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

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Digital Strategy Consulting


We're set for another record-breaking Christmas for ecommerce (14% sales growth in the UK alone), and data behind the headlines confirms major shifts in the way people shop. After many years of hype, mobile finally looks set to contribute a significant portion of sales. The growth of pods, pads, apps and iTunes helped Apple become the second biggest online retailer in the UK and in the scramble for festive shoppers' cash, eBay opened its first high street shop. 20th Century Fox started selling DVDs via QR codes on posters, and Google's strengthened its mobile wallet service as it makes the 2012 play for owning the online transaction space.

This month's news was dominated by Google. Latest expansion plans include focusing on Chrome, cloud music and social networking. With 50% of smartphones now powered by Android, the growth will help Google capture the elusive 'single sign-on'. The internet giant also offered a rare peek into how it ranks search results - with big implications for anyone planning 2012 SEO strategies. Meanwhile Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo finally managed to agree an advertising alliance; as they square up to Facebook, Apple and Google.

In social media there's new research about the phrases that boost Twitter clicks (and don't) and why people do (or don't) follow brands on social media - plus the 5 firms that control 65% of all global ad spend: can you guess who they are before reading further?


Best from all @ Digital



Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

 

Market data
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Top brands admit corporate sites littered with costly errors - survey
Just 13% of large-company website owners are confident that their sites are error-free, while a massive 87% admit to website errors including inconsistent branding, poor usability and accessibility compliance errors, according to a new survey. The study, conducted day by website compliance firm Magus, indicates that the error rates on corporate websites are shockingly high. The survey also indicates that web editors see a sharp correlation between poor online customer experiences and company income.
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25/11/2011

India reaches 900 million phone connections
Mobile use in India is booming, as it becomes the second largest mobile market in the world. Indian mobile phone operators added a net 7.34 million mobile subscribers in August, or a 0.86% growth over the previous month, taking the total connections in the world's second-biggest mobile phone market to 865.71 million.
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02/11/2011

Australia report: Top web categories and ad networks
Google Ad Network remains the top ad network in Australia, followed by Adconion and ValueClick, according to new data. The study, from comScore looked at the top Internet activities and ad networks in Australia from its comScore Media Metrix service. The report found that Portals led as the top category by penetration, reaching 96.1 percent of Australians online in September, while Social Networking accounted for the largest share of total online minutes at 20.8 percent.
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01/11/2011

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Trends
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Infographic: QR code trends: How are people using barcode scanners?
Quick Response (QR) codes are on the rise, delivering up information and offers to smartphone users. But who is using them, and where? This infographic from Top SEO Liverpool looks at worldwide QR code usage. According to the research, most used QR codes in paper publications, most scanned by those 25-34 and nearly half that use them did so to get discounts.
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23/11/2011

African broadband users 'to exceed 250 million by 2015'
The number of broadband connections over cellular networks in Africa will exceed 250 million by the end of 2015, according to a new report. The study, from Informa Telecoms & Media, found that the number of broadband connections over cellular networks in Africa will exceed 250 million by the end of 2015. The report, entitled "Broadband in Africa," forecasts that a fifth of Internet traffic in Africa will be carried by cellular networks by 2015, compared with a global equivalent of just 3 percent.
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22/11/2011

7pm broadband rush hour sees speed drop 'up to 69%'
Broadband speed drops by 69% in some parts of the UK during the evening internet 'rush-hour', according to a new study. The research, from uSwitch, analysed data from two million broadband speed tests and revealed a huge variation in surfing speeds during peak and off-peak times. Internet users face the slowest surfing time between 7pm and 9pm, when the average download speed drops by 35 per cent to 6.2Mb/s.
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17/11/2011

Phone-hacking scandal: Brits now trust websites more than newspapers - study
Just 38% of Brits now believe what they read in newspapers, as the phone-hacking scandal that recently struck the Sunday tabloid News of the World has 'corroded' trust in the media, a study has claimed. The study, commissioned by US TV network PBS and conducted by YouGov, found that Brits trusted dedicated news websites more than newspapers, with 55% of interviewees believing news sites were reliable sources.
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15/11/2011

