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The Marketing Pilgrim Podcast – Episode 4

We’re up to episode 4 of The Marketing Pilgrim Podcast and it’s a juicy one. I’ve picked out the stories that needed some additional commentary, so you’ll find fresh insight that wasn’t on the blog. ;-)

Here’s everything you need to know…

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Episode: 4

Date: May 1st 

Program:

Items discussed this week include –

Cable Companies Playing Google and Yahoo at their Own Game

Comcast has partnered with Zimbra to provide 12.5 million broadband customers with a sophisticated email service called SmartZone.

At the core of SmartZone is a new version of Zimbra’s open source, browser-based collaborative suite that includes email, instant messaging and voice mail access…Features include listening to voice mail online and video instant messaging.

Are cable networks finally realizing that in order to compete with Google, Yahoo et al, you first have to steal away the “eyeballs”?

It’s a strategy that MSFT, YHOO and GOOG do so well. Launch products that don’t necessarily generate revenue, but give users a reason to come back, time and time again. The best way – discovered by all three – is to create a free service that is at the core of any online activity – email. If a user checks their email using Gmail, it’s just a short mouse-click to capture their search preference, video watching or other online activity.

Will Google Become the Next Microsoft? Part 2

There’s still talk that Google could become the next Microsoft. The U.K.’s Guardian looks at the similarities between the two companies and how Google’s explosive growth is as much of a drain, as it is a boost.

Apart from the many law suits, there’s the new competition and Wall Street’s concern that Google is starting to overreach…

…shares reached $500 in 2006, but have fallen 13 per cent since January, reflecting worries about its diversification into new markets…Google is no longer the hottest thing on Wall Street and has underperformed the wider market index in recent months. Investors fear that retaliation from competitors could choke off growth that had already showed signs of slowing when it reported its latest quarterly figures. And anxiety persists about the court case with Viacom, which could cost Google untold millions in damages if lost.

Pilgrim’s Picks for Friday June 1st

For the benefit of our UK and Australia readers – pinch punch, first of the month

For the rest of us, here’s what’s hot today:

Average Internet User Watches Two YouTube Videos a Day

How many hours on average does a person watch online in a month? comScore Video Metrix says almost 75 percent watched an average of three hours. Those numbers are for July. Where are people going to watch online video? Mainly on Google’s YouTube. Google was both the highest in unique watchers and for the most videos watched.

YouTube was started in 2005 by former Paypal employees. In just two years its become part of our culture. Google bought it just last year – a search engine company – and like everyone is looking for ways to cash in on the traffic. They’ve tried AdSense on and off. I haven’t seen reports on profitability but it certainly has market share as this research shows.

Facebook Plays Acquisition Brinkmanship

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship with potential suitors. Instead of cashing-out for $800 million, the young entrepreneur is holding out for $2 billion.

In the meantime, Business Week reports the site is starting to lose popularity and with the decline in growth, might come a decline in purchase price. Potential buyers such as Viacom and Yahoo, are content to sit back and wait, hoping to get a cheaper price tag.

Now, however, with traffic that may be declining alongside the always-elusive “cool factor” among fickle collegians, potential buyers are more inclined to wait in the hope that Facebook’s price may drop. For his part, Zuckerberg appears to be in no rush to make a quick exit to the bank. “We’re focused on building the business,” says marketing director Melanie Deitch. “We’re doing extremely well and we’re having fun.”

Give Away the Milk: Slap Ads on the Cow

Okay, I couldn’t resist. MediaPost today blogged about CBS using YouTube for their free NCAA tourney highlights. Not that there will be any highlights, since both my team and my alma mater got knocked out in the first round. Stupid upsets. Ahem. Anyway. This comes after CBS partnered with CSTV for their user-generated content contest. This new move is especially important for CBS because they were having trouble accomodating the high traffic levels on their site.

It seemed for a while there that CBS was with Viacom on the “kill YouTube” boat—but apparently not. Guess what, big, huge, YouTube-hating networks. As I just said, “Give the milk away, and make tons more money than you could from selling the milk by slapping some ads on the cow.” The new agreement will offer ad-supported highlight reels through YouTube. YouTube and CBS will split the revenues.