Filed under: International Business, Market Research Statistics, Search Engine News
A new Comscore study shows that most traffic to U.S. ad-based web sites comes from outside of the U.S. It reports that 89.1% of Google’s page views come from international visitors. This is actually pretty staggering. All online marketers need to focus more on geographic targeting.
Filed under: Competitive Intelligence, Free stuff for entrepreneurs, Market Research Statistics, Web Analytics
I asked the question in my last post, “Will Compete’s toolbar become an essential tool for internet marketers.” After 15 minutes with the tool, and after watching the excellent Flash presentation about what this service aims to do, I answer with a resounding, “Yes!”
My favorite slide in the Flash presentation was this:
I checked out the one year history on several of my companies and several other sites; at first glance, the traffic data seems quite reliable. For example, here is the trend data for three popular genealogy sites.
15 minutes isn’t enough to integrate something into my daily workflow. But it is enough time for me to decide that I’m going to start using it every day so I can see if it sticks.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, I am inviting all the internet marketers that I know to try Connect’s Toolbar, look at their traffic data, and post comments about whether you think this will replace Alexa, first, and also, how disruptive this new service will be to Hitwise, Comscore, and Netratings.
Filed under: Competitive Intelligence, Free stuff for entrepreneurs, Market Research Statistics, Web Analytics
I just downloaded the Compete toolbar. The graphics indicates that 2 million people are already sharing their clicks so that we can all know better what sites are popular and what sites we can trust.
The two essential toolbars that I install on every PC I use are Google’s (mainly for the page rank and backward links info, and for convenience of searching) and Alexa’s. Every internet marketer needs both of these toolbars.
Just yesterday I read that some industry experts were complaining about how everyone who can’t afford a high-end reliable web site analytics program like Hitwise or Comscore use Alexa to see how popular web sites are. Alexa’s data is not statistically very reliable, even with 10 million downloads of its toolbar. But Alexa data shows up in almost every VC pitch these days.
So if Compete can provide better data than Alexa, we’ll all be better off.
My favorite industry statistics web site of all time is Top9.com. It used data from PC Data, but it had the best categorizations and the easiest UI of all the web analytics companies. But it hasn’t been updated since 2001.
Note to Bill Gross: please buy Top9.com and start powering it with the data you gather from Compete.com.
This is an important list for all web developers and marketers and entrepreneurs to keep in mind:
Sales of Apple’s Macintosh computers over the past twelve month’s have grown faster than any other major PC manufacturer, boosting the company’s share of the U.S. PC market to 6.1 percent, according to data released by Gartner on Wednesday …
Every day I see more and more signs that Apple is gaining momentum with its PC sales. The iPod is giving Apple momentum and I think leading to more PC sales. And Mac lovers are coming out in the open and boldly telling the rest of us to get a clue.
Even software developers might start thinking once again about producing Mac versions. Yesterday, a good friend who develops recipe software said that if he gets enough pre-orders (he is shooting for 1,000) then he will go ahead and develop a Mac version. He hasn’t updated his Mac application since 1999.
I wonder how many other software developers will start thinking that the market share for Macs will continue to grow and grow and grow. With amazing dominance in the iPod space, Apple will have a huge mp3 customer base to market PCs to.
I’m listening to “The Second Coming of Steve Jobs” on my iPod at the gym these days. What an amazing comeback story.
I’ve been in the Microsoft/Intel/Windows camp for almost 20 years, but even I’m thinking that my next PC should probably be a Mac. I don’t think I could ever switch completely, but for so many applications, Macs just seem better.
What do you think?
Filed under: Market Research Statistics, Mobile Phones
I still like Blackberry best, but if they completely walk away from their traditional keyboard, the exact one I have been using since 1999, I may be tempted to follow a lot of my colleagues and try out a Treo. I won’t switch to any new smart phone or PDA unless I can type 50+ words per minute on it. I’ve tried the newer Blackberry keyboards and they are miserable.
Maybe I’ll use my Blackberry 7290 for the next 10 years the way one of my friends still uses his HP Jornada with DOS from about 1992 for searching the scriptures. He says there has never been anything better…
Palm has made significant strides in the smart phone market, capturing 29 percent of U.S. sales, which is second only to BlackBerry, with 51 percent, according to IDC. Sales, though, have slowed in recent months, prompting Palm officials to lower its revenue forecast.
