Consumers Don’t Trust Reviews But They’re Swayed by Them Anyway

shandwick - consumer review 2Like most people who shop online, I pay attention to the reviews posted about an item before I make the decision to buy. It seems like the prudent thing to do except for one thing – reviews are notoriously inaccurate. I was looking at laptops last week and my first choice had reviews that ranged from “Excellent computer for the price” to “Piece of garbage” with little in between.

In the past week, I’ve seen a review on a book the reviewer didn’t read and I saw a DVD review where a woman gave it 1 star because she bought the wrong item. Add in all the phony, paid for positive reviews and you definitely can’t believe what you read. Still, a recent study by Weber Shandwick shows that 65% of potential consumer electronics buyers were inspired to consider a different brand after reading a review.

Hulu CEO Steps Down Without Answering the Question: Subscriptions or Ads?

hulu popular“I’ve decided to depart Hulu in Q1.”

Doesn’t get clearer than that. Jason Kilar, the driving force behind the online streaming service is leaving for parts unknown with hardly a rumor about why or where he’s going.

Kilar came to Hulu from Amazon and was instrumental in turning the company into a serious contender in the streaming game.

Kilar says in his departure post / email:

We have grown from a few hundred thousand in revenue in 2007 to generating almost $700 million in revenue in 2012 alone. We have created a video subscription service that is growing unusually fast, adding over 200K new subscribers in the past 7 days alone (a new record). We have proudly generated over $1 Billion for our content partners since we excitedly entered private beta in October 2007. Our video advertising service delivers world-class results and sets the pace for the industry. We have authored scores of inventions along the way.

Mobile Video and Sharing Go ‘Hand in Hand’ and ‘Hand to Hand’

Every marketers dream is to have their message passed around by people. Those messages come in a variety of delivery devices like the written word, images and more but the one type of content that people like to share the most is video.

A recent study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence titled “Mobile Phone Video Diaries: Understanding Mobile Video Usage” shows that people pass videos around. That may not come as a surprise but what might is the second most popular way these videos are shared which is, unfortunately, an area of concern for marketers.

iab Image for sharing video on device

YouTube Expands ‘Send to TV’ and Other Trends at CES

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is only a few days away and that means we’ll soon get a sneak peak at future of technology. There are rumors about 110 inch screens and new shapes for TVs. Dozens of new smartphones will be revealed, maybe even one with a screen you can bend! So cool – but why?

YouTube says they’ll be expanding their Send to TV option. I’m I the only person who didn’t know they had this?

To use the system right now, you need an Android phone and a Google TV. You navigate to the video you want to watch then click the TV button on the app. Zap, the video appears on your TV. You can then use your mobile phone as a remote control to pause, go forward and back, etc. You can also create a queue so the next video will begin playing on your TV as soon as the other one stops. Nifty.

Whodunnit? Hawaii Five-O Asks Fans to Choose the Ending in Real Time

Kapu (Forbidden)Interactive TV is something we’ve been talking about long before tablets and smartphones arrived in the home. My first marketing gig was with a company working on a remote control that allowed viewers to bookmark content related to the show they were watching. It was a multi-step, cumbersome process but at the time, it was the ultimate in TV interaction.

We have come so far, so fast.

On January 14, CBS will make TV history with the first, truly interactive episode of Hawaii Five-O. A college professor is found murdered and there are three suspects; his boss, his teaching assistant and a student who he busted for cheating. Which one did it? Depends on who the viewers pick.

Facebook Messenger Mobile Users Can Now Send Voice Messages

Facebook has added the capability to send a voice message via the Facebook Messenger App for both iOS and Android.

Here is a screenshot of what you will find when you click to the left of the message box in the Messenger App. The screenshot is of an Android version.

Facebook Messenger Android Screenshot

When the message appears to the receiver it will look like this (iOS version shown here)

Google Won and Microsoft Is Not Happy. Oh Well.

Google WinsGoogle got a big win yesterday when the FTC gave them what amounted to the equivalent of saying that they MIGHT slap them on the wrist regarding Google’s business practices. Google and antitrust, as far as the federal government is concerned for now, is a non-issue.

As Cynthia Boris reported yesterday, both sides can, and did, come away from this claiming a victory. That’s to be expected. Google really did win and the government has to say it won.

On the other hand, this is likely to not be the end of attacks on Google’s business practices. Here is a post on the ‘Microsoft on the Issues‘ blog by Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, who is one of the major players in the Fair Search initiative.