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Digital Intelligence
Your review of new research and digital marketing trends
September 2011

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Digital Strategy Consulting


Is Facebook destined to become the next AOL? This month saw the social network transform into a media hub, realising Zuckerberg's strategy of positioning Facebook as an "Internet within the Internet". The move has worked for games, providing huge ad revenues and rich demographic data yields, but will users be happy to watch Netflix films, stream Spotify playlists and read eBooks within Facebook's site? Or is it too similar to AOL's doomed "walled garden" strategy of the early noughties?

This month saw Google take the revamped Google+ public, buying Groupon rival Daily Deal and unveiling its potentially revolutionary Wallet service in the US. Meanwhile, Twitter's new analytics tool could help marketers shed light on the dark art of social media ROI, and the relationship between retweets and revenue on the micro-blogging site.

September also provided some prime examples of how not to get ahead in digital media. Yahoo fired fiery boss Bartz over the phone, leaving the former dotcom darling looking for a buyer. RIM saw its profits collapse as Blackberry lost its grip on the mobile market, and newly bought MySpace has been forced to postpone its grand launch. Award for worst CRM of the month goes to Netflix, which fumbled a re-branding and re-pricing strategy that outraged customers and forced a humble YouTube apology from the CEO, which you can view in all its wince-inducing glory below.

On the research side, we've got some telling stats on mobile broadband this month. 1 in 10 of eBay's customers now buy via mobiles, while the UN found that over 10% world population now has mobile broadband. Food for thought for anyone doubting the potential of mobile...


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Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

Market data
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Average time spent visiting blogs: Global
Japan led all markets in blog engagement, with the average visitor spending more than an hour (62.6 minutes) visiting blogs in June.

Digital Strategy - Average time spent visiting blogs: Global

Top markets for Blog penetration: Global
Taiwan ranked highest globally for blog engagement, with 85.5% of its online population visiting blogs, followed by Brazil (85.2%), South Korea (84.9%) and Turkey (81.9%).

Digital Strategy - Top markets for Blog penetration: Global

Top 10 social networks and blogs: US
Facebook received over 140 million unique visitors in May 2011, almost three times as many as its nearest rival, Blogger, which had 50 million unique visitors.

Digital Strategy - Top UK brands test Google Goggles 'visual search' smartphone ads

Internet usage by country: Europe
Germany still leads the way in terms of number of web users in Europe, but the Netherlands and the UK spend most time online.

Digital Strategy - Internet usage by country: Europe

Top 10 newspaper sites: Europe
A total of 167.2 million unique visitors went to European newspaper properties in June 2011, up 11% from a year ago, with the UK's Daily Mail Online and Guardian leading the way.

Digital Strategy - Top 10 newspaper sites: Europe

Gaming survey: Brits go online first for game research and purchases
Online has become the place to go to learn about, research and purchase new game titles, according to a new survey of UK gamers conducted by YouGov. The study, commissioned by online ad network Tribal Fusion, suggests that, while traditional point of sale remains an important marketing element, an online campaign is increasingly crucial during launch.
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21/09/2011

Brits 'connected to web 10 hours a day'
The average Brit spends ten hours a day being connected to the Internet, according to a new survey. The study, from Plusnet Business, demonstrates how the demand for Internet access has increased, with almost a quarter (24%) of people saying that they need it to be able to update people should anything happen. Small businesses need to take note that almost half (49%) of respondents said Internet access, provided by businesses, is needed in public areas.
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07/09/2011

Top 10 countries for blog use: Japan tops list
4 in 5 Japanese web users visited a blog site during June, according to new data. The study, from comScore, found that FC2 inc, Livedoor, Blog and Ameblo.jp ranked as the most popular blog destinations for the Japanese audience. The report found that in June 2011 more than 80 percent of the entire online population in Japan visited a blog site, as the number of visitors to the category rose 7 percent from the previous year.
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01/09/2011

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Trends
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Half a million Germans 'addicted to the internet'
Over half a million Germans are addicted to the web, with mid-teen girls being the most hooked, according to a new study. The survey was carried out by the German government's top addiction specialist, Mechthild Dyckmans. It found some 560,000 or around one percent of the population between the ages of 14 and 64 cannot control their use of the web, with the youngest users the most vulnerable.
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29/09/2011

Over 10% world population has mobile broadband: UN
Mobile broadband has reached one in eight people, or slightly over 10%, of the total world population, according to a new report by the United Nations (UN). The UN report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has found that adoption of mobile Internet is sharpest in poor nations, at about 160% year-on-year. The number of active worldwide mobile broadband subscriptions increased in 2010, reaching 872 million, up from 531 million in 2009, the report found.
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21/09/2011

Online gamers crack 10-year AIDS enzyme puzzle in just 3 weeks
In an example of 'crowd-sourcing' at its best, online gamers have solved an AIDS enzyme puzzle that has stumped scientists for nearly a decade, providing a break-through for potentially life-saving drug developments. A group of scientists, after failing to solve the crystal structure of a protein involved in AIDS, challenged players of the protein-folding game Fold.it to try.
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21/09/2011

Google expects India's web audience to triple by 2012
Google expects India's Internet users to triple by 2014 as telecom carriers invest in high-speed wireless infrastructure and smartphones become cheaper, according to a news report. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Google's country head in India, Rajan Anandan, said that the company forecasts India will reach at least 300 million Internet users by 2014, up from about 100 million now.
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21/09/2011