Of course, my father used an analog computer in 1959 for machine tool selection. It had 19 dials. You changed all the settings to get output. He said no modern all-purpose computer with machine selection software has ever been better for this function than the dedicated computer he used back then.
Filed under: Business Models, Market Research Statistics, Mobile Phones, Provo Labs Companies
If you run a business with an internet strategy, hopefully you’ve started thinking about a mobile strategy as well. You need to skate where the puck is going and not where it has been.
IDC estimates that 24 million US mobile phone users will pay for some kind of TV/Video content or services by 2010, up from 7 million this year. That is a sizeable market share. And it will only get bigger.
Provo Labs has two investments in the mobile space: one is Commerce Fly (pre-beta), a mobile SMS alert system for consumer product pricing alerts. If you are interested in stocking up on sugar from your local grocer when it hits a 52-week low price, Commerce Fly will enable that. We are looking at applications in potentially dozens of vertical markets. Grow Utah Ventures is our partner on this startup. I am especially looking at using mobile alerts in the real estate space, to give home buyers and real estate agents an edge.
The other is a recent investment we made in an ebook publishing company, with thousands of ebook titles (including a popular Bible Study suite) that can be downloaded from various mobile content websites, such as Handango.
We also have 10Speed Media with its innovative online video distribution strategy where corporate video content and advertising can be downloaded to video iPods and other mobile devices.
Now the strategy will be to use CommerceFly and Packard Technologies to enable other Provo Labs portfolio companies to implement mobile content and mobile alert strategies, when it makes sense for each of them.
The question for you is, what is your mobile content and mobile software strategy?
One of the biggest challenges with mobile is that the carriers control so much of what happens on phones. I have a Google Alert for “off deck” and one for “off portal” because those are the keywords that describe how content and software companies are able to go around the mobile carriers and find ways to sell directly to mobile customers. At CES in January there were lots of discussions in the mobile phone panels about off deck revenue growth both in the U.S. and Europe.
Let me know what your thoughts are about how to develop a mobile strategy, and who the best partners are for web companies trying to extend their reach.
Filed under: Audio, Business Models, Internet Subscription Models, Market Research Statistics, Mobile Phones
Because I was highly involved in the online content subscription business of Ancestry.com in the late 90s and early 00s, I thought I was pretty smart. When Apple jumped into the music industry with its iPod and iTunes service, I thought they were pretty smart, but I also thought that everyone else ganging up on Apple would cause a big dent in its music business, and that eventually the iPod would go the way of the Mac, and end up with a relatively small market share. I especially thought Steve Jobs was wrong when he said customers wanted to own their own music and not rent it. How could a pay-per-download model ever compete with an all-you-can-eat subscription model that would give me everything I ever wanted for a low monthly fee?
I had a Rio mp3 player back in 1999 or 2000, so I had a little experience with mobile music. But I had a lot of experience with online genealogy where basically every customer wanted unlimited access to everything. The subscription model worked great with genealogy. Every day we added new data. Every day customers had more content to search through to find their ancestors. I believed all-you-could-eat subscriptions were the way to go. I assumed this would be true in the music industry as well.
So I bought my first iPod, a 20GB version about 3 years ago, and I had lots of trouble with it. The battery went bad pretty soon. I had trouble with synchronization. And many of the audio books I bought on Audible were downloaded in a format that didn’t seem Apple friendly. I was pretty unhappy.
Later, I bought a Creative Zen, a 30GB, I think, and decided to try Yahoo Music, an unlimited music subscription service that launched with a great introductory offer of $6.95 per month. I was sure that a non-Apple player combined with an all-you-can-eat non-Apple music service would be much better than the Apple approach.
But the Yahoo Music service was not compatible with my Zen. I think I paid Yahoo for 3-4 months before getting around to cancelling the service. So then I turned to Buy.com, with its BuyMusic.com web site, and I started buying tunes there. But a lot of songs I wanted I couldn’t find there. And I had some difficulties getting the music onto my Zen. The music management software I was using was actually not that great.
