Here is the Super Bowl commercial for the Pepsi/AmazonMP3 promotion that features Justin Timberlake. They are positioning this ad to launch the AmazonMP3 store (it’s there now, but this is the first real advertising they have done for it). For the promotion, you collect Pepsi caps to earn points to download free MP3s from the AmazonMP3 store. There has been a lot of talk about how this is the first big competitor to iTunes, and a lot of interest to see if it is successful or not.
1. The labels have chosen to target iTunes / Apple as the enemy. I've said it before, they should THANK Steve Jobs instead of hating him. They've allowed Amazon to have MP3's with the idea of hurting Apple. You know what? By doing that, you are helping Apple. No one has made a better MP3 player yet! He doesn't make much money on the songs, he makes them on iPods. You think Zune becomes more popular now?
2. Hooray for this. More places to buy music means that people have more options. All those Amazon fans (like me) now have the ability to buy songs while they purchase books. Seriously, this is good for music. Wider distribution. 3. Hooray for this x 2. Music is free. Much of the music-listening world thinks it is. So why not continue this notion, keep it free, and let the artist get paid by a big brand. That is where we are headed anyway. I used to say that it was only a matter of time before someone like Microsoft made it so the only way you could get the new album from (you name it: U2, Rolling Stones, Beck, etc.) was by purchasing the latest version of Windows. This is a step in that direction. And a more populist approach.
4. That Justin Timberlake is so gosh darn talented. Seriously! Man crush. (Forget Ron Paul, he's so 3 weeks ago).
I watched it with my wife, Denise. I don't know if she was into it for the first 20 minutes or so, I don't know if I was into for those same 20 minutes. After all, it's a movie about middle aged guys playing video games. But it took on an incredible life once you got to the meat of the story.
Wow. Truly amazing.
From a distant vantage point, it's a story about two guys each trying to achieve, and then maintain, the world record for the highest score on Donkey Kong. (That's the legendary Billy Mitchell to the right, considered to be the greatest video game player ever.) But it is so much more than that. It is really a metaphor for our own lives, each of us trying to find something that defines us; one accomplishment that makes us feel like we're the best at something.
I don't want to over-hype this movie. It is not a Michael Moore film, it is a simple film with incredible footage, about a topic that most would find torturously boring. But it is a special film, one that I think every guy over 30 can appreciate. I believe women will love it too, but there is something about this film that hits home for me from a male perspective.
That and the fact that Donkey Kong was my game when I was younger!
Kay S. Hymowitz Child-Man in the Promised Land Today’s single young men hang out in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood.
It’s 1965 and you’re a 26-year-old white guy. You have a factory job, or maybe you work for an insurance broker. Either way, you’re married, probably have been for a few years now; you met your wife in high school, where she was in your sister’s class. You’ve already got one kid, with another on the way. For now, you’re renting an apartment in your parents’ two-family house, but you’re saving up for a three-bedroom ranch house in the next town. Yup, you’re an adult!
Now meet the twenty-first-century you, also 26. You’ve finished college and work in a cubicle in a large Chicago financial-services firm. You live in an apartment with a few single guy friends. In your spare time, you play basketball with your buddies, download the latest indie songs from iTunes, have some fun with the Xbox 360, take a leisurely shower, massage some product into your hair and face—and then it’s off to bars and parties, where you meet, and often bed, girls of widely varied hues and sizes. They come from everywhere: California, Tokyo, Alaska, Australia. Wife? Kids? House? Are you kidding?
Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood’s milestones—high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers—happily—in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. Decades in unfolding, this limbo may not seem like news to many, but in fact it is to the early twenty-first century what adolescence was to the early twentieth: a momentous sociological development of profound economic and cultural import. Some call this new period “emerging adulthood,” others “extended adolescence”; David Brooks recently took a stab with the “Odyssey Years,” a “decade of wandering.”
But while we grapple with the name, it’s time to state what is now obvious to legions of frustrated young women: the limbo doesn’t bring out the best in young men. Read more...
If you watch American Idol or Survivor, you know what this is. It is advertisers embedded into the actual program. Not just the commercials every 10 - 15 minutes, but products endorsed by the cast in the middle of the show. In my early days at A&M Records, bands hated advertising. It was considered "selling out" to have your show sponsored by a brand or product. Don't even think about having your music in a commercial. Today bands kill for this. Bands like Snow Patrol and The Fray have "broken" thanks in a large part to television shows. And don't be surprised to see key placement of iPhones and Hummers in rock videos.
So why did it take television so long? Well, it didn't actually. Television started this way. Early television shows were often funded by a single advertiser. And it is coming back. There are shows like "Pepsi Smash" that haven't quite caught on, but that is because it was a music-based show. Concert and music-based shows are generally the lowest rated programs on the tube.