Infographic: The most valuable digital consumers
Parents tend to be the "most valuable" consumers for advertisers on a social media level, while teenagers are the most prolifically engaged mobile users, according to new data. The study, from Nielsen, highlights US-based digital consumer behaviours and consumption patterns. About two-thirds of parents use social media to learn about brands, treble the amount of non-parents.
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09/11/2011

Top 5 browsers: IE dips below 50% for first time as Chrome and Android rise
Worldwide Internet Explorer usage has fallen below 50% if mobile and desktop browsers are both taken into account, according to new research. The study, from web analytics tracker NetApplications, showed that IE accounts for 52.63% of all desktop browsers. That's down from 54.39 percent in September and 60.99 percent in October 2010.
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04/11/2011

Average Brit now 'downloads 17GB of data a month'
Fixed broadband consumers in the UK now use an average of 17 gigabytes of data a month, the equivalent of streaming 12 hours of BBC iPlayer HD video or 11 movies a month, according to new research. The data, from communications watchdog Ofcom, revealed that 14 per cent of residential broadband connections were operating below the 2Mbit per second speed the government wants to make widely available by 2015.
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04/11/2011

UN wants half the developing world online by 2015
The United Nations has called on world leaders to ensure that at least half the developing world's population and 40% of households in developing countries are using broadband Internet by 2015. Consumers in all countries should have access to affordable broadband Internet services, including in developing countries, says a declaration by the UN's Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
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01/11/2011

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Social
www.DigitalTrainingAcademy.com/socialmedia

Facebook's '$100bn April float': Insanity or visionary?
Facebook is reportedly planning an initial public offering next year that will value the social network at more than $100bn. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook's chief financial officer David Ebersman has discussed the float with Silicon Valley bankers, with April 2012 slated as a possible date to go public. Sources told the WSJ that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not confirmed the terms of the deal yet.
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29/11/2011

Mobile social networking soars in Europe: UK leads the way
Mobile users on Twitter and LinkedIn doubled in the past year, across the five biggest European countries, with the UK leading the growth, according to new research. The study, from comScore, looked at mobile social media usage across the five leading European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The study showed that the audience for mobile social networking in the EU5 region grew 44 percent in the last year with 55.1 million mobile users in the EU5 accessing social networking sites or blogs via their mobile devices during September 2011.
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28/11/2011

Groupon to move into social media
Online voucher giant Groupon has announced its plans to create a social network despite falling share values, according to a news report. The Daily Telegraph reports that Groupon wants to venture into social media marketing by creating its own network for premium subscribers. The so-called Groupon Reserve is currently in the testing phase in New York, offering more high-end deals to some of its wealthiest users.
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28/11/2011

Six degrees of separation? Facebook makes it 4.74
Social media is officially making the world a smaller place, according to new research from Facebook. The social networking site has re-written the famous "six degrees of separation rule", reducing it to just 4.74 degrees to being connected to any given stranger. Scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan reported this week that the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world was not six but 4.74.
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25/11/2011

Infographic: 6 phrases that increase Twitter clicks (and 4 that don't)
'Daily is Out', 'Via', and '@' are amongst six phrases that increase the number of click troughs on tweets, according to new research. The study, conducted by social media expert Dan Zarrella from HubSpot, examined more than 200,000 link-containing Tweets to find what words, phrases and characters correlate with higher or lower click through rates (CTR).
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21/11/2011

US newspapers using Twitter wrong - study
Many mainstream media firms in the US are missing a trick when it comes to Twitter, using the micro-blogging services as a one-way broadcast platform, rather than to engage users and peers in conversation, according to a new study. The research, from the Pew Research Center: found that most major news outlets simply broadcast links to their own content. By doing so, they are missing out on many of the things that can make social media a powerful tool for journalism.
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18/11/2011

Free Ketchup! Heinz reimburses customers after Facebook campaign glitch
A Facebook glitch has hampered Heinz' latest Ketchup campaign, forcing the brand to offer free products to customers that ordered online, or posted on their wall. Heinz was testing a new business method of selling their products direct to consumers before they were released in stores. The Heinz 'Balsamic Ketchup' campaign launched on Monday, but didn't go as expected as users experienced delays during a glitch of the system until about 9pm on the launch. The brand is now rewarding all fans that posted on the promotional Facebook page with a bottle of the new Ketchup, even if they didn't place an order.
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18/11/2011