Brits top Europe for app and mobile web usage
Brits are the biggest users of mobile apps compared to their European counterparts, according to new research. The study, from comScore, looked at growth trends of the smartphone platforms across the five leading European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK).
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16/09/2011

Online game sales 'to surpass physical retail' by 2013
Sales of online games are expected to pass physical retail from 2013, according to a new study. The report, from DFC Intelligence, predicts that online sales will increase from $19.3 billion in 2010 to $37.9 billion by 2016, driving the overall industry value to $81 billion. It also states that traditional retail have 'peaked', and will drop to $43 billion in 2016, down from a high of $58 billion in 2008.
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13/09/2011

Mobile and video ad exposure: Under 24s biggest audience for advertisers
Brits aged between 15-24 are the most likely to be exposed to online video ads and smartphone ads, according to new research. The study, from Comscore, online advertising market in the UK across the general population of fixed line Internet users, online video viewers and smartphone users. Nearly 70 percent of 15-24 year olds were exposed to at least one online ad video in June 2011 - approximately 7 percentage points higher than the total Internet audience.
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13/09/2011

.XXX domains go on sale: Just what the internet needs
Ever get the feeling the lunatics were policing the asylum? As the naming authorities get set to inflict .XXX domain name conventions on us all, here's a reminder of the fall-out of the release of the 'dot-anything-you-want' approach to website naming. It's all vaguely reminiscent of the 1995 cybersquatters goldrush that made millions for trademark lawyers and opportunists. Our advice? Have the internal discussion about what's worth protecting, but don't get swept up in the hype of trying to buy 'www.YourBrand.Anything'. And if you have views on this, then share them. Are we being harsh, or just anticipating what every brand manager will be feeling in a month or two as they get spammed by the cybersquatters?
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08/09/2011

Most Brits 'don't know what a QR code is'
Just over a third (36%) of Brits know what QR Codes are, and only 11% have actually used them, according to a new survey. The study, published by research agency Simpson Carpenter, looked at the rise in retailers using Quick Response (QR) codes - barcodes designed to be scanned by smartphones to offer information and promotions about products and services. With retailers looking to exploit mobile technology and QR codes starting to appear in more places it may be of concern to those endorsing the medium that just under half of respondents (43 per cent) said they thought they had never seen one.
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06/09/2011

UK rural broadband to use TV to boost signal
Ofcom has given the green light for internet providers to use unused TV spectrum to deliver broadband to rural areas. The move will see user's ISP's searching for unused areas of the airwaves or gaps called "white spaces" that exist in frequency bands that have been reserved for TV broadcasts. These white spaces are used to transmit and receive wireless signals.
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02/09/2011

UK mobile web use soars, but quarter of Brits still with no internet: ONS
Mobile internet use in the UK continued to soar in 2011, with nearly half of internet users logging on in the past year via their smartphones, but a quarter of households remain without a connection as the digital divide shows no signs of closing, according to the latest government statistics. The annual research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) put the number of internet users accessing web sites via their phones at 45 per cent, up from 31 per cent last year and 23 per cent in 2009.
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01/09/2011

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Social
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Average time spent on social networking sites: EU5
During April 2011, females spent significantly more time on social networks than males across all age groups. Females aged between 15-24 were the most engaged audience 98.4 hours), followed by those aged between 45-54 (5.5 hours).

Digital Strategy - Average time spent on social networking sites: EU5

Accessing social media via mobile phones: UK
Social media usage on mobile phones nearly doubled between March 2010 and March 2011. 7.9 million users now access social media sites almost every day via their mobile phone.

Digital Strategy - Accessing social media via mobile phones: UK

Top 10 social networks and blogs: US
Facebook received over 140 million unique visitors in May 2011, almost three times as many as its nearest rival, Blogger, which had 50 million unique visitors.

Digital Strategy - Top 10 social networks and blogs: US

Google+ now 8th biggest social network: Gaining on LinkedIn and MySpace
Traffic has exploded on Google+ after the social networking site opened to the public, with its market share closing in on Linkedin and MySpace, according to new data. The study, from Web analytics firm Hitwise, saw traffic to Google+ shooting up 1,269% in one week, making the site the eighth largest social network on the Internet. The data indicates that Google+ rose from the 54th most visited site social networking to the eighth, receiving nearly 15 million visits in one week.
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29/09/2011

Social media 'driving sales for UK online retailers'
Social media use doubles in one year amongst UK and Ireland e-tailers, with three quarters now using Facebook and Twitter to drive sales, according to a new study. The e-business benchmark report from Sage Pay, surveyed over 1,000 UK and Ireland based internet businesses. It found the industry is in rude health with respondents reporting on average 49% growth in online sales over the past year.
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29/09/2011

Spotify ties future to Facebook - new sign ups 'need Facebook accounts'
Details of last week's partnership between Facebook and Spotify have come to light, with new sign-ups to the music service required to be Facebook members. Spotify argues that the move is all part of the 'deep integration' between the two services and users will be able to sharing in their music listening habits in a 'seamless' way. In a boost to ad revenues, Spotify advertisers like Coca-Cola, Motorola, Reebok, and Chevrolet will be getting more distribution through the digital music service thanks to it being one of several Facebook Music launch partners. However, Spotify has come under fire for the changes, with some users angry that new settings linking to their Facebook accounts were not clearly explained.
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28/09/2011

Chinese social media giant Renren buys video sharing site
Renren has bought online video sharing site 56.com for $80 million, as the Chinese social networking site looks to boost user engagement. Founded in 2005, Guangzhou-based 56.com is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view and share videos.
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28/09/2011