But soon we'll be exposed to more advertising-based shows. Some will be overt and some less so. Interesting article in today's LA Times,
I read an article today in the LA Times today about a new company called the Rubicon Project. The company was started by Frank Addante, a 31 year old "serial entrepreneur." The Rubicon Project raised $21 Million in venture funds with the mission of creating a ground-breaking online advertising solution.
I'm still not a 100% clear on what they do, but according to their website:
The Rubicon Project is a group of industry-experienced, aggressive and passionate renegades dedicated to bringing a new level of efficiency to the fragmented Internet advertising space.
The Rubicon Project’s web-based, self-serve solution gives any size website the most complete access to the total available advertising market and its smart matching technology does all the work to perfectly match each ad impression with the optimal money-making opportunity. the Rubicon Project is the new online advertising standard that makes it effortless for websites to generate the mad cash they've always dreamed of.
The big deal here is the acknowledgement of the change in advertising. Per the same article, "Yankee Group predicts that the amount spent on online advertising in the U.S. will jump from $21.7 billion in 2007 to $50.3 billion in 2011. "
There will be a lot of new ways to grab that money. I wish Frank and his team the best of luck. I just hope he doesn't spend all of his money on promo videos...
"What disgusts me is few people making fraud profiles, lying to users on youtube and paying blogs to post their videos call it a company. Gosh, anything that a person does, they call it a company."
"Simplicity to manipulate marketing through the Web channel will ultimately be its demise. It’s just too easy and people will eventually get fed up with all the gaming that can be done with content driven by “the crowd.”"
But Dan's commentary got him on CNN. So say what you will, controversy sells. I don't know if Dan meant to cause chaos or it just happened, but I'm sure there is a line of clients outside of his dorm room door.
Personally I love that he wrote this how-to guide. I know about Dan now. I'll follow Dan. I hope to add him to my LinkedIn network and my Facebook friends. The guy seized an opportunity and he's running with it. The shelf-life may be short, but he'll undoubtedly think of something else next. This post in response to Dan's blog sums it up pretty well...
"Very interesting. I personally feel that marketing is marketing. If we all knew some of the tactics television and radio have used over the years, this would seem business as usual."
An added benefit. After watching that YouTube video of Dan on CNN, this one came up. It's clever, cute, and something I never would have seen if I hadn't found Dan.
If you like that, you can read this guy's book for free HERE
My company is often hired to drive traffic to a website or video on a UGC site or something of that nature. It is one thing to get people there, it is another to keep them there. On the other side of the coin is the content. If we get them there will they like what they see? Why do some videos on YouTube get more views than others?
The article can be read in full here, but here are some of Dan's tips... Secret #1: Not all viral videos are what they seem. In other words, not all videos go viral organically – there is a method to the madness.
2. Content is NOT King Don’t get me wrong: the content is what will drive visitors back to a site. So a video must have a decent concept, but one shouldn’t agonize over determining the best “viral” video possible. Here are some guidelines we follow:
Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips
Design for remixing: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others.
Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing.
Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further.
Use fake headlines: make the viewer say, “Holy shit, did that actually happen?!”
Appeal to sex: if all else fails, hire the most attractive women available to be in the video.
3. Core Strategy: Getting onto the “Most Viewed” page So how do we get the first 50,000 views we need to get our videos onto the Most Viewed list?
Blogs: We reach out to individuals who run relevant blogs and actually pay them to post our embedded videos. Sounds a little bit like cheating/PayPerPost, but it’s effective and it’s not against any rules.
Forums: We start new threads and embed our videos. Sometimes, this means kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users.
MySpace: Plenty of users allow you to embed YouTube videos right in the comments section of their MySpace pages. We take advantage of this.
Facebook: Share, share, share. We’ve taken Dave McClure’s advice and built a sizeable presence on Facebook, so sharing a video with our entire friends list can have a real impact. Other ideas include creating an event that announces the video launch and inviting friends, writing a note and tagging friends, or posting the video on Facebook Video with a link back to the original YouTube video.
Email lists: Send the video to an email list. Depending on the size of the list (and the recipients’ willingness to receive links to YouTube videos), this can be a very effective strategy.
Friends: Make sure everyone we know watches the video and try to get them to email it out to their friends, or at least share it on Facebook.
4. Title Optimization It seems obvious, but people see hundreds of videos on YouTube, and the title and thumbnail are an easy way for video publishers to actively persuade someone to click on a video. Titles can be changed a limitless number of times, so we sometimes have a catchy (and somewhat misleading) title for the first few days, then later switch to something more relevant to the brand. Recently, I’ve noticed a trend towards titling videos with the phrases “exclusive,” “behind the scenes,” and “leaked video.”