LinkedIn introduces statistics for groups
LinkedIn has introduced a statistics dashboard for its groups pages, providing valuable insight into user behaviour on the business-based social network. The group's dashboard displays key summary information in a graphical form. This information is of three types - Member Demographics, Group Growth & Group Activity. From a user perspective it provides unique insights into the makeup and functioning of groups.
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18/11/2011

Customers don't think brands care about social media feedback
Most British consumers (89 percent) are likely to tell the organisations they do business with if they receive poor service, yet almost half (44 percent) do not believe they take notice of, or really care about, the feedback shared, according to a new study. The study, published by Customer Contact Association (CCA) and sponsored by Verint Systems, is based on parallel surveys of UK consumers and CCA member organisations. It indicates that social media is widely seen by consumers as an effective means for people to discuss their experiences, good and bad, and compel organisations to take action.
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11/11/2011

Facebook news feed u-turn lets users see recent stories first
Facebook has bowed to user pressure and allowed users to see their most recent updates first, rather than ordered based on interest levels. In September Facebook announced that it had changed the way its News Feed worked to give users a new way to see the things they are most interested in. Facebook users immediately criticized the new changes and have been urging Facebook to go back to the original News Feed. Now, Facebook is appeasing these users and giving them the option to see the most recent stories first.
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11/11/2011

Top reason to follow a brand on social media: To get discounts
The top reason for following or liking a brand, company or celebrity on social networking sites is to receive discounts and special offers, according to a recent survey of global online consumers conducted by Nielsen. North American consumers showed the strongest interest in using social media for deals (45%), followed by consumers in Asia-Pacific (34%) and Latin America (33%).
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10/11/2011

Google+ debuts brand pages
Google has updated its social network Google+ with a new tool letting businesses and brands create their own profile pages to interact with customers. The move is similar to services offered by rivals Facebook and Twitter, and also puts Google+ in competition with leading business social network LinkedIn. The free tool, called Google + Pages, has attracted a number of high profile brands at launch, including Burberry, Pepsi, Barcelona football club, Angry Birds, O2, Save the Children, Mumsnet and the Muppets.
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10/11/2011

Infographic: How do consumers interact with brands on social media?
Companies are increasingly relying on social media to keep consumer's attention and loyalty online. This infographic shows how consumers are using social media to interact with brands. eCircle in partnership with Mediacom Science conducted the first European Social Media and Email Marketing Study, surveying 5,000 European consumers of which 1,000 were from the UK) to reveal how they interact with brands via email and social media services.
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08/11/2011

Infographic: How employers are screening job applicants with social media
More than 90% employers use social networking sites to screen prospective employees, according to new research. The study, from Reppler & Lab42, found that only 5% don't use social networking sites for screening prospective employees. Though LinkedIn is a professional social network during the hiring process only 48% use it to screen candidates. Facebook being most popular with 76% followed by Twitter 53%.
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02/11/2011

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Search
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Bing reveals top search trends of 2011
Microsoft has unveiled the top US-based search terms used on its search engine Bing for 2011, with pop star Justin Bieber named as the most searched for person this year. According to Bing searches, 2011 was the year of musical superstars, continued celebrity fascination, concern for human tragedy and new royalty.
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29/11/2011

Yandex replaces Bing for default search on Windows Phones in Russia
Yandex has become the default search engine on Windows Phone-based handsets in Russia. The company has partnered with Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Microsoft to provide its search services on the latest Windows Phone smartphone models on the country's mobile market.
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29/11/2011

Google offers rare peek into how it ranks search
For the first time, Google has published in-depth details on how it ranks websites, as the firm looks to appease claims that its search engine favours its own products. Google's search algorithm is a closely guarded secret, with many companies vying to appear top of natural search results on their chosen keywords. The firm does not publicise the changes to keep websites from gaming Google's search results. However, for the first time on Monday it published in-depth details about some of the changes to its search formula.
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15/11/2011