Facebook denies tracking users after they log out
Facebook has denied allegations that it can track what users are doing online even if they log out of the social network, arguing that it only does so to protect the user's safety. The denials follow a study released over the weekend, revealing that when a user logs out of Facebook, rather than deleting its tracking cookies, the site merely modifies them, maintaining account information and other unique tokens that can be used to identify the user.
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26/09/2011

Shopping and social media: Facebook pages 'change consumer's perception of brands'
Social media is becoming increasingly important to brands, with 54% of visitors to a retailer's social media platform admitting their perception of the brand changed, according to a new survey. The study, from GSI Commerce, also found that a third of consumers use social and mobile channels to directly contact and complain to brands.
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23/09/2011

Facebook transforms into media hub, partners Spotify and NetFlix
Facebook has undergone its biggest redesign yet, as the social network repositions itself as a one-stop entertainment hub where users can watch films and TV, read books and news and listen to music on the same platform. The revamp, set to roll out over the next few weeks, will see user profiles replaced with an audio visual timeline of their life. In addition, the site's application platform has been redesigned to allow users to share what they are consuming on streaming music services such as Spotify, and the movie rental site Netflix. News sites, including the Guardian and Independent newspapers, are also included in the initial roll out.
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23/09/2011

Google+ goes public with 9 new features
Google has opened Google+ up to the public with a raft of new features, including video hangouts, shared TV shows, and live collaborative document editing, as the internet giant gets serious about social media. The move follows a 90-day invitation-only field trial. The announcement comes just ahead of Facebook's f8 Conference, and represents Google's biggest push yet to topple the social media market leader.
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22/09/2011

MySpace delays re-launch after sell off
MySpace is delaying its planned relaunch until next month, following its acquisition in June for $35m by Specific Media and singer Justin Timberlake. Specific Media had plans to unveil the website's new vision, which was rumoured to be in the realm of music and entertainment (with some sort of possible talent show element), at an exclusive summer news conference.
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22/09/2011

Facebook forecast to double revenue to £2.72bn
Facebook is predicted to double revenue this year to £2.72bn, as advertisers flock to the social network. Figures released by market research firm eMarketer suggest that firms were more than twice as likely to use Facebook than Twitter. Advertising revenue is expected to leap from an estimated £1.19bn last year to £2.42bn this year.
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22/09/2011

Alcoholic brands restrict under 18s from Facebook fan pages
Top drinks brands such as Smirnoff and baileys have agreed to introduce a code of practice for ads on Facebook and other social media sites. The move follows an initiative by The European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD), which represents the largest alcoholic spirits manufacturers in Europe and America, such as Diageo. The new guidelines will extend responsible alcohol advertising to brand pages on Facebook, blogs and mobile apps.
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22/09/2011

Facebook tracks trends with film and music 'ticker'
Facebook is set to unveil a real-time stream of what its users are watching and listening to online with a new 'ticker' tool, according to a new report. The Guardian reports that the social network will introduce the new "ticker" stream alongside partnerships with major media companies. The latest changes will be part of a "read, watch and listen" theme during F8, the Facebook developer conference that launches Thursday in San Francisco.
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22/09/2011

Facebook lets users follow strangers' status updates with Twitter-style 'Subscribe' button
Facebook is launching a 'Subscribe' button, letting users follow the public updates of others, regardless of whether they are Facebook friends. The tool is similar to Twitter, in that users can follow content others are posting without having to reciprocate. Users will begin seeing a Subscribe button alongside the "Message" and "Poke" button on Facebook profiles.
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16/09/2011

Twitter debuts analytics tools, expands Promoted Tweets
Twitter has launched a new web analytics tool, helping site owners keep track of Twitter-driven traffic, as the micro-blogging site looks to appeal to the enterprise segment. Separately, the company also announced plans to expand its Promoted Tweets platform. Firms can examine how their website content is being shared across the Twitter network and view the amount of traffic Twitter sends to their site. They can also measure the effectiveness of the Tweet Button integration on their websites.
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15/09/2011

Facebook 'smart lists' lets users manage friends
Facebook has launched a 'smart lists' tool that automatically sorts friends into categories and prioritise news from favoured members. Launching this week, Smart Lists offers similar features to Google+ and its "circles" that mirror real-world social groups such as family, friends, and co-workers. Smart Lists will generate groups of friends for Facebook users based on common attributes in their profiles such as a family, city, school or employer.
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15/09/2011

Facebook's first music platform to launch this month?
Facebook could be on the verge of revamping its music services, including a standalone music platform, according to news reports. Currently, Facebook users can upload music apps to their profiles pages but they can't directly share songs and playlists. But now, the firm is expected to announce the launch of its first digital music service at a conference later this month.
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14/09/2011

Top US social media sites: Tumblr gaining ground
Facebook remains the dominant social network, but micro-blogging site Tumblr and others are enjoying traction, according to new research. The new social media consumption study from Nielsen indicates that social network usage accounts for 25 percent of U.S. Web users' time spent online. Facebook leads the way at more than 53 billion total minutes spent online during May.
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13/09/2011

Doubts raised over possible AOL - Yahoo tie up
Doubts are emerging over a report that AOL is considering buying Yahoo, following the firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz earlier this week. According to Bloomberg, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is discussing the possibility with Yahoo advisers. However, doubts have been raised over the wisdom or likelihood of a merger of two embattled Internet firms. CNBC has since reported that a "source close to Yahoo says no interest in a deal with AOL," so this rumour may be nothing but wishful thinking on AOL's part.
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12/09/2011

