was rumoured by Seth Goldstein, CEO of socialmedia.com, during
the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting 2010 in California.
Declining to confirm exactly when Twitter would release the platform,
Anamitra Banerji, head of product management and monetization at
Twitter, told MediaPost following the panel that "we are working on an
ad platform, but it's only in the test phase." Banerji told MediaPost
that the ad platform, it will make it "explicitly clear that a sponsor
paid for the ad", and make it "relevant and useful".
Facebook to accept PayPal payments for games and apps
Social networkers and businesses looking to sell to
them will soon be able to use the PayPal online payment network to
purchase goods and services on Facebook. The two companies announced a
partnership Thursday under which Facebook will allow advertisers to
use eBay-owned PayPal's transaction system in order to pay for ads.
Vodafone to axe up to 500 UK jobs, eyes rival network 3
Mobile network operator Vodafone is to slash up to 500
jobs in the UK as the mobile network operator is reportedly mulling a
bid for rival 3. The European telecoms carrier plans to cut 500 staff
from its headquarters in Newbury as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Apple sues Google's mobile handset maker HTC for 'copying iPhone'
Apple is taking legal action against phone
manufacturer HTC, the company behind Google's Nexus One handset and
other Android-based smartphones, for allegedly using patents and
technology seen in the iPhone. Apple claims the phone manufacturer has
infringed 20 iPhone patents, using the company's "underlying hardware
and architecture" for its own phone models.
Orange and T-Mobile merger gets green light
The proposed merger between Orange and T-Mobile in the
UK has been cleared after the Office of Fair Trading withdrew a
request for an EC investigation. Having investigated the merger, the
EC decided that it could see no direct competition concerns relating
to providing services to end users, or consumers, or the wholesale
telecoms market. The European Commission has cleared the way for
T-Mobile and Orange to merge its operations in the UK after receiving
advice from a UK consumer body that it will "not now have an adverse
impact on competition within the UK".
Accelerating Digital Brands: Could we help your team achieve more?
It's never mattered more. The web, search,
email and social media have become the critical tools every firm has
to get right. Yet most digital strategies deliver less than half their
We've spent ten years helping agencies, brands, business services and
governments find the right digital strategy for them. From building
new online entertainment sites to finding new ways to connect with
customers, we're front-line practitioners who share our knowledge and
skills with others.
Not only do we help companies get this right we also coach their teams
to build their knowledge and intuition. Email the trainers at
Country focus: Switzerland
Largest internet sites: Switzerland
Swiss audience reach for top 10 parent companies, February 2010
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, Switzerland February 2010
internet behaviour: Switzerland
Monthly Internet use: key indicators for Swiss web users, February 2010
Online behavioural ad technology Phorm launches, but not in Europe
Behavioural ad targeting technology group Phorm has
announced the commercial launch of its Open Internet Exchange platform
in Brazil. After months of inactivity, the company has now announced
that it will be working with Brazil's leading ISPs to deploy its new
Web Discover service in the country. The firm claims to have $5.6
million of advertising pre-booked for the roll-out.
Google wins AdWords trademark case
A European court has ruled in Google's favour allowing
advertisers using its AdWords system to use the names of other
companies as search keywords. In a landmark ruling this week, the
court ruled that this practice does not represent a trademark
violation. The court also went on to say that Google's AdWords program
is protected by a European law governing Internet hosting services.
"This is important because it is a fundamental principle behind the
free flow of information over the Internet," Harjinder S. Obhi, Google
senior litigation counsel for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa,
wrote in a blog post.
Financial websites and marketing regulation: Ofcom, MoneySavingExpert
GMTV was wrong to allow consumer expert Martin Lewis
to promote his commercial website on Lorraine Kelly's show,
broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has ruled. In its March bulletin, Ofcom
said GMTV had breached its broadcasting code by re-directing viewers
to Lewis's website from the morning show's own web page. The ruling
referred to a segment on January 14 in which Martin Lewis claimed that
free gym passes were available on his site.
on social networks forced to comply with ASA standards
Ads on social media sites will soon have to comply
with the same code of conduct as traditional media, following a new
industry-wide initiative. The move has been designed to help increase
protection for consumers and children, by holding online ads
accountable for being honest and responsible.
election marketing: Tighter restrictions on party campaigning
The switch to web marketing, email and database driven
profiling has prompted marketing regulators to go on the offensive in
the run up to the election. "In the past some parties have flouted the
rules", Information Commissioner Christopher Graham told us. "That's
why today I'm issuing updated guidance for political parties covering
email, direct mail, phone calls, automated calls..."