5. Thumbnail Optimization If a video is sitting on the Most Viewed page with nineteen other videos, a compelling video thumbnail is the single best strategy to maximize the number of clicks the video gets. It’s no surprise that videos with thumbnails of half naked women get hundreds of thousands of views. Also, when we feel particularly creative, we optimize all three thumbnails then change the thumbnail every few hours. This is definitely an underused strategy, but it’s an interesting way to keep a video fresh once it’s on the Most Viewed list.
6. Commenting: Having a conversation with yourself Every power user on YouTube has a number of different accounts. So do we. A great way to maximize the number of people who watch our videos is to create some sort of controversy in the comments section below the video. We get a few people in our office to log in throughout the day and post heated comments back and forth (you can definitely have a lot of fun with this).
Also, we aren’t afraid to delete comments – if someone is saying our video (or your startup) sucks, we just delete their comment. We can’t let one user’s negativity taint everyone else’s opinions.
7. Releasing all videos simultaneously A lot of the time our clients say: “We’ve got 5 videos and we’re going to release one every few days so that viewers look forward to each video.” This is the wrong way to think about YouTube marketing. If we have multiple videos, we post all of them at once. If someone sees our first video and is so intrigued that they want to watch more, why would we make them wait until we post the next one? We give them everything up front. If a user wants to watch all five of our videos right now, there’s a much better chance that we’ll be able to persuade them to click through to our website. We don’t make them wait after seeing the first video, because they’re never going to see the next four.
Once our first video is done, we delete our second video then re-upload it. Now we have another 48-hour window to push it to the Most Viewed page. Rinse and repeat. Using this strategy, we give our most interested viewers the chance to fully engage with a campaign without compromising the opportunity to individually release and market each consecutive video.
8. Strategic Tagging: Leading viewers down the rabbit hole This is one of my favorite strategies and one that I think we invented. YouTube allows you to tag your videos with keywords that make your videos show up in relevant searches. For the first week that our video is online, we don’t use keyword tags to optimize the video for searches on YouTube. Instead, we’ve discovered that you can use tags to control the videos that show up in the Related Videos box.
So how do we strategically tag? We choose three or four unique tags and use only these tags for all of the videos we post. I’m not talking about obscure tags; I’m talking about unique tags, tags that are not used by any other YouTube videos. Done correctly, this will allow us to have full control over the videos that show up as “Related Videos.” When views start trailing off after a few days to a week, it’s time to add some more generic tags, tags that draw out the long tail of a video as it starts to appear in search results on YouTube and Google.
9. Metrics/Tracking: How we measure effectiveness For one, we tweak the links put up on YouTube (whether in a YouTube channel or in a video description) by adding “?video=1” to the end of each URL. This makes it much easier to track inbound links using Google Analytics or another metrics tool. TubeMogul and VidMetrix also track views/comments/ratings on each individual video and draw out nice graphs that can be shared with the team. Additionally, these tools follow the viral spread of a video outside of YouTube and throughout other social media sites and blogs.
Conclusion The Wild West days of Lonely Girl and Ask A Ninja are over. You simply can’t expect to post great videos on YouTube and have them go viral on their own, even if you think you have the best videos ever.
On Wednesday I posted about my Shipping thoughts in relation to marketing. I explained that I had purchased a power supply for my computer.
Great news. I paid the cheapest shipping available from the site Shentech, $9.78 for 3-6 day UPS ground. I ordered it on Tuesday and it showed up on Thursday. 2 days! That means they processed my order and put it in the mail same day, it spent one day en route, and showed up the next.
I saved $65 from buying directly from Sony and I got the product FAST! And... It worked. Yep, plugged it into my Vaio last night and it worked. (Sad, when you actually expect things not to work.)
1. Michael Rapino Rapino sits atop the big kahuna, Live Nation. That’s where the money is these days, touring. And he’s got the biggest operation. Rapino is where you get paid.
2. Steve Jobs I don’t really think he gives a shit about music. He seems to care more about movies. But the iTunes Music Store is where the rubber meets the road. It’s where the transaction happens. And that’s why he’s got power.
3. Irving Azoff With Irving it’s not a matter of trust, he’s just smarter than just about everybody else. And accessible. And charming. And the other managers hate him for it. Irving’s got the power in an era where the manager dominates. You want to know the future of this business? Watch Irving. And his artists trust him…
4. Randy Phillips Touring can’t be stressed enough. AEG is perched at the absolute top of the pyramid. They’re about touring guaranteed moneymakers. They’re not full-service like Live Nation, but they’re very profitable, and a power that can outbid LN.
5. Rob Light/Marc Geiger/Chip Hooper They couldn't be more different, but they’re all extremely powerful. You might not see Chip’s name in the paper, but he controls the jam band world, starting with the Dave Matthews Band.
Rob Light has built CAA into a monolith.
Marc Geiger’s probably the most innovative thinker in the agency business, one of the most insightful in all the music business.
Your record label PRESIDENT is less important than your agent. Your agent will get you paid. And your label head might not even be able to break you. Acts are broken on the road.