Facebook doubles revenue as ad sales soar
Facebook's revenue doubled to US$1.6bn in the first half of 2011 as its ad revenues soared, according to a news report. The report, from Reuters, quotes 'a source with knowledge of Facebook's financial data. The company does not disclose details of its financial performance, but sources told Reuters that net income in the first half of 2011 was almost $500m. The leaked figures are the first indication of Facebook's financial success since reports in June that it is preparing to make an initial public offering in October or November this year, valuing the company at around $100bn.
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09/09/2011

Twitter to launch UK ads in October?
Twitter is reportedly set to launch its advertising service to UK businesses and brands in October, according to a report. Trade publication Marketing Magazine reports that Twitter will sell advertisers access to promoted tweets, trends and accounts aimed at UK-based Twitter users.
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08/09/2011

UK Parliament uses online gaming to build citizenship
It's a smart use of digital from an increasingly cutting edge team: UK Parliament's latest online game invites young people to put themselves in the Prime Ministerial hot-seat and find out if they have what it takes to run the country. Danny Meadows-Klue reckons it's a perfect example of right media channel, right content, driven from the right communications objectives. Here's why...
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08/09/2011

Facebook relaxes gambling ad ban
Facebook has revised its advertising rules which will now allow gambling operators to advertise on the social network. The move will allow offline gambling establishments to advertise "provided the ads are appropriately targeted". While the promotion of gambling in the US will still be excluded, advertising by online gambling operators aimed at residents in other countries will be allowed.
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07/09/2011

Brits 'use Facebook Places 5 times more than Foursquare'
The top UK attractions, such as the O2, Wembley Stadium and Hyde Park, attracted five times more online 'check-ins' from Facebook Places that Foursquare, according to a new study. The findings come from VisitBritain's Love UK's Top50 Places Facebook campaign, which was developed by Betapond. While nearly 1 million (955,437) check-ins originated from Facebook Places just 176,724 came from Foursquare.
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05/09/2011

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Search
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Search engine rankings - total core search share: US
Google sites accounted for 64.5 percent of total core searches conducted (up 1.2 percentage points), followed by Yahoo1 sites with 17.5 percent and Microsoft sites with 14.1 percent (Up 1.0 percentage points).

Digital Strategy - Search engine rankings - total core search share: US

Search engine rankings - total core search queries: US
Americans conducted more than 18.7 billion total core search queries in June (down 3 percent). Google sites ranked first with 12.1 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! sites with 3.3 billion and Microsoft sites with 2.6 billion (up 5 percent).

Digital Strategy - Search engine rankings - total core search queries: US

Search engine rankings - explicit core search share: US
Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in June 2011, with 65.5 percent market share, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 15.9 percent and Microsoft Sites with 14.4 percent (up 0.3 percentage points).

Digital Strategy - Search engine rankings - explicit core search share: US

Search engine rankings - explicit core search queries: US
More than 16.7 billion explicit core searches in June 2011. Google Sites ranked first with 10.9 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.7 billion and Microsoft Sites with 2.4 billion.

Digital Strategy - Search engine rankings - explicit core search queries: US

M&S Vs. Interflora: Google AdWords legal battle rages on
In a case that could change the way brands bid on search keyword advertising, a two-year legal battle between Interflora and M&S has reached another stepping stone, with both sides claiming victory - but Google may be the real winner...
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23/09/2011

Yahoo revamps search results
Yahoo! has revamped its search results pages with a cleaner design and more filtering options. The changes are apparent throughout Yahoo!'s Web, Images, Video, News, Blogs, Finance and Sports search results pages.
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20/09/2011

Google's new airfare search tool in US - a threat to travel comparison sites?
Google has launched a new tool that helps users search and compare airline flight costs. The launch comes nearly five months after Google bought ITA Software, a US-based flight-information software company for $700m. The move has unnerved other travel industry players, which worried that it would give Google too much influence over the online travel industry.
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20/09/2011

Google urged to penalise piracy sites with low search rankings
The UK government is to call on search engines such as Google, advertisers and credit card companies to join the fight against online piracy. These organisations should take reasonable steps against websites that openly infringe copyright, UK's secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Jeremy Hunt, is expected to say today.
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14/09/2011

Alibaba takes on Baidu with Chinese search engine eTao
Alibaba has launched a new search engine called eTao, as China's largest e-commerce company looks to take on Baidu in the search market. Alibaba has launched its search engine called eTao.com after a beta trial last year. Alibaba's eTao site has been designed primarily as a shopping search engine, allowing users to query for products and group-buying deals. But the site also allows users to search for general web pages as well. eTao's market share, however, is so small that research firms don't list it.
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14/09/2011

Bing search share up to nearly 30% in US
Bing-powered searches took nearly 30% of the US market share last month, gaining ground on Google which saw its share fall, according to new research. The study from Experian Hitwise indicates that Bing-powered search took a 28.99% market share for all searches made in the US for the month of August. Bing powered search results increased by 3%, specifically Bing.com search results saw a growth of 1% from July and Yahoo saw an increase of 5% (which is powered by Bing).
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13/09/2011

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Mobile
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Top Smartphone platforms by share of users: EU5
In July 2011, nearly 1 in 4 smartphone users in EU5 reported using smartphones running on the Google Android platform. Between July 2010 and July 2011, Android increased its market share by 16.2 percentage points to 22.3 percent.

