Monday, 8 February 2016

Getting your Priorities Right in Social Media

Twitter still trying to find its place in the social media world, while trying to catch up with Facebook, its larger rival.

Times of India reports that the hashtag #RIPTwitter became the top trending US item on Twitter on Saturday, after a report from BuzzFeed said the company is planning to change how it displays users' tweets. The BuzzFeed report, which went live on Friday night and did not disclose the source of its information, said the social media platform will reorder tweets to prioritize those it believes more users will want to see. Currently, Twitter arranges tweets in chronological order.

The response to the news on Twitter was overwhelmingly negative, with the hashtag #RIPTwitter suggesting many users of the micro-blogging site believe the changes would mean the death of the company. Many users were upset that tweets from accounts with fewer followers could possibly be suppressed under the new system. Others complained that the changes would make Twitter too much like Facebook, which arranges content through the use of an algorithm.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Whenever I Want You, All I Have To Do Is ... Stream, Stream, Stream

Consumers in India moving from text to video content and communication.

Economic Times reports that in a crusty industrial estate in Andheri West, a northern suburb of Mumbai, the office of Pocket Aces Pictures provides a sharp contrast to the general air of decay in the neighbourhood. A modern office with sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows, bright furniture and wooden flooring, this 2,000 sq ft space is a beehive of activity as a motley crew of 20 churns out an assortment of content, fuelling an explosion in the delivery of streaming video services in India. With mobile and broadband Internet connectivity proliferating, and smartphone prices dropping by 40-50% in the past five years, a raft of content producers, technology and analytics companies and over-the-top (OTT) content distributors are looking to cash in on this new opportunity. They are also counting on shifting consumer sentiment, as browsers reposition their focus from text to photo to video-driven communication — the decade-old YouTube has piled up content in 76 languages, even as Facebook turns its vast resources to this massive opportunity, having notched up eight billion video views a day.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Digital video content creation and distribution joint ventures

Joint venture partnerships in the digital video content creation and distribution

Times of India reports that less than six months ago, TVF Media Labs and Dice Media (video division of PocketAces) partnered up to create the mockumentary, 'Not Fit', a web-series that was launched on YouTube; many emerging entertainment startups creating digital video content eye partnerships as an important metric for growth. "Collaborations in this space will continue to happen organically, considering our existing audience, if we have creative concepts coming our way from other entertainment houses that are great, then partnership is a win-win situation for both players," says Arunabh Kumar, CEO of TVF Media Labs. With their slice-of-life, drama and comedy content, TVF Media Labs has 1.35-million Youtube subscribers and has seen a reasonably consistent growth of 40,000-50,000 viewers coming on board every month.

"These month-on-month metrics don't really work with content creation, it's variable for players in this space, but we have seen a definite growth," adds Kumar. Their in house show Pitchers was featured as the 22nd best show on IMDB globally, hitting over a million views. Kalaari Capital-backed Scoop-Whoop, an Internet media and news company aims to become a dominant video content player in the country. Last year they partnered with digital film production company Pechkas Pictures to produce the web-series 'Baked'. The series chronicled the misadventures of three university flatmates who decide to start a midnight food delivery service — the series grew immensely popular getting over a million views in less than six months.

"We are now partnering with News Laundry to create a 5-episode documentary web series, one of the episodes is going to be about the impact of ISIS in Kashmir," says Sattvik Mishra, cofounder of Scoop-Whoop. According to Mishra, the startup is doing 25 videos a month and they plan to scale it up to 100 videos a month within the next three months. "It's monetarily beneficial, content quality gets better, if one of the players has a great distribution network then these partnerships work out perfectly," adds Mishra. Scoop-Whoop has seen over 3-million unique users, 15-million monthly video views and 50-million page views each month.

Similarly, other players in this space are eyeing partnerships, like Sooperfly, the digital media company created by The 120 Media Collective and Diagonal View, created the web series Mission Everest, a documentary about two young mountaineers attempting to reach the peak. "We are looking at partnerships to launch webisodes this April," says Roopak Saluja, founder of The 120 Media Collective. In 2013, Graphic India along with YouTube launched celebrated comics writer Grant Morrison and Jeevan J Kang's motion comic '18 days', in the first week alone it crossed 50,000 viewers and was released in Hindi and Tamil. "The rule book for this marketplace is still being written, in the next 6-8 months the number of players in this space will double," says Anirudh Pandita, founder of digital entertainment company, PocketAces.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Join the Party: Mobile Advertising

Research is crucial for any mobile advertising campaign with First, Second and Third Party Data.

