Monthly Archives: March 2012
By Steven James Snyder
March 13, 2012
From DVR to Netflix streaming, technology has the changed the business of the TV industry; now the push towards transmedia has content creators dreaming up new and creative ways of forging relationships with fans.
Considering that a company called Netflix is commissioning its own original programming – and debating whether to join the ranks of basic cable — it doesn’t take a tech genius to see that the implications of our streaming future go far beyond issues of data caps and broadband. The more that we stream, download and DVR, the more that tech developments come to shape the television industry, and our own TV experience. (more…)
TV Bebé Boom Univision and Telemundo still dominate Hispanic TV, but a rash of start-up channels is about to make things a lot noisier
Call it the Hispanic TV baby boom. For decades, the biggest player in the game has been Univision, and while that’s not going to change anytime soon, dozens of newcomers—some 100 channels, up from 15 in 2001—are crowding the field.
With new cable channels from Univision, multiple Spanish-language channels via Comcast, plus a planned broadcast network from no less than News Corp., Hispanic TV is marginalized far less than it was even just two years ago. NBCUniversal is pouring money into Telemundo, the No. 2 Spanish-language broadcaster, as well as cable network Mun2. MundoFox represents a serious investment for News Corp., hoping to shake up the Spanish-language TV landscape much as it did when it launched Fox as a serious rival to the onetime Big Three English-language nets. Meanwhile, ABC-Disney is rumored to have its own Spanish-language news partnership in the works. (more…)
Around the world our cities are in desperate need of rejuvenation and transformation. Elected officials are scrambling to equip their cities for the 21st century, talking about creating “open,” “networked,” and “smart” cities.
The problems are legion. Mexico City is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Megacities such as Sao Paulo and Johannesburg are straining to the point of paralysis from population influx, lack of infrastructure, traffic congestion, pollution and crime.
Many cities in the United States grew rapidly after World War II, but now have dysfunctional urban centers. By separating where we live, work and shop, cities have been divided into downtowns that become ghost towns at night, suburbia where the commute is brutal and the mall where a car is required for all shopping. Detroit has lost more than half of its population and large parts of the city have become a wasteland, populated by wild animals. The median house price is under $10,000.
Fortunately the digital revolution provides a powerful new platform for the transformation of the city. In areas ranging form public safety and transportation to more transparent government operations, the Internet is enabling a new kind of 21st century city. (more…)
“When you can’t create you can work.”
In 1932-1933, while working on what would become his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer, Miller devised and adhered to a stringent daily routine to propel his writing. Among it was this list of eleven commandments, found in Henry Miller on Writing — a fine addition to these 9 essential books on reading and writing, part of this year’s resolution to read more and write better.
Peter Krainik, Contributor
Recently I had the pleasure of attending Rock N Roll Fantasy camp, a four- to five-day rock camp for old musicians or wannabes to jam, form a band, practice and play with rock stars from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Since the last time I played keyboards in a band was back in college, 30 years ago, I was excited to not only see if I could remember how to play, but to find out what makes rock stars different from other less-successful musicians. As I got to know the rockers and talk with them about the secrets to their success, I realized that brands and CMOs could leverage many “rock star” strategies to improve customer engagement, motivate their teams, and lead the growth agenda for their companies.
1. Like Rock Songs, Marketing Programs are the Sum of Their Parts
At one point during the camp, Steve Stevens, lead guitarist for Billy Idol and other great bands, broke down verse-by-verse the guitar parts for their big hit “White Wedding.” Each section of the song was analyzed to determine the best guitar style to make the song more impactful. As brands, how often do we take apart each piece of a program or campaign and think about the best way to engage customers or build the brand piece-by-piece? Think of the best approach to tell your brand story at every touch point with your customers? Analyze and review each piece and timing of each piece within your branding efforts? (more…)
While Hispanics fueled much of the U.S. population growth in the aughts, the influence of Asian Americans on that increase can’t be ignored. In fact, the Asian-American population grew at close to the same rate as the Hispanic population.
According to the 2010 Census, the Asian alone population increased by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010, more than any other major race group. The number of Asians rose from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010. In 2010, this segment accounted for 5 percent of the total population.
In addition, another 2.6 million indicated they were Asian along with one or more additional races. Well over half (61 percent) reported being Asian and White.
In terms of country of origin, 3.2 million Asian Americans identified themselves as Chinese, making them the largest subgroup in 2010. They were followed by Asian Indians (2.7 million), Filipinos (2.5 million), Vietnamese (1.6 million) and Korean (1.4 million).
California is the home to about a third (32 percent) Asian America population (both Asian alone and Asian in combination). It was followed by New York (9 percent), Texas (6 percent), New Jersey (5 percent) and Hawaii (5 percent). Hawaii, meanwhile, has the highest proportion of Asian Americans in its population (38 percent), followed by California (13 percent) and New Jersey (8 percent).
In terms of cities, New York has the largest population of Asians (1.1 million), ahead of Los Angeles (483,000), San Jose (326,000), San Francisco (288,000) and San Diego (241,000). Urban Honolulu, HI had the highest proportion of Asians (68 percent), and all the other cities in the top 10 were located in California (Daly City, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Irvine, Santa Clara, Garden Grove, Torrance, San Francisco and San Jose).