Digital Strategy - Top Smartphone platforms by share of users: EU5

Top mobile original equipment manufacturers: US
Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.5% of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 1.0 percentage points), followed by LG with 20.9 percent share and Motorola with 14.1 percent share.

Digital Strategy - Top mobile original equipment manufacturers: US

Top smartphone platforms: US
82.2 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending July 2011, up 10% from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 41.8% market share, up 5.4%.

Digital Strategy - Top smartphone platforms: US

Mobile content usage - popular activities: US
Accessing social networking sites or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 30.1 percent of mobile subscribers in the three months from Apr to Jul 2011.

Digital Strategy - Mobile content usage - popular activities: US

Mobile advertising by region: Global
It is predicted that mobile advertising revenue will be US3.3 billion in 2011, and that this will increase to $20.6 billion in 2015, more than doubling each year (revenue measured in millions of dollars).

Digital Strategy - Mobile advertising by region: Global

Top 10 countries for penetration of 3G handsets
3G growth is concentrated in developed markets. Japan leads the way with 90% penetration, followed by South Korea with 75%. by comparison, the global 3G penetration rate is 12%.

Digital Strategy - Top 10 countries for penetration of 3G handsets

Internet access using wireless handheld devices
In urban China, 43% of wireless handheld device owners accessed the internet at least once per month during Q2 2010, double the rate of US device owners.

Digital Strategy - Internet access using wireless handheld devices

Top global regions for penetration of 3G handsets
It is estimated that by 2014, the penetration level for 3G handsets will reach 100% in Japan, closely followed by Western Europe. Some countries (i.e. Sweden, Norway, Ukraine and the US) are already moving to 4G.

Digital Strategy - Top global regions for penetration of 3G handsets

Android most popular platform for new smartphone purchases in US
Smartphones running Google's Android are the most popular among US consumers buying new handsets, according to new data. The survey by market research firm Nielsen shows that in the three months to the end of August, 56% of Americans buying a phone chose Android. Apple iPhones running its iOS software were bought by 28% of new smartphone buyers.
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28/09/2011

Phone watchdog looks into 'rogue app' charges
UK phone watchdog PhonepayPlus has begun a ten-week public consultation on app-based mobile payments. After introducing a new Code of Practice earlier this month, the premium rate telephone service regulator is now planning to add a guidance document on 'Applications-based payments'.
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27/09/2011

BBC leap to tablet content delivery strategy
Interesting announcements from the BBC about digital platforms. Future media director Ralph Rivera says tablets are at the centre of the way they're redesigning their sites - but is this a case of being too far ahead of the consumer today, or smartly building the foundations for tomorrow. In a world where it's easy to get the digital channel mix wrong, decide for yourself, here...
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23/09/2011

Blackberry profits collapse: RIM losing battle in mobile
Lack of innovation, not reading the smartphone market trends - the once-leading mobile handset manufacturer is looking like a dinosaur. Our verdict? If it wasn't for the Blackberry Messenger tool and the loyalty of corporates, then they'd be facing extinction. Here's the latest on the giant's downfall...
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19/09/2011

1 in 10 eBay customers now buying on mobile
The sales of goods through smartphones now account for more than a 10th of all purchases on eBay, according to new figures. The online marketplace said more people in this country were buying and selling goods via mobile than elsewhere in Europe. More than two million items were bought on eBay through a mobile last month, including a house and a £70,000 Ferrari car.
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19/09/2011

Top Android smartphones in Europe: HTC and Samsung top list
HTC is the most popular Android handset make across the leading five countries in Europe, followed by Samsung, according to new research. The study, from comScore, looked at growth trends of the smartphone platforms across the five leading European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).
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15/09/2011

Intel partners Google for Android chips
Computing giant Intel has set up a development partnership with Google to help improve how the Android operating system runs on its processors. Android phones featuring Intel chips should be available in the first half of 2012, Intel executives said on Tuesday at its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The development partnership will see the Android mobile operating system run on Intel's lower-powered Atom chips.
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15/09/2011

Android now 2nd most popular smartphone platform for leading European countries
Google's Android operating system is now running on 1 in 4 smartphones in the 5 leading European markets, second only to Apple's IOS, according to new research. The study, from comScore, looked at growth trends of the smartphone platforms across the five leading European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). In July 2011, nearly 1 in 4 smartphone users in EU5 reported using smartphones running on the Google Android platform.
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14/09/2011

Setback for superfast mobile web: Govt. delays 4G auctions
In a blow for high-speed mobile web access, the UK Government has announced that its much-anticipated 4G spectrum auction will not be held until the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest. 4G offers high-speed broadband to mobile devices. A recent trial in South Newquay using LTE (a type of 4G mobile network) is capable of achieving download speeds of 100Mbps for mobile connections and faster speeds for fixed connections.
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07/09/2011

Boost for 3G mobile web: Virgin strikes £100m deal with Everything Everywhere and Three
Virgin Media Business has struck a £100m deal with mobile networks Everything Everywhere and Three, to boost 3G-based Internet access for all three customer bases in the UK. The deal will see Virgin Media Business build 14 regional aggregation networks across the UK for MBNL - the joint venture between Three UK and T-Mobile - to support 3G-enabled functionality from video-calling to mobile TV.
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06/09/2011

Top 5 mobiles and platforms in the US: Samsung and Android lead the pack
More than 80 million Americans now own smartphones, with Samsung and Android being the top manufacturer and operating system respectively, according to new data. comScore has revealed key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending July 2011.
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01/09/2011