Economic Times reports that "the mobile advertising industry is fast paced. In the course of a little over six years, we have watched the industry grow from a minor niche into one of the major advertising channels used by brands, businesses and developers across the world. Therefore, it is essential to remain ahead of the game in this fast paced industry. How though, do businesses do it? The answer is through their use of research and technology. 

By analyzing three key categories of research data and using  technology to enact the insights drawn from those in mobile advertising campaigns, businesses are able to stay ahead in this fast paced sector.To understand why this is the case, we need to consider the uses of research and technology individually before understanding how they work together. 

Research is critically important for success in mobile advertising because it provides the basis for key campaign decisions. From determining audience type to analyzing overall market conditions, gathering researching key data ahead of, during and after a campaign is vital for successful cost effective spending. In particular, there are three types of data that marketers will need to research to give them a strong base for mobile advertising success. 

There is first party data, which is the information a mobile company gains from its own users such as demographic data. There is second party data, which is data generated from a separate entity, such as the performance of a mobile advertising campaign and where users interacted with an advert (whether geographically, device wise or platform). And finally there is third party data, which examines the state of the market as a whole and provides guidance on potential routes for expansion. 

The reason why this data is important to research is that, when used in harmony, these three data types should provide you the best basis for informed decisions. If you're using first party data to identify your best users, second party data to identify where to find them and third party data to determine the best ways to shape your message across the market, chances are you'll be more likely to run and execute mobile advertising campaigns that deliver greater performance. However, gathering, analyzing and enacting this data can be difficult to do successfully. The size of the mobile install base, which is nearly half of the world's population, is enormous. And even one small app running a mobile advertising campaign can generate an overwhelming number of data points to analyse. 

This is why technology plays an important role in the success of research. Advancements in the technology that supports both the gathering of research and the operation of mobile advertising campaigns enables advertisers to make the most of their findings - helping them to succeed in the market. Examining our data types, it is clear that technology plays a big role in enabling its successful usage. First party data can be gathered via an in house solution, but the majority of developers have used external analytics providers to quantify, analyze and segment thousands, if not millions, of users in a meaningful way. Second party data gathering has been accelerated by the rise of programmatic, self-service advertising platforms that, in conjunction with an attribution provider, helps advertisers to effectively measure campaign performance. And the emergence of an enormous mobile market has powered the growth of third party data providers, meaning app developers have been able to turn to the likes of Nielsen, Newzoo and eMarketer for meaningful market research. 

The result is a symbiotic relationship that makes research and technology natural partners for mobile advertising success. Smart implementation and usage of technology improves the data companies generate; better data enables smarter research to take place; better research improves the use of technology, thus feeding the cycle again. Therefore, companies using advertising need to feed this virtuous cycle to succeed in the business. By marrying together research and technology, companies can spot the opportunity that may help them use mobile advertising in a way that can make the fortunes of a company. And that is why the successful use of both is highly relevant to any mobile business."

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Going It Alone in India: Single Brand Retail Licence

Single Brand Retail in India is the way big brands are going.

Times of India reports that Samsung may join Apple in applying for a single-brand retail licence as the South Korean electronics giant looks to strengthen its presence in a crucial market, said executives aware of the matter.

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, a relatively new entrant, confirmed its intent to apply for a direct presence in India, which eased foreign direct investment rules for single-brand retail in November. Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Gionee are also keen on such a move. ET reported last month that Apple had filed for a single-brand retail licence.

Samsung executives said the company was looking at "opportunities" stemming from the policy but a final decision hadn't been taken. There was no response to questions emailed to Samsung, which has 1.5 lakh points of sale in the country.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Consumers React to IPR Application

When the Fine brothers tried to trademark a video format on YouTube, there was an adverse consumer reaction and the brothers have now said they are withdrawing their trademark applications. The Fine brothers 'reaction videos' lost subscribers due to this issue.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Indian Startups: Getting High on Proposals and Low on Implementation

Indian government proposals to give a boost to startups are not being implemented fast enough. The government is high on proposals but slow on implementations.

Economic Times reports that the limit on sweat equity for startups could be raised to 50% from 25% of paid up capital, improving the incentives for innovators and giving a boost to the Startup India initiative. A committee set up by the government to review issues arising out of implementation of the Companies Act, 2013 has suggested changes to improve ease of doing business, encourage startups and harmonise various laws. The committee in its report has suggested that the government may also allow issuance of ESOPs to promoters working as employees or whole time directors of startups, which would help promoters to gain from increase in future valuation. 

