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30th November 2011

Video with 16 notes

Will the convenience of seamless content consumption across any device save the studio business model? Tim Dodd, VP & GM of Neustar Media, along with the major studios (sans Disney) believe their solution, called Ultra Violet, will deliver on that prospect. 

Actually, not only do they need it to be successful, so too do we as consumers. Why? Because making content that consumers want to watch and share costs a lot of money to develop, produce, market, and distribute. And piracy - particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia (Russia, China, etc.) - is rampant and siphons aways billions of dollars from the industry. 

I’m not suggesting that this latest move is the last straw hail mary savior for the industry. Nor am I advocating this particular solution and price point (both of which need some refinement) as the means by which we should all embrace, but it is a step in the right direction - licensed content available anywhere, anytime, on any device. If the studios can find a way to deliver on that promise and not trade analog dollars for digital pennies (or fractions of a penny) then we can all enjoy a future with great content that is reasonably priced and easily accessible. Who wouldn’t want that on offer?

Tagged: UltraVioletHome EntertainmentPiracyLionsgateParamountSonyFox20th Century FoxWarner BrothersUniversalNBC UniversalDVDBlu RayDigital LockerTechCrunch

29th November 2011

Video with 4 notes

RT @Wired #CIQ #CarrierIQ secretly monitoring (& w/o opt out) all your #Android Mobile activities - #privacy @nprnews

Facebook was just nailed today for its continued lack of respect for a user’s PII and “promises” yet again to be more forthright. Of course there are far more nefarious activities going on and Trevor Eckhart reveals some chilling insights about what activities are tracked when you use your Android mobile device. Thanks for your technical prowess and your courage Trevor - and thanks to you too Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Where’s the oversight? Where’s the transparency? Where’s the outcry? Where’s the litigious nature of CA over this latest transgression of a user’s privacy?

Tagged: CIQCarrierIQPrivacyFacebookAndroidGoogleMobileLegislationTrevorEckhartTrevor EckhartElectronic Frontier Foundation

17th November 2011


If Reaganomics is the ideal, whereby income & capital gains were taxed @28% (1986), but capital gains cuts (1997 and 2003) lead by Republicans fostered investment speculation and bubbles, while creating more income inequality, what’s next? Where are the jobs? Where’s the shame? 

Who was the President to cut taxes from 90% to 70%? A Republican? No, a Democrat! JFK. Why were taxes so high? Because this nation used to pay its debts (WWII and Korean War debt). Previously, Republicans were the stewards of fiscal responsibility. Today they (and their Democratic counterparts) practice crony capitalism. 

What’s more shameful to me as a Veteran of the Armed Forces, is how many members of Congress and the wealthy can wear a US flag on their lapel or wave a US flag outside of their home or business and claim that they “support our troops” yet these same individuals are unwilling to put their money where their mouth is! How is that not shameful? 

OK, so you don’t like Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, blah, blah, blah, but you support our troops. Alright then, if you’re not going to volunteer to go into harms way, then at least pay for the blanket of security that you portend to support. Encourage the passage of legislation on the wealthiest of Americans, those earning more than $1MM annually, that raises taxes to pay for our nation’s security. 

Because in the end, who stands to lose the most if this nation goes into decline at best or anarchy at worst? Historically, it is the privileged class. They will lose land, assets, security, freedoms, etc. Sure, they can relocate, but hey, that’s a hassle. So step up and pay up. 

Tagged: Occupy Wall Streetincome inequalitycapital gainstax cutsReaganomicsRepublicansDemocratsSuper Committee

16th November 2011


Whoa. Heavy.

Tagged: surfsurfingbig waves

5th October 2011

Video with 11 notes

"Current Home Entertainment market pricing is too high," Mike Lang, CEO Miramax. Mike Lang and Ted Sarandos, CCO Netflix discuss a range of topics at Mipcom. The full video is above; select highlights are below:

  • Serialized content is increasingly difficult to finance as the profit margins are squeezed by declines in the DVD and syndication markets. However, streaming serialized TV programs on Netflix commands >60% of all streamed content. Hence Netflix’s pursuit to develop their own content to fill the void left by fewer programs produced by studios for network television - Ted Sarandos.
  • Consumers behavior suggests that they value “exclusivity” less and less; whereas studios hold this lever with high value and that is a disconnect that needs to change - Mike Lang.
  • Ultra Violet (Digital Locker) addresses the following touch points: access anytime and anywhere; fair pricing; and purchase opportunity over rental/VOD - Mike Lang.
  • Digital content will be forever defined by the economy of access over ownership - Ted Sarandos.
  • The media industry will need to shift from carpet bombing approach to advertising to targeted advertising. For example, we asked Facebook to review how many people mentioned Miramax films in their user profile and how many are fans of the top 25 directors, actors, actresses. We thought it would be ~500K people, but the number came back at 50MM! Clearly there’s an opportunity to market and sell in a very targeted way to these people - Mike Lang.
  • The biggest lesson learned from the music industry is that for the entire ecosystem to thrive, there need to exist multiple players around the world. In such an environment everyone wins - studios, distributors, and consumers - Mike Lang.
  • Earlier Mike hypothesized that people would prefer to buy content rather than pirated if given the opportunity to access the content via legal channels. We agree and this belief is borne out by empirical evidence. Prior to Netflix entering Canada, the largest supplier of digital content was Bit Torrent; in 1-year, Netflix is now the #1 supplier, while Bit Torrent is on the decline - Ted Sarandos.