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Advertising
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Top UK brands test Google Goggles 'visual search' smartphone ads
French Connection, Garnier, Sony Music and Samsung are among the top brands testing Google's new visual search ad platform. The platform uses Google Googles, a visual search application that searches based on images taken by a user's phone camera. The brands will run Google Goggle's campaigns as part of their poster advertising.
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20/09/2011

Top sectors for online ad engagement: Sports and Telecoms leading the way
Telecommunication brands are one of the most successful industries at engaging consumers through online spend, according to new research. The study, from ad server MediaMind, has found that when looking at ads, users are most likely to convert within the first three exposures to campaign. Telecoms is the second highest vertical for user engagement - beating out retail, travel, entertainment, apparel and news.
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19/09/2011

UK: Smartphone and Video ad exposure on the rise
Mobile and video advertising are gaining traction in the UK, reaching a sizeable percentage of the total audience, according to new research. The study, from Comscore, online advertising market in the UK across the general population of fixed line Internet users, online video viewers and smartphone users.
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09/09/2011

Most UK sites 'sticking to new ad code'
Most UK websites are complying with the new codes that prohibit false advertising on websites and social media sites, according to a new study. The Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) Digital Media Survey 2011 published today reveals that the advertising on 95% of websites monitored adhered to the extended Advertising Code.
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08/09/2011

Microsoft ramps up display ad tools
Microsoft is adding a raft of new features to its display advertising products, as the software giant looks to compete with Facebook and Google. Spending on display advertising, expected to reach $12.3 billion in the US this year, will almost double to $22 billion in 2015. Microsoft is now the fourth-biggest seller of display ads in the U.S. behind Facebook, Yahoo! Inc. and Google.
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07/09/2011

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Ecommerce
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Top 10 global retail and auction sites: Global
Amazon sites reached the largest global audience with more than 282 million visitors in June 2011, or 20.4% of the worldwide internet population. eBay followed closed behind with a 16.2% market reach.

Digital Strategy - Top 10 global retail and auction sites: Global

Groupon offers vouchers for UK ecommerce sites
Groupon has expanded its UK operations with a new voucher scheme for ecommerce sites. Groupon already offers UK customers daily deal vouchers for local restaurants, hotels and other offline goods and services. The latest move will expand the scheme to UK websites selling online. The move puts the Chicago-based company in closer competition with the likes of Amazon and eBay in the UK.

Digital Strategy - Groupon offers vouchers for UK ecommerce sites

Nearly half of fashion shoppers prefer online to high street
Almost half (45%) of consumers now prefer shopping for clothes and accessories online, while 64% consult a fashion retailer's website before purchase, according to a new study. The latest 'Multichannel Fashion Report' from e-commerce providers GSI Commerce points to a decrease in the number of consumers concerned about common problems with purchasing from online fashion retailers, such as the lack of 'touch and feel' of items.
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16/09/2011

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Video
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Xbox TV to launch before Christmas?
Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has told financial analysts that the new Xbox TV platform will launch in the US before Christmas. Balmer said the service would be similar to that offered by Canal+ in France, Sky in the UK and Foxtel in Australia.
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23/09/2011

YouTube adds video editing tools
YouTube has added an editing tool, letting users make changes to their video clips after they have been uploaded. An "Edit Video" button allows changes such as adding effects, swapping soundtracks, or trimming clips right at YouTube.
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16/09/2011

Channel 4 reveals 4OD viewer data for first time
Channel 4's catch up service 4oD attracted 3.4 million viewers in July, according to figures released for the first time by the broadcaster this week. Popular Channel 4 shows including Hollyoaks and Eight Out of 10 Cats also drove an unspecified increase in 4oD programme views, to 29m in July. 4oD had 3.4 million average monthly viewers last month, according to the report, with Sirens and Come Dine with Me among the most popular catch up programmes.
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02/09/2011

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Companies
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Google opens East London office in 'Silicon Roundabout'
In a boost for the UK's digital media industry, Google has opened a second London Office in the city's nascent technology quarter. The Web giant has rented a seven storey building at 4-5 Bonhill Street just south of Old Street tube station, known as 'Silicon Roundabout; for its booming technolgy scene. The area is said to be the UK's answer to Google's spiritual home in Silicon Valley, California.
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29/09/2011

Amazon unveils £199 Kindle Fire tablet: Is it an iPad killer?
Amazon has unveiled the Kindle Fire tablet, which at less than half the price, could be the biggest challenger to Apple's dominant iPad yet. The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199 (£130), compared with $499 for Apple's cheapest iPad. The device, will expand the Kindle's functions from a traditional e-book reader to a multifunctional digital media tool, will run on Google's Android software.
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29/09/2011

Amazon's iPad rival 'Kindle Fire' to be unveiled today?
Amazon's much-anticipated new colour Kindle tablet device will be called the Fire, according to widespread internet rumours. The device, which is set to launch at an event today in New York, will begin to ship in early November, and run a version of Google's Android operating system, according to reports. The device, which will expand the Kindle from a traditional e-book reader to a multifunctional digital media tool, is rumoured to sell for just $250, including a subscription to the firm's loyalty discount scheme 'Amazon Prime'.
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28/09/2011

Sky tests online local news service in North East UK
Sky is to test an online news and sports service next year, dedicated to local content from Tyne and Wear, as the broadcaster looks to capitalise on the demand for local online content and the lucrative online classifieds market. The site will feature video, text and images produced by the team, along with additional support from Sky News and Sky Sports News.
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27/09/2011