6. Guy Hands If he runs the smallest label and his star acts are pissed at him, how come he’s so powerful? Because he’s the one angling for change. He’s got no history in this business, no allegiance to anything, he’s starting with a fresh slate. He’s the one who’s going to try shit that makes a difference.
7. Ian Rogers MySpace and Facebook get all the ink, but Yahoo Music is the number one music site on the Web. And the Web is where you break records.
8. Music Blogs Music bloggers do it for the love of music. They can be trusted. Profit is secondary. Are blogs the new radio?
9. Pandora/LastFM/Net Radio Traditional, terrestrial radio is toast. The future is niche, narrowcasting. And you get this on Net radio. The majors are fighting it because they don’t like its openness, the lack of control. But it’s what the people want.
10. Doug Morris Doug thinks it’s about breaking records on radio, seeing if they react at retail. He’s old school, he hates the future.
The other day I was discussing Amy Winehouse with someone. "Why is she such a mess?" they asked.
Because that's Rock N Roll.
If you are 22 years old, perhaps you don't know about Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, or maybe even Kurt Cobain.
Musicians are different.
When I worked at A&M, I worked directly with bands and musicians. My job was to keep them out in the public eye long enough to catch on and hopefully get a song on the radio and become big stars. It happened with Sheryl Crow, Gin Blossoms, Blues Traveler, and Soundgarden. It didn't happen for about a hundred others. Some of those artists that didn't make it are no longer living. Some of the ones that did make it are no longer living.
I remember trying to keep bands together who wanted to break up. I used to give them this passionate speech about how lucky they were to be given the opportunity to do the thing they love most - make music. I would tell them, "Look around you, someone has just given you hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the record of your dreams. To use the best producers and record in the same studios where the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen recorded. You have over 100 people working for you to help make you a star. Why can't you guys just accept that this is a business, you don't love everyone you work with, but you have a job to do and you are letting hundreds, if not thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people down if you break up?"
99% of the time they'd look at me and say they completely understood, but they couldn't do it.
And so I say, musicians are different. They are different than us. We go to work every day for at least 8 hours. We try to make enough money to pay our rent, to feed our family, to get ahead of where our parents were. But a musician can look at the gift of having someone underwrite their dream and walk away. Without a backup plan.
How can their life be so hard? They wake up late, they write about how hard their life is, or how they wish they hadn't cheated on their spouse, or our lousy President. They get other people to buy their meals. They get to have sex with anonymous people in precarious ways. They get to walk on a stage, play the instrument that is more important to them than any human being and get the adoration of the previously mentioned "normal" people. We buy them drinks after their show and continue to praise them. They get in a van or a bus and drive for a few hours and start all over again the next day. Is that Hell or Heaven?
The only way I've ever been able to accept this is to recognize that musicians are wired differently than me. I have an Intel chip in me that needs to work, provide, succeed, and ultimately relax. They have an AMD chip inside of them that needs to do something completely different. I'm not better than them and they are not better than me. We're just different.
It took me years to learn that. But I'm glad I did.
Why changing your marketing budgets is so hard ... Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with ice cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result -- all the other monkeys are sprayed with ice cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. And after a week, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he learns that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
A week later remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! A week later, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here. Take Out: Could this be the reason that many brands are still spending on TV and print when there is so much clear and trusted research that shows a) the audience is not there and b) it does not work????
No doubt. So what can we do about this?
I don't have the answer, but I recommend patience. We're getting there, but it takes time. Online marketing makes sense. Both financial and reach. But you don't get fired for buying TV and print. However, you do get fired for trying new things.
Sometimes I wonder what the real audience is for that billboard that sits above my building? The CW controls it because there is always an ad for one of their shows on it. Right now it has Crowned, the pageant reality show hosted by Queer Eye's Carson Kressley. My guess is that 20,000 people see that banner every day. So, if it is up for 30 days, it gets seen 600,000 times. The majority of those people are studio employees of Warner Brothers, Disney, NBC, and Universal. Are they the target audience? Or is it a teen girl? The billboard probably costs $50,000.
Now a company like mine would reach 5 Million eyeballs during that month for the same $50,000. (Not meant to be a shameless plug, there are others that do this too!) Those eyeballs would be primarily girls who watch reality shows.
I've been thinking about the Shipping part of my posting yesterday. How does shipping play a role in your online purchasing habits?
Yesterday I needed to purchase a power supply for my computer. Turns out there are hundreds of sites ready to sell me the exact power supply I need. Who knew? I figured since I have a Sony Vaio laptop that I would just have to go to SonyStyle.com to purchase this item where it is $89.99. Tax is $7.42 and shipping is free, total is $97.41. Meanwhile I found it on a site called Shentech for $22.88. No tax and shipping is $9.78, total is $32.66. $65.00 cheaper!
Before I got to this point, I looked at about 10 different sites who had the product priced from $20 - $60. Shipping ranged from free to $25. I chose the site that had the best total price and the best customer rating. I'll admit, if I ordered from Sony, I'd feel more comfortable, but not $65.00 more comfortable. But I do appreciate the free shipping.
I forgot to mention, I always look on Amazon. Why? Free shipping. Yep, I bought into their "Prime" club. When I joined it was about $30 a year (it has since gone up to $79) and everything I buy gets free shipping. A while back I realized that I buy enough from Amazon that it made me feel good about paying this fee. Now Amazon is the first place I look and I like "thinking" that shipping is free.
The key here is Amazon's marketing technique. The customer experience is great at Amazon, so I trust buying from them. They made me a great shipping solution offer so I bought in. And now I think I'm getting free shipping so they are the first place I look for everything, not just books. It's brilliant yet oh so simple concept.
(By the way, the power supply at Amazon was still much more expensive, so even with free shipping, I wasn't going to spend more than I had to!)
the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.
Makes me think of Michael Keaton in Night Shift describing the word prostitution:
Key words: advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.
My guess is that most marketers ignore the words shipping and storing and worry about advertising and selling.
Advertising = Reaching your target customer through mass media (television, radio, print, billboard, sandwich board, flyers, online ad banners, etc.) Selling = Making your customer believe they have to have your product.
Shipping = Getting it into your customers hands, the easiest, most efficient, cost-effective way
Storing = Thinking about your customer's needs - where will they keep this product? How does it fit into their life? How does it literally fit into their "space?"
He'd been battling cancer for several years. I sent him one note last year. I should have visited him. But I'm weak that way. And selfish. And stupid.
I don't know what else to say. I looked for photos of him and found a couple on the Aspen Live site. They are from the year we won the Sapporo Cup, the comically legendary trophy for our team winning the annual broom ball tournament. One of the great nights of my life. Glad I could document that Eric and I enjoyed that night together. I'll miss you Eric. Please forgive me for my weakness. Know that it wasn't because I didn't care.
I won't remember you the way many saw you these past couple of years. I'll remember you as the guy I joked around with and never took the music business too seriously. As a guy who loved his family, his friends, and his life.
Everything else that could be learned about Eric can be found on the website he created and maintained with his family.
This is a note his wife Jennifer posted on the site...
In April 2006 Eric was diagnosed with a very rare form of Cancer known as high-grade poorly-differentiated Neuro-Endocrine Cancer. It just happened to be located in the Pancreas. After surgery and aggressive treatment which included radiation and intensive chemotherapy for months, Eric was unfortunately re-diagnosed in October 2006 with terminal Cancer as it had spread aggressively to his liver. He was given 6 months to live. Here are some updates that show the love and support of family and friends.... God Bless, Jennifer
Politics is not my bag. I don't like it. I don't follow it. Well, I didn't use to follow it. My wife hates George Bush. Therefore I hate George Bush. I say that with sarcasm. George Bush is easy to hate and I hate him for many more reasons than just because Denise is not a fan. But politics has definitely been a family-defined thing for me for most of my life. My father is a Democrat. I assume my mother is too, but I don't think she even votes.
Therefore I am a Democrat.
I grew up believing John F. Kennedy was the best President and maybe the best person ever. My dad said so. He wasn't wrong, but my dad is my hero, therefore his heroes are my heroes. JFK was a Democrat.
Reagan was an actor. Bush Sr. was bad. Bush Jr. is really bad. That's what the media has taught me. I know they are bad too. I'm educated. I just never gave it much thought.
Clinton was good, right? He did some stupid personal things, but does that make him bad? Or was he the greatest President of the last several decades? The stock market surged. Innovation surged. We had a surplus. Heck, maybe if he was still President, cancer would be cured and we'd drive cars that get 50 MPG.
I make a decent living but I pay so much in taxes that I can't get ahead.
I am starting to care.
So for the first time in my 39 years of existence, I watched a debate. 4 hours of television. 2 hours for Republicans, 2 hours for Democrats. Pretty good reality TV, but I still like this season of Celebrity Apprentice better.
The Republicans were better. I'm not saying politically they better, but for my entertainment value, they were better. I love Ron Paul. I am not going to vote for Ron Paul, but during those 2 hours I gained a bit of a man-crush. I don't like Fred Thompson because he looks bored and bothered. Not just in the debate, but in general. I don't want a President that looks like doing good things for the American people is getting in the way of his lunch.
Why when a candidate does something repeatedly, and the media picks up on it, does he/she still do it? Can you guess who I'm referring to? Hint, his favorite number is 911.
As for the Democrats, well, I don't know the difference. John Edwards looks like a President. Oprah likes Obama.Hillary... I just don't know about Hillary.