Google to ditch Ad Manager for DoubleClick
Publishers using Google's Ad Manager system to control
their sites ads will soon be moved over to DoubleClick for Publishers
(DFP). Google said the move is designed to make the ad management
process easier and faster for publishers. Google acquired DoubleClick
in March 2008, and has since upgraded DFP to include a variety of new
entertainment websites: UK
Sites ranked by visits for the week ending 13th March
news and media websites: UK
Sites ranked by visits for the week ending 13th March
news & entertainment search terms: UK
Terms ranked by search clicks for the four weeks
ending 13th March 2010
turns to digital product placement tool to protect TV ad spend
ITV is reportedly studying its results after
conducting trials of digital product placement technology, which
inserts brands and clickable ads in online versions of shows.
Broadcast magazine reports that the broadcaster is aiming to boost
income streams via a trial to insert digital product placement and
clickable ads into the online version of Coronation Street.
Lovefilm begins streaming movie rentals direct to TV sets
Lovefilm has struck deals with Sony and Samsung to
stream movie rentals directly to viewers TV sets via an internet
connection. The deal is expected to bring more than 2,000 films, to
the TV manufacturers' latest sets, which can be connected directly to
Microsoft takes on iPlayer with free video player
Microsoft has launched a free online video player for
the UK, which will rival existing services such as BBC iPlayer and
4OD. MSN Video Player contains 1,000 hours of programmes including
Skins, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Footballers' Wives. Over the next few
weeks the service will also begin to include a selection of HD shows.
web revenues up £6m, but still trails competitors
ITV has reported online revenue growth of £6m for 2009
on the back of an overall profit of £25m last year. The news comes as
a welcome relief to the broadcaster, which made a staggering loss of 2.55 billion pounds in 2008. ITV attributed much of the growth to
cost cutting and increasing its share of a declining TV advertising
confirms website closures
The BBC have confirmed its plans to cut back on its
website as part of a company-wide strategy review. The corporation
will cut spending on its website by 25 per cent and cut back on the
number of webpages on the site by up to 50 per cent, it has been
SeeSaw begins $5m ad campaign
UK video-on-demand service SeeSaw has started its
launch campaign, worth £5m, beginning with 10 second commercial. The
campaign will start with a series of ten-second teaser ads across
Channel 4's portfolio of TV services, expanding to run on ITV, Channel
Five, digital multichannel stations and high-traffic websites.
to cut websites by half
The BBC is planning large scale cuts in its online,
television and radio services reports The Times. The plans have come
to light following Director General Mark Thompson's strategic review
of the broadcaster's remit and services, due to be published next
month following sign-off from the BBC Trust.
Companies making the news
Times to charge online readers in June
News International is the start charging readers of
The Times and Sunday Times to look at articles on its
website from June. The papers' articles and comment pieces are
currently available to be read for free on the Times Online website.
Google redirects Chinese users to Hong Kong site to avoid censorship
Google has begun redirecting its Chinese users to its
Honk Kong site, following an ongoing row with the government over the
censorship of its search results. The move has met condemnation from
the Chinese government , branding Google's decision as "totally wrong"
and in violation of its promise to abide by Chinese laws.
Google to shut China operations in April?
Google will close its businesses in China in April,
according to a report in China Business News, citing an unnamed local
authorised agent of Google. The newspaper added that Google may
announce details of its exit from China on Monday, the day after the
company's staff are due to receive their annual year-end bonus, citing
unnamed Google employees in China.
News Corp axes 20% of staff at portal IGN
News Corp has cut a significant chunk of its staff at
IGN Entertainment, an Internet portal which focuses on video games.
The move comes 9 months after Murdoch's media conglomerate laid off
30% of its staff at MySpace.
Google '99.9% certain' on China exit - FT
Google is close to an exit from China, following a
feud with the country's government over censorship, according to a new
report. The Financial Times quotes a source familiar with the matter
that the search giant's proposed departure from China is now "99%
certain" to go ahead.
Google takes Street View to more parts of UK
Google is set to launch its Street View service for
many parts of the UK so far neglected by the service. When launched in
the UK last year, Google Street View initially covered 25 towns and
cities. Subsequently, further sites of interest were added, some of
which were not accessible to Google's Street View car and were instead
explored by the 'Google Trike'.