New rules could give studios greater entry to the world’s fastest-growing movie market, but the fine print reveals a still-fuzzy complexity.
This story originally appeared in the March 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
When it comes to doing business with China, the devil is always in the details. The recent announcement that the Chinese government finally will comply with a World Trade Organization order to treat U.S. films more fairly is no exception. On paper, it sounds great: China, ever concerned about outside cultural influences, will ease its 20-picture annual import quota by granting entry to 14 more 3D or Imax titles. Also, Hollywood studios will get 25 percent of box-office proceeds (a far cry from the 50-50 split studios enjoy in most foreign markets).
Publicly, studio executives lauded the deal when it was announced by Vice President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Feb. 17 in Los Angeles. But privately, they wonder how it will shake out — and when — because the Chinese government has yet to sign a WTO Memorandum of Understanding (and no one knows when it will).
“How is it actually going to work? When you are talking about China, you just never know,” says one Hollywood insider. “If anyone says this is etched in stone, they are kidding themselves.” The U.S. film industry had wanted the import quota lifted altogether, but it was clear that wasn’t going to happen when China ignored a March 2011 deadline imposed by the WTO. After Hollywood heavyweights including Jeffrey Katzenberg reached out to the White House, talks began between the Obama administration and the Chinese about some sort of compromise. (more…)
Clare O’Connor, Forbes Staff
This story appears on the Mar. 26, 2012 cover of Forbes.
Sara Blakelystands topless at a conference room table. It’s Monday morning at the Spanx headquarters in Atlanta, and the founder of the hosiery company has been in a product development meeting for all of five minutes before walking out abruptly. She returns a minute later in nothing but a lacy taupe bra with black pants and beige wedges and adjusts herself in a full-length mirror, worrying aloud about the metal clasps on this early prototype. Will they create lumps under her clothes? Her CEO, Laurie Ann Goldman — petite and glamorous in a leopard print shift dress — tugs on Blakely’s straps.
The conference room looks like a boudoir designed by Willy Wonka: a jar of gum balls here, a loud houndstooth print there. Blakely hardly blinks in the presence of five colleagues and me as she removes the bra and tries on a second prototype. She’s been getting half-naked in public for the last decade, controlling every detail of the new category in women’s retail—shapewear—that she created from a one-product wonder sold out of her apartment.
Today Spanx is to slimming undergarments what Kleenex is to tissues: a brand that stands for the category. It nets an estimated 20% on revenue just south of $250 million. In recent months four Wall Street investment banks separately valued Spanx at an average $1 billion, a sum Forbes corroborated with the help of industry analysts. Blakely owns 100% of the private company, has zero debt, has never taken outside investment and hasn’t spent a nickel on advertising. At 41 she’s the youngest woman to join this year’s World’s Billionaires list without help from a husband or an inheritance. She is part of a tiny, elite club of American women worth ten figures on their own, including Oprah Winfrey and Meg Whitman.
Lots of women, from Betty Grable to Kim Kardashian, have put their butts on the line to plump their profiles and profits. Far fewer have had to overcome three phobias—fear of heights, fear of flying and stage fright—to master the art of selling. Blakely is on the road “always,” she says. She feels dizzy in tall buildings (it doesn’t help to have a Manhattan condo on the 37th floor) and often cries in midair. She’s unwilling to board a plane without her iPod, so she can play the same Mark Knopfler song, “What It Is,” at every takeoff. “I have sweaty palms, panic attacks, my heart’s racing,” says Blakely, whose Floridian roots you occasionally hear in her “Ah” for “I.” She once had to muster the courage to hawk her wares 6 to 12 times a month on home shopping channel QVC; now that Spanx is so well-known, it’s maybe once a month but for hours at a time. Blakely had early practice wrestling with anxiety when she occasionally did standup comedy. “Every time I went onstage I was so terrified I almost threw up,” she recalls. “I learned why they call it the greenroom.
Spanx started as a one-woman show. In her first year Blakely shilled her new invention from a folding table in the foyer of Neiman Marcus, with a giant before-and-after photo of her derriere in cream slacks and bikini briefs underneath in one shot (an embarrassingly obvious Maginot Line) and $30 Spanx Power Panties (et voilà! no more line) in the other.
Over the last couple of years Spanx has depended less on Blakely’s face—and other body parts—to shift its shapers and stay ahead of a handful of copycats. The company is now run by a team of 125, only 16 of them men. It sells 200 products in 11,500 department stores, boutiques and online shops in 40 countries. Distributors worldwide clamor to get on the stockist list. “With international, we’re just warming up,” says Goldman.
Mashable US & World
March 07, 2012 by Zoe Fox
The Internet is gaining users each day — mostly in non-English speaking regions.
That’s because the web’s reach is spreading fast. While it took 30 years to get two billion people online, the Internet is now adding one billion new users every four years.
Smartling, an enterprise translation management company, created this multilingual, interactive HTML5 infographic to show who is using the Internet today around the world. Smartling believes that to create a global web, the platform must speak more languages and businesses must adjust their practices to reach new audiences in non-English speaking markets.
90% of today’s web users live in non-English speaking countries. Only 13% of the world’s web users live in North America. In comparison, Asia is home to 45% of web users, Europe is home to 23%, South America is home to 10%, Africa is home to 6% and the Middle East is home to 3.3%. (more…)
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