I was just sent this online poll that will help you figure out who you should vote for. They ask you some questions and then assign you points. Those points are then positioned next to the candidate who shares your views. Here's how my results came in...
I'm listening to talk radio today on KLSX 97.1. I must be old because I love talk radio now. When I was younger, I used to think listening to talk radio was the stupidest waste of time ever. I never understood why ratings for talk stations could get so high. Now I here I am. Sucks to get old.
I think Adam Corolla is genius. He replaced Howard Stern in LA. He's no Howard Stern, but he is fantastic. Because I listen to him every morning, my radio is always set to 97.1. At lunchtime today, I was driving and I heard a discussion on a different show on the station. They were discussing the obsession with Britney Spears. A paparazzi called in and the talk show host asked him, if he took a photo of Britney coming out of a Jamba Juice, how much money could he make? The guy said that if he was the only one who got that shot, he could make enough to buy a car.
When people ask me, "Who do you look up to in business?" I have one answer.
At 8:30am this morning, I hit Apple.com. The homepage said, "Watch the Macworld keynote with Steve Jobs this afternoon." Every few hours I hit refresh. I couldn't wait to see him speak. What was he going to introduce? What would Apple do next?
I DON'T EVEN OWN A MAC!!!
That is how much I admire this guy.
I don't own an iPhone... yet.
I looked at MacBooks in December but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money because all of my work is on PC. Plus the MacBook was too heavy. I have a 2 year old Sony Vaio that is the lightest and smallest computer out there. But I do long for a Mac. Today Steve made them thinner and lighter by introducing the MacBook Air. At least I didn't buy one in December!
I do own an iPod, I own several.
Steve is the most hated man in the record business. Why? Because they think Apple doesn't charge enough. The record companies would prefer it if songs could be $2 or $3 each instead of $.99. Yep, that's right. Record companies would like to at least have the option of selling songs for more money. (Look at About Me on the right side of this blog) Music is free!!! Kids think music is free. But somehow Steve has sold 4 Billion songs on iTunes. Why would anybody buy a song when they can find it free somewhere on the web or from a friend? Steve figured it out.
Today Steve introduced the rental of movies via the iTunes store. How did he get this done? How did he get all of the studios to agree on this? Because people want to be in business in with Steve. You would think Mac had 50% market share and not 5%.
That is the power of this man. I live to see and hear him speak. Even when the tech crew screws up the presentation, he rolls. He is so natural up there. How can I do that? What school can I go to where I can learn this skill? A few years ago I got to fly up to Apple headquarters and see him speak. To me it was like seeing the Rolling Stones. I studied him. I've copied him. I wish I could be him. I don't know him. I don't know anything about him personally. I don't want to. I just admire him from afar. As a struggling public speaker, I watch Steve Jobs and I can see where I need to be.
iPod took the concept of portable music and made it sexy. I was given a Rio player for free at the (previously mentioned) Aspen Live conference. I was so excited to get it. I couldn't wait to get back to California to open it and start using it. Guess what? 10 years later, it is still in the package. I just found it the other day, I never opened it and it is basically useless now. It probably held about 10 songs. So why did iPod make me "open the package?" It wasn't even that easy when I got my first iPod. First they were Mac only so I didn't get mine until the first generation of Windows-based iPods were released. And when I got it, I needed to then get a USB cable to make it work. But I did. The reason:
My friend Marc, who manages bands like Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Snow Patrol bought one for my friend Bob Lefsetz. Bob talked about it in his newsletter (which at the time probably went to about 500 people vs. the 5,000 who get it now). I listened to Bob, who can be quite stubborn and would never shell out $400 for a new electronic device. Someone had to buy it for him, but he loved it. He told his followers. I bought one. I've bought 5 since. Nuff said.
Tivo's weren't cheap at first. Actually they've never been cheap, but they were even more expensive back then. I bought one of the first generation Tivo's. My friend Jeff, who is an "early adopter" kind of guy bought one. He opened it up and took out the Hard Drive and installed a bigger one. He told me if I bought one, he'd do the same thing for me. So that is why I bought my Tivo. Because my friend would bootleg it for me. Hey, whatever it takes, right?
It changed the way I watch TV, the way that iPod changed the way I listen to music.
I remember hearing this report years ago that Tivo was one of the most virally spread consumer electronic devices ever. It was the kind of thing where if one person got it, many others in that city would get it too. But if no one had bought one, then Tivo had zero penetration in that city.
Once again, Word-of-Mouth.
Tivo the brand may lose out in the end, but DVR's are here to stay and the revolution of Tivo has changed television and advertising.
Now it's Rhapsody.
I love Rhapsody. The same guy who turned me on to Tivo also turned me on to Rhapsody. I have been having breakfast every Wednesday with my friends Randy and Jeff for ten years. We talk about things like this. I've bought stocks because of things that were said at that breakfast, along with products, movie tickets, food, and many other things. Two years ago Jeff and Randy were talking non-stop about Rhapsody. It took me about 3 months, but I finally took the plunge.