Google search 'tweak' affects 35% of searches
Google has tweaked its search algorithms to focus on newer content, after the search giant admitted that many of the results it retuned were 'stale'. From now on, Google searches will now be timelier and the change will affect around 35% of its searches. Google has said it wants to work out if a user is searching for recent material such as the latest news in the Presidential race, or the latest developments in the Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrations.
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07/11/2011

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Mobile
www.DigitalTrainingAcademy.com/mobilemarketing

Android now powers 50% of smartphones globally
Android is now running on 52.5% of all smartphones sold across the globe, according to a new study from the Gartner research firm. The study, from research firm Gartner, looked at the smartphone operating system market during the third quarter of 2011. Android has more than doubled its market share from the same period last year, the study found.
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19/11/2011

Global mobile traffic to grow 10 fold by 2016
Global mobile traffic will grow 10 fold between 2011 and 2016, driven by video, according to new research. The study, from Ericson, also found that mobile broadband subscription were set to rise dramatically over the next five years, reaching almost 5 billion in 2016.
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19/11/2011

Boost for mobile web: Scientists increase smartphone battery strength
Batteries for phones and laptops could soon recharge ten times faster and hold a charge ten times larger than current technology allows, following new scientific research. Scientists at Northwestern University in the US have changed the materials in lithium-ion batteries to boost their abilities. To achieve such impressive performance enhancements, the researchers essentially poked millions of holes in the battery's graphene layers using a chemical oxidation process.
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17/11/2011

Blackberry debuts £4.99-a-month cloud music service
Research in Motion (RIM) has launched its cloud-based music service, BBM Music, has officially gone live, charging £4.99 per month. The service, which was first launched in a closed beta trial in August this year, allows users to build a personal music profile of 50 songs that can be listened to on or offline on their BlackBerry handset. Users can also share their profile with friends by inviting them to subscribe to their list, which they can also listen to in full both on and offline.
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16/11/2011

O2 tests superfast 4G mobile network in London
O2 has begun a trial of its superfast mobile broadband in London this week, switching on the first 4G network in the capital ahead of other network operators. The nine-month trial will see O2 equip hundreds of consumers, businesses and venue owners with the latest 4G technology and give exclusive access to what it claims to be the first and largest urban 4G network in the UK.
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15/11/2011

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Advertising
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Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo confirm online ad alliance
Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo! have confirmed they are to team up, selling online display ads on each other's networks, in a bid to take on Google and Facebook in the online ad sector. The deal will see the three firms maintain separate sales teams and compete against each other in other areas. The partnership is non-exclusive and therefore outside the scope of regulatory action.
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14/11/2011

Just 5 firms 'control 65% of all global ad spend'
Just five companies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL) control 64% of all online advertising spending, according to a new study. The data was calculated by entrepreneur Darren Hermen, using figures from ZenithOptimedia on October 3, 2011, which stated that worldwide digital advertising accounted for about $64.03bn.
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14/11/2011

BIMA 2011 winners revealed: The top digital ads and agencies of the year
The British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), has announced the winners of the 2011 BIMA Awards, which were revealed at last nights awards ceremony held at super club Fabric. Whilst the work of many agencies came up for praise the night really belonged to Profero, which won five awards including 'Agency of The Year'. This year's Grand Prix went to AMV BBDO London for its innovative anti-knife campaign 'Who Killed Deon?', developed with the Metropolitan Police.
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11/11/2011

Mapping projects 'becoming a vital part of marketing strategy'
Mapping technology has become an increasingly important part of marketing, with nine in ten marketers stating that they are using, or have plans to use, mapping and geospatial technology as part of their marketing strategy. The survey of marketing professionals carried out by Vanson Bourne for Google has revealed the growing importance of mapping technology in marketing, with 90% stating that they are using, or have plans to use, mapping and geospatial technology as part of their marketing strategy.
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10/11/2011

EU privacy law: Just 1 in 10 think marketers can engage consumers without cookies
With the controversial EU online privacy law coming into full effect next year, marketers lack confidence in their ability to engage users online without tracking their behaviour via cookies. Under the new EU directive, visitors will have to agree upfront to a website uploading cookies to their device - rather than the consent being hidden in terms and conditions as it has previously. According to research conducted by affilinet at ad:tech 2011 show, only one in ten (12%) of those surveyed at ad:tech 2011 believe that businesses will be able to engage consumers as successfully without the use of cookies.
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09/11/2011

