YouTube to block indie labels that won’t sign: Bob’s Tank Army on standby

XL RecordingsThis is one of those stories that sounds so wrong that I thought it was a rumor blown out of portion . . . hard to say since most reports on the subject all lead back to one article from the Financial Times.

Basically, it goes like this. YouTube is about to launch a beta test of their new streaming music service which would compete with Spotify and Amazon’s new music service. In order to offer streaming music, record labels had to sign a licensing agreement but several indie labels say the agreement isn’t fair and have refused to sign.

Retailers believe in online marketing, so why are they still spending offline?

RetailMeNot contacted 200 marketing decision-makers at retailers that sell both online and in physical retail locations and have at least $50 million in annual revenue to find out how they feel about digital advertising.

75% said they believe that digital delivers a higher return on investment than offline advertising. They believe it, but they’re not putting their marketing money where their mouth is.

Digital spend

Looking at the total marketing budget, 51% is going to the digital side, 49% to offline. Why? Old habits and a lack of confidence. Only 27% of those surveyed thought of themselves as advanced digital marketers. Only 19% said they thought their current multi-channel approach was effective. Which means a whole lot of marketers think they could be doing better if they tried harder or had more training.

Facebook adds trending videos and games to iPad app sidebar

Facebook’s latest iPad app update is all about keeping visitor engaged longer by putting all kinds of trending and entertaining content in the sidebar.

The top corner will continue to feature birthdays you should have remembered and events you thought you’d attend but probably won’t. Below that you’ll find the trending topics, just like on the website. Click one and you’ll go to a curated list of posts related to the subject. This is how Facebook keeps on top of hot topics like the Game of Thrones finale even if none of your Facebook friends are posting on the subject.

Below that is where it gets interesting.

Facebook iPad Update

The third segment is “My Games” and it includes easy access links to the games you’ve played.

Edelman survey says consumers want their entertainment selfie-style

Entertainment-in-the-Era-of-the-SelfieMe. Me. Me. It’s all about the me! A new survey from Edelman shows that consumers are taking control over what they watch, when and how they watch, rendering the old TV Guide virtually obsolete.

Binge-watching online is up from 86% to 94% here in the US. In China, 99% of respondents said they’ve binge-watched their favorite shows. 72% do it because they simply want to know what happens next. (This is me, binge-watching old seasons of 24). 57% said they do it to feel “caught up” and a handful simply want to avoid being spoiled by friends who have already seen it, so they hop online and get up to speed.

Looking for something? Go Google My Business

At some point, not to long ago, Google went from being a proper noun to a verb. Has that ever happened before?

Google, googling and googled are also words that you can look up in the dictionary and they all refer to the action of searching for something online. It’s pretty amazing. Does anyone ever say I’m going to “Bing” it or “AltaVista” it? No but I digress, as I often do.

This post is all about the new “Google My Business” dashboard which will soon be taking the place of “Places for Business” and the “Google+ Dashboard.” If you were using either of those two services, your data will automatically migrate over to the new platform. If you weren’t using those services – why not? Go now and sign up for Google My Business – it’s free and it makes it really easy to keep your information up-to-date across multiple channels. (I can’t stand it when Google says a business is open until a certain time and I drive there only to find the place actually closes two hours earlier!)

Amazon Local opens to reviews, could be first step to larger local marketplace

IMG_0394Amazon Local is a daily deal site like Groupon but there’s a rumor going around that it’s about to expand into a much more comprehensive service. There’s talk of an Amazon Local Marketplace where you can find a babysitter for your child, a doctor for your dog or vice versa.

Such a service would put Amazon in competition with Angie’s List and Yelp and Forbes says that just talk of Amazon getting into that end of the business caused stock prices for both companies to drop.

Amazon has been experimenting with same-day grocery deliveries for awhile. Earlier this week, I received an email saying that the service was now available in my area¬† – for a measly $299 a year! I’m sure there’s an audience that wouldn’t blink at that price, especially in Los Angeles. I’m not a part of that audience but if I was a busy executive living in a condo in the city, having someone deliver my groceries for that price would be a nice perk.

Facebook gives users the tools to remove ads based on topic

FB Ad ChoicesFacebook is about to launch a new ad preferences tool that will allow users to block ads by excluding specific topics. They say this will makes ads “better” because the viewer will have control over what they see and what they don’t. They say they’re making this option available because “soon” they won’t just be monitoring what you do on Facebook, they’ll also be including data from “some of the websites and apps you use.”

In case you didn’t know that your movements on the web turn into marketing fodder, Facebook has a detailed explanation of how this works: