Netflix Built it, But They Didn’t Come

With all the hype about social media marketing, it often seems like Facebook is the key to instant success. This week, however, Netflix found out that just building it wasn’t enough to make the people come.

Two years ago, Netflix added a Facebook component to their system that allowed you to easily share your movie choices and reviews with your friends. Okay, that’s not exactly true. From the sound of it, the app wasn’t easy to use and “allowed” was more like “forced,” so Netflix shut it down last week.

Director of Product Management, Tim Willerer explained the reason for the shut down on the company blog. He said:

Very few of you have signed on for this so we’re pulling it back today to regroup, which includes testing new concepts, and ultimately finding a more appealing program for all of our members.

Why Don’t People Want Roger Ebert to Make Money?

Roger Ebert, the famed movie critic, has been sending out Tweets with Amazon affiliate links in them. Are you horrified? Apparently many people are and I don’t get it. Here’s the gist of the whole affair.

Two months ago, Ebert signed up for an Amazon affiliate account and began sending out two or three Twitter Tweets a day promoting various products. Generally he points out really good deals on great movies, but has been known to promote other items like coconut water (yuck).

Advertising Your Product: Is All Buzz, Good Buzz?

If you were going to make a Super Bowl commercial on behalf of the United States of America, how would you do it? That’s the question Harper’s Magazine asked a group of ad execs and it got me thinking about the right way and the wrong ways to advertise any product.

For example. Super Bowl commercials tend to be funny and over the top, but is that anyway to sell patriotism? An ad that pits Victoria’s Secret models against Obama in a cherry pie eating contest will certainly garner attention and it’s pretty likely that everyone will still be talking about it a day later. But is buzz all you need to call a commercial a success? What if the reason people are talking is because they were offended by the ad. Certainly there would be a large segment of the population who felt it was inappropriate. Does it matter? Is bad buzz as welcome as good buzz?

Bing Beats Google for Succesful Searches

Experian Hitwise has just released their December report which shows that Google overwhelmingly accounts for most of the searches conducted on the web in the US. 69.97% to be exact with the nearest competitor, Bing, coming in at only 25.77%.

But while Google is still the chosen search engine of the masses, it’s not the most accurate. According to Experian’s numbers, 81% of the searches on Bing and Yahoo! Search resulted in a trip to a web address. Google only showed a 65% success rate.

Android Takes Top Spot for Ad Impressions on Millennial Network

iPhone, iPhone, iPhone — sometimes it seems like it’s the only game in town, but according to ad network Millennial Media, it’s Android for the win, at least at the moment.

Tech Crunch says that Millennial reaches 81% of the mobile web users in US, so their numbers are a pretty solid gauge for mobile as a whole. When they revealed their stats for December usage, Android accounted for 46% of the impression share, with iOS’ (iphone, ipad, etc.) coming in at only 32%.

It shouldn’t be surprising because back in August of 2010, Android outsold iPhone for the first time in history. Now here’s Millennial saying that ad requests on Android have grown 3130% over the year and that sounds like reason to celebrate.

Time Inc. Merges Print and Digital Sales Units

There was a day when offline and online were two very distinct paths through life. These days, however, that’s not really the case. Watching TV and reading for pleasure used to be strictly offline behaviors but now many people do both online. Why go to the computer to get your email when you can get it on your phone? And thanks to Samsung, I now sit down in front of the TV to catch up on Twitter.

Time Inc. has seen the writing on the wall and that’s why they decided to merge their print and digital sales unit into a new unit they call “Time Inc. Branded Solutions.” It’s a fancy name for a pretty simple idea – positioning your brand next to their brands without worrying about boundaries.

Scribed Opens to Ads Aimed at an Intelligent, Affluent Audience

Scribd, the YouTube of print materials, is getting into the ad business with the help of Geoff Hamm formerly of Electronic Arts.

Scribd is an interesting animal that went from online document repository to social networking site with an emphasis on reading. Where it differs from a site like Good Reads, is that Scribd relies on its community members to upload everything from memos to magazines, ebooks and even school work.

According to AdWeek, Scribd has 60 million unique users and several high profile members including The New York Times, Ford and Simon and Schuster.

In the article, the Scribd audience is referred to as “professional, affluent and influential,” though it’s hard to tell if those words are the author’s or Hamm’s. It can be assumed that a site dedicated to reading attracts an intelligent user but affluent and influential, I’m not so sure.