70% of car dealers 'prefer website leads to classifieds'
Most UK car dealers believe that leads from their website are stronger than those from classifieds, according to new research. The study, from automotive digital marketing company Razsor, looked into the future of online marketing in the automotive sector. The research revealed that 70 per cent of dealers believe that a phone lead that has come through their own website is more reliable than one from a classified print ad.
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07/11/2011

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Ecommerce
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Vouchers influence Brits to buy from unfamiliar brands - study
Over half of consumers (56%) would buy from an unfamiliar brand if offered the right deal at the right time, while 41% have bought purchased something online they would never previously thought of buying, because of a voucher or offer, according to new research. The study, from affiliate marketing network, LinkShare, looked at the increasing popularity of voucher and discount sites in the run up to the festive season.
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25/11/2011

Apple now second biggest online retailer in UK
Apple's website is now the second most visited online store in the UK, behind Amazon, according to new research. The IMRG Experian Hot Shops lists found that UK-based surfers to the Apple website increased five-fold between August and October with Apple accounting for one in every 250 visits online in October 2011.
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24/11/2011

UK Christmas shopping sales to rise 14% to £7.75bn
UK shoppers will spend more than £7bn online this Christmas, representing a 14% rise on last year, according to a new study. The forecast, from UK ecommerce trade body the IMRG, found that almost half of the £7.75bn in sales will be changing hands in the first two weeks of December. Last year, £6.8bn was spent online during the festive period. The IMRG also predicted that changing consumer behaviour will also help to make 2011 the 'real' breakthrough year for mobile commerce.
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15/11/2011

Buy DVDs from a poster? 20th Century Fox teams with HMV for QR code poster campaign
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has launched a virtual shop in partnership with HMV, using QR codes on posters to sell DVDs to consumers via their smartphones. Launching this week, with QR codes featured in outdoor media on prominent high street bus shelters, the virtual shop is marketed as 'a simple and convenient way to start their Christmas shopping now'.
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15/11/2011

Online shopping survey: UK complains the most at the checkout
The main reasons shoppers abandon shopping carts are shipping costs and extra duty or taxes, according to the results of a new survey. The study, from Pitney Bowes found the biggest turn-off for UK online consumers, and the main reason for not completing a transaction is the shipping price, which 79% resent. The study also shows that the nation complains more than any other about additional fees, such as duty and taxes at the time of delivery, with 65% saying they stop them from completing a purchase.
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07/11/2011

December 5th forecast to be biggest online shopping day
Web shoppers in the UK are set to spend the most on 5th December 2011, according to retailer Amazon. In the past few years, the first Monday of December has proved to be the biggest sales day of the year for Amazon, which received over 2.3 million orders on Monday December 6th last year.
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03/11/2011

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Video
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Film soundtrack 'Kolaveri Di' goes viral: Tops 8m views in just 2 weeks
The song 'Kolaveri Di' from Indian actor Dhanush's upcoming movie 3 has become one of the internet viral sensations of the year. The Tanglish song (a mix of Tamil and English) with nonsensical lyrics came out just two weeks ago, and has already notched up over 8 million views on YouTube since its launch. By comparison, last year's hugely successful 'Old Spice' YouTube ads got over 35 million views over an extended campaign.
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29/11/2011

Video: Google+ airs first TV commercial
Google has launched a TV commercial for Google+, emphasising the social network's 'circles' tool allowing users to share info with select groups, and not everyone on their friend lists. The ad debuted in the US, during the Lions vs. Packers NFL game on Thanksgiving. The commercial focuses on the importance of "Circles" and how, "in your head you assign everyone these roles, once you step back and get away from that you realize these are the people that were actually there for me."
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29/11/2011

Mid-roll video ads 'get highest completion rates'
Mid-roll video ads offer advertisers higher performance than pre-roll or post-roll video ads within long-form video environments, according to a new study. The research, from online video ad management platform VINDICO, analysed millions of video ad impressions within the FMCG category, delivered by VINDICO over the past 12 months, to identify viewing trends and help marketers set benchmarks for advertising success.
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22/11/2011

