Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Do Spotify need to Diversify?

As we prepare for the eagerly awaited Spotify iphone application which will no doubt be fun, I’m not sure with Spotify as a business model.

One of the great things about the popular iTunes model is that it's about choice, ease of use, and has done great things for an industry sadly in decline.

With Spotify providing a limitied choice of music, adverts that will no doubt further increase the more we tolerate them, is sure to turn off the fanbase that’s currently using it.

From a personal point of view and a big muso, advertising between tracks is infuriating and the fact that many major artists tracks won’t be there (but the BBC orchestra versions will be) will be a struggle for this business model. It almost makes sponsorship deals like Avril Lavigne and Burger King, Pink and Coke look a more likely way to provide funds for artists outside of merch and touring.

It may be of interest that Spotify streams on its free service at 160kb/s and you have to pay for 320kb/s through the Spotify premium package at £9.99 per month. Surely then Napster is the best model, as you can own the music using its monthly service for £9.95.

Artists which have got behind Spotify appear to have lost the plot, surely by taking customers to iTunes or Napster encourages much more revenue, choice and the music is easily available for adding straight to your mp3 player, machine or iPhone?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Family Affair

UK web users are now spending increased time surfing home and family websites. New statistics released by Nielsen Online, demonstrate the widening online demographic.

The new figures show the top ten fastest growing categories for time spent online include Family Resources, Food and Cooking and Family and Lifestyle.

The Family Resources category grew 135% from 30 minutes in Fem 2008 to 71 minutes in February this year.

The Food and Cooking category grew by 110% to 99m minutes in February 2009, while the Family and Lifestyle category almost doubled to 51m minutes over the same period.

The fastest growing category overall was Coupons/Rewards, which increased from 52m minutes in February 2008 to 183m minutes in February 2009, representing a 248% increase.

This no doubt is due to the credit crunch, as web users look online for the latest offers and savings.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

iPhone in Bromsgrove

Took a snap of the canal at The Queens Head in Bromsgrove. A calm Sunday afternoon at the pub with free tortillas too. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sherbourne Shrinking

Walking through Sherbourne Wharf this week, it was depressing to see how this wonderfully revitalised area brought back from dereliction had altered, so took a picture on my trusty iPhone.

Only last year this area was bustling with people, the futuristic ‘Jupiter’ marketing suite, health spa, restaurant and a busy waterbus on the canal. It now appears as a ghost town. The businesses, the customers and the residents have gone, and so has the character of the area.

The credit crunch has without doubt had a harmful effect here. Properties once worth £195,000 are now available for a mere £120,000, many are rented out by investors for next to nothing.

Redrow the Tamworth based housing developer has ordered its marketing suite overlooking the canal to be ripped out, all but one of it’s sales staff have been made redundant who is now based in an off site portacabin.

The surrounding area after the regeneration of Birmingham’s canals looks to be going backwards rather than forwards. Let’s hope this all changes soon, it’s a fantastic spot in Birmingham and has the potential to really be a great place to relax and unwind.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

How secure is your domain and hosting?

There have been some high profile companies of late that have encountered problems through domains and hosting. They are a major part of any business, without them your communication, existence and email is completely lost.

This week a high profile restaurant in Birmingham has had its domain taken by a company in Germany, which will no doubt lead to a downturn in awareness and revenue for the client.

We have also this week seen Ministry of Sound, Oasisinet and Razorlight affected by a ecommerce trader Trinity Street who have ceased trading, also affected were The London Bridge ticketing system which was disabled.

At LHM Media, we take great pride in looking after your domains and hosting, and offer a number of low cost shared and dedicated options.

It is vital that you check who is hosting your site, who controls your domain and that you can get hold of this information quickly. If you can’t get hold of the company or person that is holding one of the most important assets to your business, act now and move them now to a company that can, who are on the other end of the phone and can advise on the best solutions for your business.

Friday, 6 February 2009

11pm in Cannon Hill Park

Decided to join fellow twitterers in the impromptu hunt for the snow monster that was spotted in Cannon Hill Park, unfortunately when we got there it had been destroyed, still a wonderful example of how Social Media brings people together.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Moseley on the iPhone

Took a rather gothic image of Moseley on my iPhone. . .

Sunday, 18 January 2009

I so wish you were here. . .

Check out the new website that's about to make all your dreams come true. Well for some people it already has!

It's a community site that provides advice and ideas that help reach your goal and achieve your dreams. Site members are rated on their helpfulness, and rise through a ranking system. There is no doubt, 'I so wish' will take off quickly, and is quickly pulling in users from the increasingly popular Twitter.

The great thing about I so wish, is that you don't have to wish for multiple wishes, as you can make as many as you like on the site, and stand a much higher chance of making your wish come true.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Still Red Hot? Absolutely!

I had to feature this advert on my new blog, it really is the best advert I have seen in years. Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Virgin Atlantic, the Still Red Hot campaign is a fantastic reminder of the 1980's in all it's glory.

This advert has everything, including a fantastic soundtrack from Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Madonna, Asteriods, Wimpy, The Miners Strike, it's all here and did I mention the cabin crew?

Paul Dickinson, the sales and marketing director for Virgin Atlantic said “When our competitors are feeling down in the dumps, and we enter into a year of economic uncertainty, you can always trust Virgin Atlantic to raise spirits and stare into the future with as much optimism as we did back in 1984.”

Virgin, I'm flying with you as soon as I get my passport back.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Attention to Retail

Some fantastic stats have come out this week regarding the habits of UK online bargain hunters on Christmas Day.

Nearly 4m Britons spent £100m online on the 25th according to figures by IMRG. 3.8m online shoppers spent £102m, an average of £26.80 per customer, which was up 21% on last year’s figures.

The number of people shopping online was down on last year, however the volume of transactions were 26% higher.

Several e-tailers including Marks and Spencer, Play and John Lewis were running Christmas Day sales, encouraging people to spend before the January Sales by commencing there sale Christmas day.

We still see many leading retailers not offering customers the chance to purchase items online, with this information and the ever increasing High Street pressure, I wonder how many of them will resist the temptation to stay away?

Business vs Credit Crunch

Ian gives three top tips to boost your online marketing through the credit crunch. It is essential that you have short and long term sales marketing objectives for your business for the most likely tough times ahead.

Companies that are winning are those who are able to track activity, through 2009 it is essential. It is clearer than ever that the businesses that will win through the credit crunch will be the ones that make the most of their online prescence.

- Set your business sales and marketing objectives
- Make sure your brand message is clear and focussed
- Know who your customers are

1. Search, Search & Search 80% of users start their internet session through a search engine, 90% of searches start with a brand. A top position for your company is essential, you need to be found while your competition can't be. It is essential that you have a strategy to make and be sure your website is set up correctly for Natural SEO and if not, you set up a pay per click campaign as quickly as possible.

2. Track Reports Look at your current marketing plan, what is working and what isn't? If you don't feel something is providing ROI for your business, assess it first then remove it. There are some great online tools that can help you track everything, one of them is Google Analytics, this will tell you exactly where your clients are coming from, what they are searching for and how long they spend looking at your site.

3. Communication There are two key ways to now communicate to your customers, by mobile (SMS) and the other is email. By adding mobile and email marketing to your marketing mix will help to generate business very quickly. The key thing here is data, have you got it? Where can you get it from?

Ian starts his blog

Having stood back and watching the rise of the blog, I simply had to get involved. Why should the journalists have all the fun?

I am a co owner of Birmingham based digital marketing agency LHM Media.

My job is to keep a key a watchful eye on digital, and help our clients businesses grow using the tools available to us all. One of the key elements of my job is wading through all of the great ideas that both we and clients come up with, and actually delivering the end goal. Normally that goal is more customers, more data and essentially more awareness for their brand product and service.

As we go in to a tough period for marketers in general, it is important to understand why we do what we do, such as providing clients with the best possible solutions and advice, services that are fully trackable and that give them value for money. This way, everybody wins.