Amazon to sell Kindle tablet for $250?
Amazon is expected to launch its much-anticipated colour Kindle tablet on Wednesday, offering a cheaper rival to Apple's iPad, according to new reports. The device, which will expand the Kindle from a traditional e-book reader to a multifunctional digital media tool, is rumoured to sell for just $250, including a subscription to the firm's loyalty discount scheme 'Amazon Prime'.
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27/09/2011

No console required: Online next-gen gaming system launches in the UK
OnLive, a new online gaming system that gives users access to next-generation games via the internet with no need for a console, has gone live in the UK. Gamers can play around 150 games, including high-profile titles such as Assassins Creed and Deus Ex, on various devices including PCs, Mac tablets and net-connected televisions. There is no charge for the actual OnLive software, users can sign up and download it for free.
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26/09/2011

Play.com sold to Japanese retail giant Rakuten for £25m
Japanese company Rakuten has bought UK online retail giant Play.com for £25m. Play.com is one of the largest ecommerce firms in the UK, selling music, books, clothes and electronics to over 14 million registered users. The company said the purchase marked a "significant step" in its continued European and global expansion.
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22/09/2011

Blinkx woos advertisers with Web channels launch
Video search engine Blinkx has introduced its Web channels for specialised ads targeted at special interest groups. Blinkx is hoping the move will boost its revenue by selling premium-rate ads aimed at niche target groups identified via chatrooms and other links. Blinkx acquired online ad network Burst Media in April for nearly $30m to increase its impact in advertising sector.
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22/09/2011

Google Wallet goes live: Smartphones become credit cards
Google has launched its mobile payments system' Google Wallet' in the US, allowing people to pay for purchases simply by waving their smartphones at the cash register. The Google Wallet stores people's credit card information, coupons and discount cards on smartphones using Google's Android operating system. For now the Google Wallet only works with Google's Nexus 4G phone over the Sprint network in the US, and via an agreement with Mastercard.
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21/09/2011

Threat to Seatwave and Viagogo? eBay takes StubHub ticket resale site to UK
eBay is planning to launch a version of its StubHub ticket marketplace division in the UK by the end of the year, according to a news report. The move, first reported by the Financial Times, would put the company in direct competition with Seatwave and viagogo, the latter of which was established by StubHub co-founder Eric Baker.
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20/09/2011

Netflix splits DVD and streaming into separate brands
US DVD rental and streaming business Netflix is rebranding its DVD by mail service and adding the option of game rentals to its existing. The changes were announced by Netflix Co-Founder and CEO Reed Hastings in a blog post. The blog post also aimed to appease customers who had been by company plans to separate its DVD and streaming plans and change its pricing.
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20/09/2011

Google buys Groupon rival DailyDeal
Google has bought German online voucher site DailyDeal.de for an undisclosed sum, as the internet giant looks to take on Groupon in the lucrative flash sales market. The site offers Groupon-style daily deals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with plans to expand into more European countries. Currently, Google's own daily deals service, Google Offers, is only available in North America, and the acquisition suggests Google has its sights set on the European daily deals market.
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19/09/2011

Yahoo for sale? Silver Lake named as first potential buyer
Yahoo is reportedly attracting interest from potential buyers, with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners named as the first possible bidder for the embattled Internet giant. According to The Wall Street Journal, a number of potential suitors have contacted Yahoo about acquiring all or parts of the company. The news comes little more than a week after Carol Bartz was ousted as CEO after she failed to turn the company around during her nearly three-year term.
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19/09/2011

PayPal payments now accepted offline
EBay has updated PayPal, making the online payments system available to more than a hundred big retailers for in-store transactions. PayPal users will be given a physical PayPal card that they can use to purchase products in stores. The card can be swiped on existing card machines, meaning merchants will not have to install new hardware or payment systems in their stores.
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19/09/2011

Groupon confirms Autumn float... but Facebook postpones IPO until late 2012
Groupon has put its flotation plans back on track, but Facebook is delaying its IPO until the end of 2012, according to news reports. According to a report in the New York Times, the online coupon site is aiming to go public in late October or early November. A week after the daily deals website put its IPO on hold for a few weeks as it waited to ride out global market turmoil.
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16/09/2011

Populis buys Germany's biggest blog network Mokono for €8.2m
Online publisher Populis has bought mokono, Germany's largest blog network for €8.2m (£7.2m). The deal comprises the total of mokono's localised blog networks across 13 European countries and Canada adding 14 million unique monthly users across its 700,000 registered blogs to Populis's substantial network of online media properties.
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16/09/2011

Mobile Ad Network InMobi gets $200m funding boost
Mobile ad network InMobi has raised $200m from Japanese telco Softbank Corp. The investment represents one of the largest in the mobile Internet space till date. Founded in 2007, India-based InMobi helps advertisers and developers serve up mobile ads, a fast-growing industry that has been fuelled by the rise of consumer cellphones and multimedia-rich smartphones like Apple's iPhone.
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16/09/2011

Google helps UK small firms go digital with regional workshops
Google has launched a regional campaign to provide free workshops and one-to-one digital consultations to businesses in Liverpool, as the search giant looks to tap into the local market. The pilot project, called the 'Google Juice Bar', runs over 3 months. It has been set up to help the local economy increase its online presence including how to "build a website in 15 minutes". If successful, the scheme will be rolled out around the UK.
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15/09/2011