YouTube pays family £100,000 for 'Charlie bit my finger' video
Video sharing website YouTube has paid a British family £100,000 for homemade video clips of their three children through the Google payment scheme, Adsense. YouTube often splits with users the revenue from advertising running alongside videos. Kevin Allocca, the manager of YouTube trends, told The Sunday Times: "A tiny percentage of the videos that are uploaded to the site get up to the four or five million views. What they all have in common is the speed with which they are shared."
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15/11/2011

Video: Brits spend 20 minutes a month watching Youtube, as video use rises 36%
UK Internet users spend a combined total of 240 million hours every month watching online video content, with the average user spending 20 minutes a month watching YouTube, according to analysis from Experian Hitwise. The findings come from its new report, "Online Video: Bringing Social Media to Life" which outlines the latest consumer trends in this sector and advice for digital marketers.
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10/11/2011

Video: Whole internet 'weighs the same as a Strawberry'
The information travelling through the entire Internet at any one time weighs 50g - around the weight of a single (large) strawberry, according to new research. The research follows a recent study, that revealed that eBook readers 'gain weight' when you add new books to your library - due to the energy 'gained' by electrons when they store information, and the weight of that energy. Filling a Kindle with books causes it to gain an infinitesimally small amount of mass - so small that it gains 100,000,000 times more when a user recharges the battery.
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04/11/2011

YouTube launches 100 original web TV channels
YouTube is adding some 100 channels of original programming to its video sharing site, including TV, film, music, sport and celebrity content. The new content includes deals with celebrity partners such as pop music star Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher. Google, owners of YouTube, reportedly laid out more than $100 million to establish the partnerships, which come as the California technology titan tries to become a preferred source of content for Internet-linked televisions.
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01/11/2011

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Companies
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Time Out takes on Groupon? Magazine buys daily offers firm Keynoir
Time Out Group has bought the Keynoir daily offers firm, as the entertainment listings magazine looks to expand its business. This transaction follows the company's recent acquisition of the LikeCube software recommendations business and the integration of its North American counterpart, Time Out New York.
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25/11/2011

HMV launches on-demand films
HMV has launched its on-demand film service, hmvon-demand, as the embattled high street retailer looks to rival Apple, Amazon and LoveFilm in the online video market.
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25/11/2011

Google axes 7 more products to focus on Google+
Google is ditching seven more products, including Google Wave, Knol and Google Gears, in an effort to simplify its range of services. The move marks the third time this year that Google has culled several of its products at the same time after they had failed to take off. Google had previously announced its plans to kill off some of the projects on the list, such as Wave. But the new announcement has revealed details about when the switch-offs will occur. For example Wave will be retired in April, and Knol content will be taken offline in October.
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24/11/2011

Microsoft buys 'video discovery' firm VideoSurf to boost Xbox search
Microsoft has acquired US-based video discovery technology company VideoSurf to enhance its Xbox games console. The deal will see Microsoft integrate VideoSurf 's back-end computer vision technology across its entertainment platform to augment the Xbox 360 ecosystem and evolve search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox LIVE.
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24/11/2011

TradeDoubler debuts £1m Dragon's Den-style funding project to boost UK affiliate marketing
Performance marketing company TradeDoubler has launched The Zoo Project, a UK Affiliate Marketing incubator designed to foster grass roots growth and help drive innovation in the Affiliate Marketing arena. With applications now open until 6 January 2012, up to 20 Affiliate Marketing start-up companies will be admitted into the Zoo for one year, provided they meet the approval of a 'Dragon's Den' style panel of judges.
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24/11/2011

eBay boosts recommendations with Hunch purchase
eBay has bought recommendation engine Hunch.com in order to improve the personalisation of the shopping suggestions its customers see online. The purchase price was not disclosed. EBay said the technology will use information about customers' activity on social networks and at other Internet pastimes to help it suggest new items for customers to buy.
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23/11/2011

LivingSocial 'to raise $200m' to rival Groupon
Groupon rival LivingSocial is getting ready to announce a massive $200m funding round that will value the startup at more than $5bn, according to a news report. The New York Times reports that the deal is expected to close next week, and will include both old and new investors. In December 2010, Amazon.com invested $175 million in LivingSocial, an investment that came as Google was considering buying Groupon.
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23/11/2011