Microsoft debuts first Bing TV ads in UK
Microsoft has launched a three month TV ad campaign
for its new search engine Bing, in an attempt to gain ground on Google
in the UK. Starting this week, the campaign will attempt to increase
Bing's market share from the 3% it currently holds.
starts hiring again- with a digital focus
Marketing services giant WPP has begun hiring staff
again, with a focus on its digital division and Asia markets. The move
comes after WPP slashed nearly 14,000 staff last year as part of a
cost cutting drive to counter to ad downturn.
Group CEO Sir Martin Sorrell hopes WPP will do better than flat
revenue growth this year but has budgeted conservatively after being
"once bitten, twice shy" on forecasts in 2009. The company has said
that digital services will make up two-thirds its revenues in "three
or four years" and that it expects 2010 to be a stable year. WPP
reported an 11 percent drop in profits to £663m ($1bn) after a
"brutal" 2009 and a particularly low second quarter. New media sales
accounted for 27% of the advertising and marketing group's revenues,
iPad set for late April UK launch
Apple is to start selling its iPad tablet PC from the
3rd April in the US, although it is yet to confirm the launch date for
its international rollout.
The US launch date comes slightly later than originally announced.
Unveiling the touchscreen multi-media device on January 27, the
California company behind the iPod, iPhone and Macintosh computer had
said the iPad would be "available in late March worldwide." Apple said
it would be accepting pre-orders from US customers at its online store
from March 12 for the iPad, which allows users to watch video, listen
to music, play games, surf the Web or read electronic books.
Trinity Mirror profits fall 41% amid ad downturn
Profits at Trinity Mirror sank 41% last year as the
severe economic downturn hit advertising revenues and budgets shift
online. The publisher, which owns the Daily Mirror newspaper and 120
regional titles, remained cautiously optimistic, saying it had seen
signs of an improving advertising market, and the trend should
to accept PayPal for micro-payments
The Financial Times is to introduce new payment
options for reading stories on FT.com, including accepting Paypal
payments, as the publisher looks to bolster its successful online
subscription model. John Ridding told the FT's Digital Media and
Broadcasting Conference in central London on Tuesday that the FT would
begin trialling eBay's PayPal, for daily or weekly access to FT.com.
Murdoch mulling lawsuit against Google?
Rupert Murdoch has hinted he may issue a lawsuit
against Google if it did not stop indexing content from his media
In a recent interview with New York Magazine, a senior media executive
claims Murdoch is ready to see the search giant in court. "He's pretty
tightly wound up over Google and has been ready to sue them," the
executive claims. "He doesn't trust them at all." Another unnamed
executive from MySpace, the flagging social-networking site that
Murdoch paid $580m for in 2005, claims Murdoch is ill at ease in the
sells affiliate network Buy.at to Digital Window
AOL has sold its affiliate marketing business Buy.at
to UK affiliate marketing network Digital Window for an undisclosed
sum. Digital Window (formerly known as Affiliate Window) has acquired
Newcastle-based Perfiliate, which runs Buy.at.
Google buys photo editing site Picnik
Google has bought online photo editing suite Picnik,
in a bid to bolster the capabilities of its existing image altering
and photo-sharing software Picsa. Formed in 2005, Seattle-based Picnik
works directly with online photo libraries such as Flickr (owned by
Google's rival Yahoo), Facebook and Picasa web albums. Users can also
upload files to the service and download them again when they are
done. The 20-strong team will start working on Picasa, Google's online
photo sharing service.
Microsoft forced to give IE users option to switch to rival browsers
Microsoft is to give IE users the option to switch to
rival browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari, as part of
new competition rules. The move follows a legal agreement between
Microsoft and Europe's Competition Commission in December 2009.
Google buys online video firm On2
Google has completed its $125m acquisition of video
compression specialist On2, as the internet giant looks to expand
further into the growing online video market. The deal closed after
gaining approval from On2 shareholders and was valued at $124.6m. The
figure was about $18 million more than the value stated when the
acquisition was first announced last year. On2 provides video
compression technologies for mobile video, embedded devices, Adobe
Flash Player and VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol).
Bigmouthmedia merges with LBi
Search engine marketing firm Bigmouthmedia is to merge
with marketing agency LBi International, to create the largest
marketing and technology agency in Europe. The deal was made through
Bigmouthmedia's holding company Obtineo, a combination of
Bigmouthmedia and EU40m of new capital which will expand the combined
Italian privacy: Google officials convicted in video bullying case
In a landmark case, two managers and a former
executive of Google have been found guilty of privacy violations by an
Italian court. The ruling represents the first such conviction for
employees of Google, and the internet giant has vowed to appeal the
decision. The move could have wide-ranging implications for all
websites in Italy that allow users to upload their own content.