What took me so long?
Well, one, money. I don't mind paying for something, but the recurring bill sometimes bugs me. If you are like me, you have a gym membership that you pay money to every month and you've used it...once in the last 3 months, right? But I use Rhapsody every day. I'm the guy that they lose money on! Yep, I use it a minimum of 6 days a week. I listen to music at work, all day. I listen to music at home on my stereo which has a simple cable connected to my computer and allows me to have Rhapsody play through the house. Really, it is that easy.
So why doesn't everyone use Rhapsody?
The argument is ownership and portability.
Here are my answers to that.
1. Ownership is overrated. I am a collector. I was the guy in college who had 3,000 LP's. Imagine moving 3,000 pieces of 12" vinyl twice a year, every year for 4 years. It got old. I turned in my LP's to a record store, didn't look at them, took the store credit and bought CD's. I currently have close to 4,000 CD's. (The benefits of working in the music business). I have an entire walk-in closet in my house dedicated to the storage of CD's. Guess how many CD's I play a month? Maybe 3. When I listen to music, I do it on my iPod or Rhapsody via my computer. I will get rid of most of those CD's soon and I will have an extra closet to store my kid's toys!
2. Portability is a decent argument. There is a way to make Rhapsody portable via a special SanDisk Sansa player (and others), but I don't have it yet. I still use my iPod. The iPod is still the best way to take music with you, so Rhapsody loses in this respect. But I don't care. I listen to music via Rhapsody when I'm at work or home and I listen to my iPod when I'm traveling, commuting, or exercising (not much).
Selection and choice are key. I get bored fast. I'm bored with the 4,000 CD's I own. It's hard to get bored with a few million songs at my disposal.
New Media, New Wave, New Marketing, call it what you want, it's Awesome! I love Crispin, Porter, Bogusky. They have to be the most creative ad agency around. I don't really know anyone there, but I love what they've done with Burger King. It started with Subservient Chicken and that led to The King. I'm not a huge fan of The King, but I love that they created an icon. Now they've got this campaign where they are going to Burger Kings and claiming that the Whopper is no longer on the menu and filming real people freaking out. My first thought is of course, who cares about the Whopper? If you're from LA, the In-N-Out Double Double is a must. I'd even give you the McDonaldsBig Mac. Heck, probably even allow the Carl's Jr. Six Dollar Burger to sneak in there. But the Whopper? Guess I missed that boat. But watching the commercials, seems like the Whopper means a lot to a lot of people. Actually makes me want to consider one next time I'm out looking for a quick meal.
Why 11? Because the title, "Snow in Baghdad" intrigued me. Otherwise I would have cut it off at 10.
So my first thought was, who is Christopher Bowman? Turns out he's a former US Skating champion and he died yesterday, out here in the Los Angeles area. Normally I would have missed that information. I know that Bank of America is purchasing the near bankrupt Countrywide. I know that the Golden Globes are a mess due to the Writer's Strike. I know that Britney Spears is having breakdowns and Dr. Phil interventions. But I don't usually pick up on things like strange deaths of former Olympic athletes.
I also see that Corri Fetman is a sexy divorce attorney trying to convince people to get a divorce and that the girl Tony Soprano is going to marry is named Deborah Lin (I saw her picture on Access Hollywood the other night, but didn't know her name).
I think I'm a more informed person today.
Just please don't tell me what happened on Celebrity Apprentice last night, it's Tivo'd and I haven't had a chance to watch yet.
I was reading a Seth Godin blog about blogging, and he said, "Highlight your best posts on your Squidoo lens."
What the f*&k is Squidoo?
Well, I never really found out because the above link took me to Seth's page and I saw this search engine for finding people on SquidWho. I typed my own name in. It didn't have anything on me except for a link to a video interview I did with Road Trip Nation, and a link to the below video. Turns out there are two guys in the video named Larry Morrissette and Scott Weintraub. Thus, it came up with me. But I love it. It's ridiculous. Is that marketing or just dumb luck that I found this?
One day on the floor and I think we saw everything. This is the fifth year in a row that Terry, Matt and I have gone to the show. I remember the first year that we went, we were overwhelmed with the massiveness and the crowds. And the TV's! Yep, flat screen TV's everywhere. Well, this year was no different. A few years back just seeing a plasma or LCD flat screen was special, now they're fairly common place. So each year one of the big electronics companies unveils the largest plasma screen, which have ranged from 70" to 103". This year Panasonic showcased a 150" HD Plasma screen. It was pretty cool. Terry even called his wife Leslie and told her about it and she said to "bring one home."
While all the major companies were going big, they were also going thin. Sony leads with their 11" OLED thin LCD which is about an inch in depth. Not sure the practicality of these screens, but they are really cool. I think we'll be seeing more of this in the coming years.
