A new heirloom that loses value in two years, the closing of a tech publishing icon, Millennials may not deserve all of those trophies, the cable industry gets more bad news, Facebook unleashes its firehose of data, funding for Snapchat, Uber and Lyft, content strategy secrets to make you successful, Uber pledges more women drivers, what's holding back podcasting, why you need a marketing technologist, Disney holds the future of wearables and more, it's This Week in Digital.
A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.
Each week, we compose a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, business, digital communications and marketing in order to keep leaders up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in your job. Please subscribe - either to our full feed just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
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- Unless you slept all week, then you know about the Apple Watch announcement. The stock dropped 5% that day amid news that the gadget would cost a minimum of $349, require an iPhone for a connection and hold a charge for 18 hours a day. Perhaps the strategy is centered more around China. (TIME)
- Between the Apple Watch and the new UBS-less Macbook, Apple is laughing all the way to the bank:
- In a surprise move this week, longtime tech publisher GigaOm suddenly closed its doors. It had great content, a staff of talented writers, an events arm and more - but advertising hasn't yet figured out mobile, where most of the consumption is happening. (Silicon Valley Watcher)
- Changes are happening quickly in the marketing and communications fields, and it's absolutely essential to transform your sales and marketing organization to reflect that. Six steps are all it takes. (McKinsey)
- There are a number of reasons people unfollow brands. Complaints ranged from too many updates, repetitive content, and non-engagement, among others. (SocialTimes)
- This might be a shocker (especially to them), but American Millennials are among the least skilled in literacy, practical math and problem solving in technology-rich environments. (Fortune)
- During the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau's meeting last week, executives gathered to discuss falling subscription numbers, clearly placing the blame on web-based subscription services like Hulu and Netflix. (WSJ)
- Related: HBO released its HBO Now subscription service for iOS users for $15 a month. (TechCrunch)
- And now, Showtime is following suit, joining CBS and Nickelodeon in the pile-up for non-cable cable. (Cinemablend)
- Millennials watch television shows on their own schedule anyway. (eMarketer)
- When a company has a statement to make about breaking news, Google News search will feature the company statement at the top of its search results. In an era of fast-moving news and information in which users can jump to erroneous conclusions and businesses need to provide clarity against a mob of angry netizens, this is a way to make the correct information available quickly. It does not mean that press releases are treated any differently in search. (Reuters)
- Have you noticed something strange about Facebook Pages lately? Christopher Penn did. Particularly that when a Page shares a link and a user then shares that to his own timeline, the Page isn't given attribution. In other words, your friends see the link, but the Page doesn't get credit for having shared it. Another reduction in organic reach. (SHIFT Communications)
- Facebook is opening the firehouse topic data to DataSift and its customers. This means that brands will potentially have a much better understanding of users, their habits and their likes - which means ads will be more accurate in their targeting. (Facebook)
- Twitter's future growth will come in the hopes of a very coveted demographic: new visitors. (SocialTimes)
- Twitter is taking seriously its claim to crack down on trolls as it takes steps to combat revenge porn and stolen nudes. (BuzzFeed)
- Snapchat is raising $200 million from Chinese firm Alibaba, for a valuation of $15 billion. (Bloomberg)
- YouTube needs to pay attention as Facebook, Snapchat and others eat its lunch with better revenue sharing deals for creators. (WSJ)
- Last week, we mentioned Twitter's acquisition of Periscope and how it put Meerkat at risk. However this week, with the advent of SxSW, Meerkat is getting another boost. So just what is this latest app craze all about? Two words: livestream video. (TIME)
- Frankly, we're skeptical of the real-time nature of these apps - whether it's Meerkat, Stre.am, Periscope or others. Our opinion is that viewing by appointment is dead; it's an on-demand world. [See eMarketer graphic above] We'll see how it plays out.
SHIFT Communications' ebook The Future of Marketing 2015 is now available. Interviews with marketing leaders will help you grasp the importance of many different elements of marketing.
- Lyft is getting a boost. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is investing $530 million in the ride-sharing company that values Lyft at over $2.5 billion. (WSJ Digits)
- In an effort to create loyalty among its drivers, Lyft introduced Accelerate, a driver rewards program. Drivers can achieve Silver, Gold or Platinum status by the number of rides they offer, thereby unlocking higher levels of service from Lyft. (Lyft Blog)
- Uber is trying to combat its negative image with a pledge to hire 1 million female drivers by 2020. While this may assuage some of the critics of the company, some of whose drivers have assaulted women, at this time there are no plans for the app to allow customers to select or request drivers by gender. (Reuters)
- It turns out that a judge thinks that Uber and Lyft employees are not "independent contractors," which has the potential to disrupt the already disruptive collaborative economy movement. (Business Insider)
- The IAB's head of brand initiatives is bullish on branded content. (Adweek)
- It's not too late to begin creating a successful content strategy - and here are 7 steps to get you started. (Content Marketing Institute)
John Cleese will be keynoting at Content Marketing World 2015 in September. No mention of whether he'll do a silly walk or a silly talk, but you can register here.
[Disclosure: affiliate link]
- It may sound semantic, but Tom Webster rightly asks: is "podcasting" holding back podcasting? (Brand Savant)
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- If you needed any evidence why marketing technology is a growing and necessary field, then simply look at the landscape of all of the vendors, in graphic and Excel format. (Chief Marketing Technologist Blog)
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Oops. Uber stored sensitive user data on a public GitHub site. Don't worry - it was only the data of 50,000 passengers. (Ars Technica)
- The CIA was trying to crack the security of Apple devices. (The Guardian)
- But no one is reading the Clinton emails. (A VC)
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- It sounds like a stretch, but with their ability to command so much attention online, it can't be dismissed, even if written by Ben Thomson: Why BuzzFeed Is the Most Powerful News Organization in the World. (Stratechery)
- Or are they? (Medium)
- The Apple Watch may have launched this week, but if you want a sense as to the potential of the future of wearables, just head to Walt Disney World and don the Disney MagicBand. (Wired)
- With all of the apps and dazzlingly digital ways of jotting down notes, making reminders, sending messages, the good old art of handwriting is underrated. (Contently)
- We'd agree, as we use Moleskine notebooks, Levenger notepads, a Waterman fountain pen and Staedler 2B pencils.