"Sweat equity limit for startups may be raised to 50% of capital". The Companies Act, 2013 currently restricts issue of ESOPs to promoters or promoter directors even if they are employees of the company. With a view to ease raising of funds for startups without additional compliance costs, the limits with regard to raising of deposits from members for 'startup' companies may be removed for the first five years from their incorporation. At present, private companies are permitted to accept deposits from their members which do not exceed 100% of their paid-up capital and free reserves. "Major amendments have been recommended to Companies Act 2013 to encourage startups. An overhaul of the Act in tandem with government's Start-Up India vision is likely to be done soon," said Anshul Jain, partner at law firm Luthra & Luthra Law Offices. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Ecommerce firms looking to expand their revenue streams

Ecommerce companies are looking to expand their revenue streams. In a recent article in the Economic, BookMyShow was described as lacking in the revenue streams that others like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal have.

Times of India reports that Flipkart's new CEO Binny Bansal is seeking to rev up the company's growth through the business he knows best, its logistics unit Ekart. Flipkart is preparing to build out Ekart into an independent business catering to other companies as well, and has started talks with investors to raise capital separately for the logistics unit at a valuation yet to be determined, according to four people familiar with the developments. The company also recently injected Rs 666 crore (nearly $100 million) into Ekart, regulatory filings show. "Fundamentally, everyone has realised that they have to monetise all pieces of the business," said a venture capital investor familiar with Flipkart's plans.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Used Smartphone Market in India set to grow

Second-hand market for smartphones in India set to grow.

Times of India reports that India, the world's third largest smartphone market, is also a huge market for used handsets and is forecast to generate about $1.7 billion for owners this year, a report by consultancy firm Deloitte said. In its TMT Predictions 2016, Deloitte India said India is estimated to generate about $1.7 billion for smartphone owners at an average value of about $90 in FY 2016 with outright sale or trade-in of approximately 20 million handsets.

"Growing at a CAGR of about 32% till 2020, the used smartphone market is forecast to grow to about 46 million units generating an estimated $4 billion for its owners," it added. India is the world's third largest market for smartphones after China and the US. Analysts expect India to overtake the US market in the next few years, fuelled by high consumption by youngsters and falling data prices. Also, global sales of wearable devices is expected to be approximately 250 million units by 2018 and a major portion of the sales will be driven by North America and Europe.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Opportunity Iran

With the sanctions recently lifted, Iran is now on a spending spree, signing multi-billion dollar agreements for goods and services in Europe and elsewhere. A big market like Iran to come online now is good news for many depressed economies. Foreign competition will be fierce for a lucrative market like Iran. 

Let's see how fast and how far businesses transform Iran to a digital economy.

Spend on DX technology set to increase

Spend on DX technology set to increase.

Times of India reports that global spending on digital transformation (DX) technologies is expected to cross $2.1 billion by 2019 as companies look at making better use of information related to customers, markets and products, research firm IDC said. The spending is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% over the 2014-2019 forecast period, IDC said in a statement. Spending on DX technologies in the US will follow a similar trajectory, reaching nearly $732 million in 2019, it added. "Enterprises are forecast to invest the most (nearly half the worldwide total in 2019) on DX technologies that support operating model innovations," the report said. These investments will focus on making business operations more responsive and effective by leveraging digitally-- connected products/services, assets, people and trading partners, it added.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Consumer Cost of Digital India

With the high spectrum auction prices for the 4G band in India, it will be the consumer that will ultimately end up paying for Digital India.

Times of India reports that Trai's (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) pricing recommendation on the coveted 700 MHz 4G band has sharply divided analysts and industry experts. Some experts said that the suggested starting price of Rs 57,425 crore ($8.5 billion approx) for a pan-India 5 MHz block, or Rs 11,485 crore a unit, of 700 MHz spectrum wasn't too high, given the easy financing options, the fact that this was a 20-year asset, the money telcos make currently and the ongoing data growth. But others say given stiff base price, the efficiency gains from deploying 4G on this most cost-efficient band aren't enough to offset the higher up front investments involved. Both sides though agreed that telcos will be left with higher debt levels.

"The seemingly high starting price translates to a very modest EMI payout of Rs 574 crore for a 20-year asset, which is peanuts for an industry tipped to generate Rs 3.5 lakh-crore amid the data explosion, and which also has been allowed the deferred payment route to meet spectrum liabilities," said BK Syngal, former chairman of erstwhile VSNL (now, Tata Communications), presenting a strong contrarian view. Syngal, who is now senior principal at Dua Consulting, added that Trai's pricing was "not out of line with global trends. Credit Suisse feels mobile operators might well go for selective 700 MHz purchases, tempted by "easy government financing options and acute shortage of 4G spectrum in a market seeing rapidly growing data volumes". Morgan Stanley also expects "high demand for 700 MHz spectrum from all operators," but said this could mean "more earnings risk and higher leverage for the sector".