So what was cool and what can we expect in the coming months?
Much of what I saw focused on wireless technology in the home. There were a ton of setups that showed how you can have your HD Plasma screen, your Surround Sound stereo system and your Blu-ray DVD player all broadcasting seamlessly without those pesky wires.
In my opinion Samsung had the best overall display at the show. Whereas Pioneer, LG, Sony, Sharp and others had similar products, Samsung's just felt cooler. I think it helped that their display was bright whereas Sony and Pioneer tended to be dark. Samsung gave off a strong feeling of positive energy and innovation. They definitely showcased the above referenced wireless connectivity better than anyone.
My favorite thing I saw was the convergence of "Hand Control" technology. I saw this at Samsung, Microsoft, and Hitachi. I'm sure others had it, but it was most evident at these booths. The idea here is getting rid of our computer mice, joysticks, etc. and just using our hands. Samsung had setups that showed how you can browse the Internet or shuffle through your files by waving your hand in front of your monitor. Hitachi had a great display featuring their Ultra Short Throw Distance LCD Projector which transforms the idea of a light board into something straight out of Minority Report.
For video gamers, the curved display from Alienware was pretty cool too.
Exhausted. Saw the entire floor. 3 entire buildings, 2 floors, thousands and thousands of TVs. Saw the largest Plasma (Panasonic 150" HD), thinnest (Sony OLED), and many many more. Will update tomorrow. Here is some video I shot...
Just got to Vegas. Landed at 9:30, 30 minute cab ride to the LV Convention Center. Told to go around to back, which I learned from last year is a terribly long walk, so got on the shuttle bus. Still on it, so not sure it was quicker. Will update once inside.
I was reading Bob Lefsetz's email the other day and he discussed the Aspen Live Conference. I started going to the Aspen conference when it first started over 10 years ago. This year was the first year I ever missed one, unfortunately it was the last year of the conference. What happens is that a bunch of music business people get together and discuss the state of the industry and hear guest speakers discuss everything from music to branding to trend-watching. Guest speakers have included Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, and Michael Moore. 90% of the speakers are excellent. Especially the ones that are from outside the music business. Bob said that Ian Rogers, General Manager of Music at Yahoo! gave an excellent description of the music business going forward. He also gave a link to Ian's presentation and it really is great. You can see it here...http://www.fistfulayen.com/blog/?p=147
Bob also quoted some interesting stats today...
The best selling albums of 2000 were: 1. "No Strings Attached/'N Sync: 9,936,104 2. "Marshall Mathers LP"/Eminem: 7,921,107 3. "Oops!...I Did It Again"/Britney Spears: 7,893,544 4. "Human Clay"/Creed: 6,587,834 5. "Supernatural"/Santana: 5,857,824 6. "Beatles 1"/Beatles: 5,068,300 7. "Country Grammar"/Nelly: 5,067,529 8. "Black & Blue"/Backstreet Boys: 4,289,865 9. "Dr. Dre 2001"/Dr. Dre: 3,992,311 10. "Writing's On The Wall"/Destiny's Child: 3,802,165
The best selling albums of 2007 were: 1. "Noel"/Josh Groban: 3,699,000 2. "Soundtrack"/ High School Musical 2: 2,957,000 3. "Long Road Out of Eden"/Eagles: 2,608,000 4. "As I Am"/Alicia Keys: 2,543,000 5. "Daughtry"/Daughtry: 2,497,000 6. "Soundtrack"/Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley: 2,489,000 7. "Minutes To Midnight"/Linkin Park: 2,099,000 8. "Dutchess"/Fergie: 2,064,000 9. "Taylor Swift"/Taylor Swift: 1,951,000 10."Graduation"/Kanye West: 1,892,000
So, the drop from number one over the past seven years was a whopping 62.77%! Number two: also a 62% drop. Number three: 67% drop. Number four: 61% drop. Number five: 57% drop. Number six: 50% drop. Number seven: 58% drop. Number eight: 51% drop. Number nine: 51% drop. Number ten: 50% drop.
I see much in life as a possible business. It is exciting, but also torturous. I just don’t have enough time. A new idea often sends me into hours of thought, research, and ultimately deviation from what I really need to do in a day. I believe that the Internet has made it easy for anyone to create a business. I believe that the Internet has made nearly everything in life easier. I believe that trying to impact the masses is a tough notion, but finding a group of people similar to you, is at your fingertips. I believe that music is free, and that is not a good thing. I believe that life is a collection of experiences and that every day I learn something new and forget something slightly new.
I have learned that the toughest part of running a business is inspiring your own employees. I have grown to understand that you have to show your family at least as much respect as your customers.
I went to college at the University of California, San Diego and majored in Economics and minored in Literature/Writing. I wish I had majored in Literature and only taken the one Economics class that taught me about Supply and Demand.