Finally, a month or so ago, I decided it was time to try an iPod again, and this time it would be a video iPod. I needed to get some of the 10Speed Media video productions on a video iPod so I could show the work to potential customers. I also wanted to get tons of LDSAudio.com and mp3books.com content onto an iPod and start demonstrating the power of LDS audio and video clips to employees and customers of our LDS Media company.
So I bought a 60GB video iPod. I started using iTunes, which now has excellent synchronization, a way bigger supply of music than anyone else, a great podcast directory, and it’s easy to get videos onto my iPod as well.
More than anything, I have come to believe that Steve Jobs was absolutely right. People want to own their music. They don’t want to rent it. There are probably only a few hundred songs that I’ll ever want on my iPod. I have my running music, my easy listening music, and I want to listen to tons of podcasts and audio books. But music? Just my favorites. And I’d love to own them, thank you very much.
I have decided that the concept of an all-you-can-eat music subscription is really not that great of an idea for most people. We have the songs we love and we might occasionally start liking a new one. But paying $14.95 per month to try out lots of new songs? No thanks. I just want my favorite music, mainly songs from the 80s. I like to listen to the same stuff over and over and over again. Give me Earth, Wind and Fire’s “In the Stone” and Gloria Estefan’s “Turn the Beat Around” every time I run. I need those songs. I don’t want to sample new music when I exercise.
But with other types of content, like audio books and video, anything educational, I want variety. I almost never want to see the same movie twice. So I would want an all-you-can-eat subscription model there. With audio, I want to hear lectures from new conferences or from universities every month–different ones every time. So I want an unlimited subscription there, with new content being added regularly.
But Steve Jobs was absolutely right about the music. I do want to own it.
And now he owns me.
I am now an Apple iPod and iTunes fanatic. Apple has nailed it. From the awesome out of the box experience in opening the iPod to the feel of it in your hand, to the amazing video display, and the simple earphones that don’t have ear buds that keep falling off, to the incredible iTunes selection for music, podcasts, and video — the whole experience is phenomenal.
So it’s no wonder that consumer surveys show that Jobs was right and that consumers want to own their music..
Here are some interesting stats: 20% of Americans now own an mp3 player, up from 15% last year. 54% of teens do. But only 25% of mp3 users buy songs from a download service. Mostly they rip tunes from their own CD collection (since they already bought the music once.)
So Jobs wins round one handily in the digital music wars. But he still has challengers on all sides, and the biggest potential challenges (based on all the hype and investment and TV ads) might be the mobile phone companies. A few months back I read that more than 950 million devices capable of playing mp3 music would be shipped in 2009 alone, and that most of those devices would be cell phones.
So how will Apple handle the challenge from mobile phones? Many people are speculating that an Apple iPhone is in the works.
Wikipedia has an amazingly comprehensive article on iPod (compare it to Britannica’s content on iPod in case you are skeptical of Wikipedia. Okay, to be fair, we can’t access Britannica’s premium content, but can you imagine them having a better article on iPod than Wikipedia? No way. Wikipedia gets updated regularly, whenever Apple makes a new announcement or has new sales figures or new models. Wikipedia rocks.)
Filed under: Advertising, Business Models, Market Research Statistics
Downloadable music and video purchases helped propel U.S. consumer spending on content to $2 billion in 2005, a 15 percent increase from 2004, writes MediaPost, citing new research by the Online Publishers Association. In 4Q05, spending reached $534 million – a record, and 13 percent more than the $472 million in 3Q04.
I’ve heard discussion recently about investors liking advertising-based business models more than subscription-based models. That cuts me to the core. It’s hard not to take it personally because I’ve been a content subscription marketer since 1997 and I still personally like that business model more than advertising.
But I’m certainly not opposed to advertising revenue, especially with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft competing aggressively for dominance in this space with demographic targeting and generous revenue-sharing with their publisher partners.
I think both ad-based and subscription-based business models work and will grow. The key issue for online businesses is creating or acquiring good content and building community around that content.
That is our main focus right now at Provo Labs.
But this new study, a free 24-page PDF download, suggests a far lower number for global music and ringtone sales.