Friday, 29 January 2016

Apple bets on India for sales of iPhone while it looks for new killer product.

Apple is betting on India's demographic for sales of its iPhone while it searches for that all new killer product.

Economic Times reports that Tim Cook is betting on India for the long term.  Apple Inc, hit by slowing worldwide iPhone sales in its latest quarter, is hoping that the country's younger population, thirst for top-of-the-line consumer products and economic growth prospects will help pick up the slack as other markets falter. In its first-quarter earnings call, CEO Cook said Apple will continue to invest in India despite global slowdown and currency fluctuations. 

"During hard times like now, it provides an opportunity to invest in newer markets such as India where there are long-term prospects," he said. Apple's financial year runs from October to September. The call took place early morning on Wednesday, India time. Apple's India first-quarter revenue surged 38%, albeit on a smaller base, compared with 11% growth in overall emerging markets and 14% in Greater China, its second-largest market after the US. 

Cook said at constant currency rates, sales rose 48% from the year ago. "India is quickly becoming the fastest-growing  BRIC nation, the third-largest smartphone market behind China and the US, and the median age of the population is 27 compared to 36-37 in China," Cook said. "The demographic is incredibly great for a consumer brand and people want best products. The government too is interested in  economic reforms. All speaks for a really good future business environment."

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Indian IT Faces Restrictions Abroad

UK's various visa charges, surcharges and other costs are like a tax on doing business in the UK and amounts to protectionism.

Times of India reports that even as US visa issues haunt India's technology outsourcing industry, the UK has proposed changes to its skilled-workers visa policy that could increase costs for companies and make transfer of workers more difficult. The UK is the second-largest market for Indian IT companies and accounts for 18% of their export revenue, amounting to about $19 billion annually, according to National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).

The UK's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has proposed increasing the minimum salary level of IT employees entering the UK for short or long terms to £41,500, according to a report on its website. It has asked for immigration health surcharge and immigration skills charge to be levied on each employee sent to client sites in the UK, which will have a combined impact of £1,200 per applicant per year. UK PM David Cameron had tasked the MAC to review the tier-2 visa system last year as part of his pledge to cut total annual net migration from outside the EU. According to the MAC report, it is the "government's ambition to reduce annual net migration to the tens of thousands (from the current level of 336,000)." Major Indian IT companies, including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro, make use of intra-company transfer visas, which are a part of the UK's tier-2 visas. Nasscom urged UK to reconsider the panel's proposals.

Idea Development

Microsoft plans to change its work processes to ensure ideas get from the drawing board to the consumer faster in order to take on the likes of Google and Facebook. Skype Translator is an example. For any large corporation with a research arm, trying to spot ideas that have the most potential early on and develop them quickly before your competitor does is a tricky business. Microsoft will have its researchers work more closely with product groups. Ideation or idea development from concept to product is what its all about.

Selling Flash

Selling Flash: flash sales become the norm for digital marketplaces.

Times of India reports that after selling over 2 million smartphones through flash sales in six months and over 60,000 Maggi kits in just 5 minutes, Snapdeal betting big on the 'flash sales' model for 2016. "While the 'flash sale' model was introduced more out of compulsion, it has turned out to be a winning strategy," said Karan Khara, VP strategic alliances, Snapdeal. The company plans to offer products across categories in the 'flash' format in the upcoming months. Snapdeal forayed into flash sales when they faced constraints with supply in early 2015.

For products such as smartphones that have substantial amount of pent up demand, selling the product through normal sale created logistics constraints for the e-commerce company. Its first flash sale with Micromax Canvas Spark in April 2015 resulted in sales of 20,000 units within 2 minutes of commencement of the sale. The resounding success led to another 25 flash sales in six months for Micromax alone. Other smartphones from brands like InFocus, Xolo and HTC were also sold through the flash sale model on Snapdeal in subsequent months. "Flash sales acts as a trigger to release pent up demand in the market," said Khara. "It also helps us predict demand so as to align the back end shipping and logistics, he added.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Ideas and IPR @ IdeaIndia.Com

Ideas and Intellectual Property Rights  


Digital India Idea India

Digital Marketplace to promote and sell Ideas and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Platform to bring together buyers and sellers/owners of Ideas and Intellectual Property Rights - Copyright, Trademarks, Patents etc. 

Go to IdeaIndia.Com to find out more

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Travel Disruption Ahead

Uber and other travel startups have not just disrupted economy travel for consumers but are now also disrupting business class travel. They could go on to disrupt first class travel also. Uber saw huge growth in employees giving Uber travel expenses to their employers, as did other startups. Car hire services are losing market share to the likes of Uber.

SJP @DigitalAsian