Tagged: MipcomMike LangMiramaxNetflixFacebookAppleAmazoniTunesStreamingPiracy

28th August 2011

Video with 15 notes

Real men (and women) riding real waves, riding monster waves. 27 August 2011. Heavy.

Tagged: SurfingTeahupooTahitiBillabong Pro 2011

15th August 2011


LNF: Lowers Raid! from on Vimeo.

Summer time shenanigans. A bit more than a month ago a group of groms decided to have a little fun by organizing a take-over of one of Southern California’s premier surfing destinations.  This is their story…

Tagged: surfingfunsummer timegood timesTrestlesLowersLower Trestles

2nd August 2011

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5 Big Mistakes To Avoid in Your QR Code Marketing Campaign →

5 Big Mistakes To Avoid in Your QR Code Marketing CampaignSage advice on how even experienced and well intentioned marketers often go wrong with mobile marketing, HTML5, and QR Codes. Cheers to Mashable for this guest post.!

Tagged: QR CodesShareSquareMobile MarketingHTML5HTML5 Web AppsMobile Web AppsPull MarketingDirect ResponseEmail MarketingLead GenerationGoogle


30th July 2011

Video with 10 notes

Future of mobile advertising far different from the banner ads of the web - driven by the promise of closing the redemption loop (via TC Disrupt).

The question may be, “At what point in time will media buyers and brands cross the 'psychological' adoption chasm, thereby driving a change in their media buying behavior from impression focused to redemption focused?” Answer: I have no idea. Theoretically - and in practice on a limited scale - this would be accelerated by the overwhelming ROI of the latter, causing a paradigm shift in media buying.

Unilever, Coke, and many other brands have experimented with various forms of performance based advertising, from the ad products deployed to the execution of the media agency itself, but ”reach and frequency” still dominates media agency buying behavior - and dollars. The CMO Council (bar chart) recently reported that marketers intend to increase spending in “acquisition focused” areas - lead generation, direct response, etc. - which would suggest that raising “awareness” alone will not deliver the full promise of mobile advertising - and the dollars to boot.

There is tremendous opportunity for companies like ShareSquare, Groupon, FourSquare, and many others to disintermediate the traditional - and extremely costly - business approach to CRM. These companies could be the new POS terminal, enabling the collection, processing, analysis, and presentation of this data to business customers, coupled with automation of targeted loyalty programs based on this information - much in the way that companies like Best Buy, Target, and others do today; albeit with significant IT and human capital investment. This in turn could change advertising from the push model that has remained in place for decades, to one that actually adds incremental value to the end user and the business via targeted redemption based advertising.

Tagged: ShareSquare,FourSquare,GrouponQR CodesMobilePull MarketingPush MarketingImpressionsAdvertisingMobile advertisingTechCrunch DisruptTechCrunch

Source: TechCrunch

25th July 2011

Link with 4 notes

This pretty much sums up the hypocrisy in DC & why we need real leadership →

Yikes! First time in history where we’ve lowered taxes and waged war at the same time. Net result, exploding deficits, excess spending, and pending credit downgrades. Time to wake up and show a leadership in DC. Enough of with the hypocrisy of the bureaucracy!

Tagged: Deficitbalanced budget ObamaCongressRepublicansBushTax CutsStimulusTARP

14th July 2011

Video with 21 notes

Finally! A Global Business Leader Speaks Up! While Jeff Immelt stopped short of calling the political maneuvering cowardly as purely a move by many politicians to cater to their respective base rather than solve problems, it’s clear we’re staring down the barrel of a gun here.

Now look, I don’t generally comment on politics on my blog, but this really isn’t about politics as far as I’m concerned, this is about finding a pragmatic solution. Is Eric Cantor correct to suggest that historically raising taxes during high unemployment is a bad idea? Sure. But Reagan did it and we had a period of significant economic growth thereafter. But isn’t it also true that this is the first time in history where we have not one, not two, but three wars on-going and we’re not raising taxes? Well, at least as far as recent history goes, yes, this is true.

So, the Democrats are offering $3 Trillion in spending cuts - even from entitlement programs - while suggesting closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest of Americans and subsidies for corporations that don’t need the assistance. But this is far from the ultimate destination we’ll need to arrive at if we want to continue to enjoy the quality of life, services, financing, and security that we as Americans have come to enjoy and now “expect” in our daily lives.