UK Govt to put £50bn of contracts online
The UK's Cabinet Office is to put a potential £50bn worth of Government contracts online, with the aim of encouraging more British firms to bid for lucrative public sector contracts. The Government claims the website is expected to reduce red tape, and flag up potential opportunities with companies earlier. The contracts on offer will cover sectors such as ICT and facilities management. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who is heading up the project, claims the site will make it 40% faster to do business with government, so that complex procurement processes will now be completed within 120 days from January 2012, compared to the average 200 days at present.
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22/11/2011

Google gets serious about mobile payments: Merges Checkout into Google Wallet
Google is to merge its Checkout retail payment platform with Google Wallet ahead of the Christmas shopping season. The internet giant will integrate the systems under the Google Wallet banner, and will push the payment system through its other retail operations. Ben Lee, Google Wallet product manager, reassured merchants using the Checkout platform that they will not need to take any action at their end as the services are integrated.
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21/11/2011

eBay opens first high street store in UK
eBay is to open its first bricks and mortar store in the UK, as the online marketplace looks to expand its reach ahead of the Christmas season. The one-off five-day experiment will be located on Dean Street just off London's Oxford Street and will trade between December 1st-5th, a time expected to be the busiest period for online shopping. The shop itself will have no tills and a very limited selection of stock, none of which shoppers can take away with them.
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18/11/2011

Google Music goes live in US with Android store
Google Music has gone live in the US, featuring a free music storage cloud service, app, Web player, free social music sharing on Google+ and store on the Android marketplace. Initially launching as a beta in the US earlier this year, the new version launches today and will roll out to Android devices in the US over the next few days. The firm did not discuss any plans to offer Google Music outside the US. Users will be able to share songs with their Google+ Circles contacts who can listen to the full length of the tracks one time without making a purchase.
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17/11/2011

Digital sales boost Johnston Press as publisher sees decline in print
Redesigned websites and the success of its "Find It" business directory have boosted digital revenues at Johnston Press, the Edinburgh-based publisher of The Scotsman. However, the publisher saw an 8% decline in print and advertising revenue over the second half of the year so far, offset slightly by continued growth of digital revenue. The decline follows a 10 per cent drop over the first half of the year.
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17/11/2011

$40 Akash tablet gets commercial launch in India
Akash, the low cost Indian tablet is set for a commercial launch, following its Government-subsidised launch in October. Though the base version was made for students, a commercial variant will also be made available by end of November. The Aakash will have a shelf name UbiSlate 7.
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17/11/2011

LBi buys social media agency Mr Youth for $50m
London-based digital marketing agency LBi has bought US social media marketing agency Mr Youth for approximately $40- $50m. The deal will see LBi boost its existing social media offerings, including word-of-mouth, student marketing and consumer participation generation tools. Founded in 2002 by Matt Britton, New York-based Mr Youth helps brands run social media campaigns, and its clients have Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft. LBi's clients include Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sony Ericsson.
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16/11/2011

Google buys 2 start-ups to boost Chrome and Google+
Google has acquired two startup firms Apture and Katango for an undisclosed amount to enhance the user experience of its browser and social networking services. 4-year old Apture focuses on providing instant access to information with in-page search technology. Meanwhile Katango was founded a little over a year ago and builds algorithms for automatically sorting friends that improves online social interaction. Financial details of both deals were not disclosed.
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14/11/2011

eBay urges UK Government to invest in mobile with 'Mobile Manifesto'
Online marketplace eBay has sent the Government its Mobile Manifesto eBay, setting out what industry and policymakers must do in order to improve the UK's mobile infrastructure in order to support growth in the country's digital and retail economy. The report includes seven 'critical areas of focus' that will boost the UK's wider economic recovery through the support of this growing industry.
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14/11/2011

Siri rival? Amazon buys voice recognition firm Yap ahead of Kindle tablet launch
Amazon looks set to include its own version of iPhone's Siri voice recognition in its forthcoming Kindle Fire tablet, buying voice recognition startup Yap. The deal has not been confirmed, but a US Securities and Exchange commission filing found by CLT Blog revealed Yap was purchased by a company called Dion Acquisition Sub. The address for the new merged business, however, is a Seattle building belonging to Amazon.
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11/11/2011