Groupon offers vouchers for UK ecommerce sites
Groupon has expanded its UK operations with a new voucher scheme for ecommerce sites. Groupon already offers UK customers daily deal vouchers for local restaurants, hotels and other offline goods and services. The latest move will expand the scheme to UK websites selling online. The move puts the Chicago-based company in closer competition with the likes of Amazon and eBay in the UK.
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13/09/2011

No more missed deliveries? Amazon to offer 'click and collect' service
Amazon is set to offer a new self-collect service for its customers, using lockers at shopping centres. The service aims to solve the dilemma faced by many online shoppers, who cannot receive deliveries during the day. The first lockers could be in place in at least one London location as soon as next week.
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09/09/2011

Amazon 'planning digital book library'
Amazon is in talks with book publishers about launching a media library service similar to Netflix for tablets and other digital books, according to a news report. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Amazon is also expected to release a tablet to rival Apple Inc's iPad in coming weeks. Under the proposal for a digital media library, customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
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12/09/2011

Google helps HTC sue Apple
HTC is to sue Apple over patent infringements, after Google sold the Taiwanese smartphone firm the rights to some of its technology. HTC has used patents it bought from Google last week to lodge a fresh complaint against Apple with the US International Trade Commission (ITC). It has alleged that Apple's computers and mobile devices infringe patents involving Wi-Fi capability and processor communication technology.
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09/09/2011

Is Yahoo looking for the answers in all the wrong places?
As Yahoo ousts another CEO, it's clear that problem is with the portal and not the person...
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08/09/2011

Groupon to delay September IPO?
Groupon is considering a delay to its long-awaited initial public offering, amid turmoil in the US economy. The online voucher firm had hoped to go public by the end of this month, but is studying market conditions and may push back the timing of the offering. A source told the Wall Street Journal that stock market volatility has convinced the company to postpone its IPO. The person clarified that Groupon isn't pulling its IPO, but simply pushing it back. Other reports are saying that the delay is indefinite.
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08/09/2011

BP enters daily deals foray with online coupons
BP is to launch a daily deals service, as the British Oil giant looks to attract customers to its forecourts. The firm has signed up several of its biggest retail partners, including Coca-Cola, United Biscuits, Mars and Walkers, to participate in a new section on the company's website headed 'today's offers'.
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08/09/2011

Yahoo fires CEO Bartz over the phone
Yahoo has fired CEO Carol Bartz over the phone, after just 18 months at the helm. The move has fuelled speculation that the embattled internet media firm may go up for sale, after struggling against younger rivals Google and Facebook for years. The company said in a statement it is carrying out a "comprehensive strategic review" to "position the company for future growth". But an insider speaking to the Wall Street Journal said the company is "open to selling itself to the right bidder".
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07/09/2011

Google promotes 'offers' on home page for first time
Google has promoted a daily deals offer on its US home page for the first time, as the Internet giant gets serious about shopping. The Google Offers advert on its US home page (shown above) marks a rare instance of the internet giant using its prized online real estate for advertising and a warning shot to current market leader Groupon. The pair are vying for advertising dollars from local businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores.
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07/09/2011

Google axes 10 products to refocus on Google+
Google is to discontinue ten of its services as the internet giant looks to focus on existing money-makers and new products such as Google+. The products listed for closure include Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki and Subscribed Links. Some products will be merged with others, whilst others will simply be shut down, in a 'fall spring clean' according to the official announcement.
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06/09/2011

Burberry increases digital marketing spend to 60%
Luxury fashion brand Burberry has increased its spending on digital marketing to 60% of its total marketing budget, three times the amount spent by the average company. The brand will spend more on digital initiatives, such as Facebook and YouTube campaigns, than on advertising in glossy magazines.
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06/09/2011

TripAdvisor faces ASA probe over 'false reviews' claim
The Advertising Standards Authority is to investigate claims that some reviews on travel site TripAdvisor are fake and defamatory. The ASA has stepped in after receiving a formal complaint from a company called KwikChex. KwikChex helps businesses manage their online reputations - something many restaurants and hotels struggle to keep on top of.
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05/09/2011

SeeSaw loses Channel 4 content
Criterion Capital Partners, the new owner of SeeSaw, has lost a key content deal with Channel 4. The loss means popular shows such as "The Inbetweeners" and "Peep Show" are no longer available on the online TV service. Criterion Capital Partners, which also bought former AOL asset Bebo, took a 75 per cent stake in SeeSaw from owner Arqiva in July.
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05/09/2011

Sony unifies online services, launches tablets
Sony has unified its online services for music, video and games under the umbrella brand of the Sony Entertainment Network. The news comes as Sony launched two new tablet models, the Sony Tablet S and Sony Tablet P. Both models are powered by Android, with front and rear-facing cameras. But it's the design that's sure to catch the eye of some consumers. It features two screens that can fold together for easy portability.
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02/09/2011

eBay plans China and Japan shopping spree
EBay is looking at acquisition opportunities in Japan and China, as the online marketplace looks to expand in the lucrative Asian markets. Asia is expected to become the growth engine in the coming years with around one-third of global sales coming from there. eBay Inc expects sales from greater China to grow 30-40 per cent annually from about $4 billion in 2010.
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02/09/2011

Amazon to launch $300 tablet in October?
Amazon is reportedly set to launch an Android-based tablet in October, rumoured to undercut the price of the iPad and other devices by 'hundreds less'. The New York Post reports that the Amazon Android tablet will drastically undercut the price of the iPad. Given that the base iPad model costs $500, "'hundreds less" would mean that Amazon's tablet could be $300 or less.
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01/09/2011

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