'Look, Americans are pretty reasonable people when it comes down to it. We're prosperous in part because we have a stable society, stable markets, established infrastructure, and a military second to none that provides the security for our society, markets, and infrastructure to survive, thrive, and grow. Now, you may not like the politics of Obama or Cantor or Pelosi or Boehner, but you know what, I think we all enjoy the security, infrastructure, and stability that this nation has enjoyed. And right now, that's at risk.

That’s at risk because we are taking short cuts to provide for that security. I’m a veteran and I consider myself as patriotic as the next man or woman. So, when I hear or read that our political leaders are using parliamentary tactics to side-step the responsibility to lead and make tough decisions, it makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me question their patriotism. After all, what could be more patriotic than ensuring our way of life continues by taking the necessary, the difficult and perhaps politically damaging step to ensure our way of life continues?

This is the kind of bravery and moral courage that Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry illustrated when he forsake his own life to save that of his fellow soldiers. Politicians could stand to learn a thing or two from Sgt. Petry, sometimes a personal sacrifice is necessary for the common and greater good of the many.

We need more leadership in this country starting with a willingness to demonstrate personal and professional sacrifice to do what is in the best long-term interests of this nation and our way of life. We need that same leadership from business professionals from our top Fortune 500 companies based in the US. They should be on a PR blitz to press the politicians to make the best long-term decisions for this country. And, so I would urge you too, to call your politician, to re-tweet this post, to do whatever you can to get our nation’s leaders to grow some moral courage to do what’s right for a change, rather than what is politically expedient and narrowly focused on their re-election efforts.

Tagged: GEDebt CeilingEric CantorJohn BoehnerNancy PelosiBarrack ObamaCongressJeff Immelt

11th July 2011

Link with 2 notes

See Dan, More Evidence You're Off Base - Punchd QR Code Solution Acquired by Google →

Dan Frommer of Business Insider published a one-sided - and arguably amateur - piece of journalism earlier on SAI called “Death of the QR Code” (you can read my retort here). Clearly Dan was presumptuous and misinformed on many levels. Google has grand plans for Local and mCommerce. QR Codes will be a component of that solution.

Anytime you have a product that makes the lives of consumers easier, while providing an additional opportunity to make advertisers happy by increasing touch points, engagement, and sales - be that from advertising, revenue share, or some combination thereof - you’ve got yourself a winning opportunity. The success will depend on execution. Android’s market penetration ensures that Google has as good a shot as any to be a winner - and by extension, provide golden opportunities for companies like ShareSquare.

Tagged: ShareSquareSilicon Alley InsiderQR CodesQR CodeMobileMobile MarketingGooglePunchdmCommerceDan Frommer

8th July 2011

Link with 9 notes

Heavy On Conjecture, "Lite" on Research - Dan Frommer Totally Missed the Mark →

This piece by Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider is just a major breakdown in responsible journalism. A quick scan of the comments from readers are pretty telling that Dan missed the mark here in a big way. It’s too bad, because I like Dan, but he’s heavy on conjecture and ”lite” on research in this piece. This is just “bad” reporting, so it’s difficult to respond because the article is just plain wrong on so many levels. For example, his comment that “Google has abandoned QR Codes in favor of NFC” is just incorrect. Quite the contrary, it is widely rumored that they are on their way to integrating Google Goggles into the next Android release to leverage the native camera in a phone without an app. That’s a huge game changer - we’d go from ~50MM+ people in the US with scanning capabilities to well over 100MM in a matter of months (or less time).

And - as I’ve said at recent speaking engagements - Dan is mixing his objectives here in that QR Codes are not the panacea of all marketing needs. It is a tool to be used in the marketing mix. QR Codes are about pull marketing and lead generation. It is about making discovery portable from an offline placement to an online environment in a SoLoMo world (Social, Local, Mobile). It is about providing an optimized experience for mobile users with an HTML5 mobile web app that offers rich content, incentives, syndication, portability, relevance, timeliness, conversion, and more.

My own belief is that NFC may be eclipsed by the mobile wallet - entering a pin or phone number is far more scalable on a global level when you consider that there are ~2B credit cards, but ~5B people with phones, so linkage to carriers or other payment processing options will be a must. Besides, if you take your phone out at a store, scan to learn more, and then as a customer you are offered the option to checkout right then and there with a discount for doing so, why would you need NFC, if you have an mCommerce cart and mobile wallet built in with PayPal, Google Checkout, Boku, or a host of other options?

So, lots to say here. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Tagged: QR CodesSocialLocalMobileNFCGoogleAndroidMobile WalletMobile MarketingGoogle GogglesGoogle CheckoutBokuPayPal

22nd June 2011

Video with 3 notes

Reality Check! You won’t read about this on Tech Crunch, et al., but, oh so true!

Tagged: startupfundingraising moneyreality

12th June 2011


Surfer? Yep. Drive Porsches? Yep. F18 Pilot? Negative Ghostrider! Creative license? YES, but a blast to film! Thx SPEED!

Tagged: Porsche, SPEED, SPEED Channel, SPEEDTV, SPEED TV, ShareSquare, Cars, Auto, Racing,