Bad week for UK electrical retailers: Comet sold for just £2 as Best Buy closes UK stores
UK electrical retailer Comet has been sold for just £2 to a private equity firm, in the same week that US firm Best Buy announced it is to close all of its UK stores to focus on smaller shops. UK electricals retailers have come under increasing pressure as consumers cut back on discretionary spending, while also struggling with increasing competition from supermarket chains and Internet retailers.
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10/11/2011

Ad network Adconian buys video ad firm Smartclip
European advertising network Adconion Media Group, has acquired smartclip, a European digital video advertising firm for an undisclosed sum. Adconion said that the acquisition will "significantly strengthen" its position in online video. Smartclip adds around 500 new publisher sites to Adconion's network.
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09/11/2011

Orange and Publicis create digital start-up fund
France Télécom-Orange and the Publicis Groupe advertising business are planning to launch a new venture capital fund. The fund - which is starting with a 150 million Euro (£129 million) investment from the two companies - will help budding entrepreneurs in Europe's digital economy.
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08/11/2011

Groupon raises $700m in biggest tech IPO since Google
Daily deals site Groupon has raised $700m after increasing the size of its initial public offering, becoming the largest IPO by an internet company since Google in 2004. Groupon has made it trading debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "GRPN." The float follows other high-profile technology firms offering shares to the public this year, including LinkedIn, Russian search engine Yandex and Japenese social network RenRen, which all floated on the Nasdaq exchange.
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07/11/2011

ASOS targets China as international sales soar
ASOS has reported a sharp rise in international sales, as the UK online fashion retailer sets its sights on a potential launch in China within two years. ASOS saw headline profits fall due to the continuing costs of relocating to a new warehouse. Revenue for the six months to the end of September rose to £217m, up more than 50% on a year earlier. Overseas sales more than doubled and continued to drive revenue growth.
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04/11/2011

Reckitt Benckiser debuts branded online and mobile games
FMGC giant Reckitt Benckiser has launched a collection of online and mobile minigames, designed to boost engagement with a number of its brands. Aimed at raising awareness of Reckitt Benckiser's corporate brand among students and graduates early in their career, the games are available on iPhone and Android, as well as online.
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04/11/2011

Nokia offers free London Wi-Fi until New Year
Nokia has launched a free wi-fi service across central London this week, to promote its new Windows 7 smartphone, the Lumia 800. Mobile internet users in London will benefit from an additional 26 free WiFi locations across the capital as part of the promotional drive. From now until the end of December people will be able to log onto the network and receive unlimited internet access without the need to register or enter a password.
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03/11/2011

AOL beats expectations despite loss - ad revenue grows 8%
AOL has reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter, with a sharp rise in ad revenue. For the quarter, AOL posted revenue of $531.7 million, down 6% from a year ago, but above the Street at $524 million. Advertising revenue actually grew 8%, to $317.7 million, but that was not enough to overcome the 22% drop in subscription revenue to $191.9 million. AOL noted that the revenue decline in the quarter was its smallest in five years.
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03/11/2011

Next boosted by online shopping as high street sales slump
High street clothing giant Next has said strong online growth has compensated for a faster decline in sales through its shops. Next said revenues in its 520 stores fell by 3.3% in the three months to October 29, compared with a 1.8% fall in the previous six months. The latest figures also included a 3.4% boost from new store openings.
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03/11/2011

Yahoo buys ad technology firm Interclick for £169m
Yahoo has bought ad technology firm Interclick for $270m (£169m), as it looks to boost its ailing online advertising business. Interclick, with annual revenue of about $102m, helps advertisers identify online target audience through its open segment manager analytics platform. The move comes as Yahoo itself is the subject of frenzied bidding speculation, with Google, Microsoft, News Corp and private equity firms and international consortiums all earmarked as potential bidders in recent weeks.
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02/11/2011

Google revamps TV service to integrate Android
Google has unveiled the second-generation of its Google TV software, powered by Android. The revamp features simplified controls, improved search, slicker integration with video-sharing service YouTube and the option to add applications made by outside developers. The new update offers an easier to use user interface with the entire client being powered by Android 3.1.
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01/11/2011

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